sport news Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta battles a lack of creativity, injuries and the ...

After their FA Cup and Community Shield success under rookie manager Mikel Arteta, Arsenal fans had plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future. 

And Arsenal continued their impressive form by opening their account to the new Premier League season with victories against both Fulham and West Ham  - the former a a 3-0 victory at Craven Cottage.

But as we all know with football, there is always a reality check just around the corner, and the Gunners have been brought back down to earth in an instant.

Mikel Arteta must steady the ship at Arsenal after three defeats in four Premier League games

Mikel Arteta must steady the ship at Arsenal after three defeats in four Premier League games

Arsenal's opening day 3-0 victory at Fulham in the Premier League seems a long time ago

Arsenal's opening day 3-0 victory at Fulham in the Premier League seems a long time ago

Arteta's men have lost three of their last four Premier League encounters - their most recent an agonising 1-0 home defeat to rivals for a European spot Leicester - while they just about squirmed their way past Rapid Vienna in the Europa League.

The task doesn't get any easier with a trip to away next in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. If they lose that, there could be more trouble ahead.

Here, Sportsmail takes a look at the biggest problems facing Arteta as he attempts to stop the wheels coming off... 

ALARMING LACK OF CREATIVITY

It has been a problem that has plagued Arsenal for a while now, dating back to Unai Emery's tenure in north London. For so long they wowed fans across England thanks to their scintillating football under Arsene Wenger... but now there is a worrying lack of creativity in the final third.

Arteta has certainly made Arsenal more compact in defence but up top he has struggled to find the right balance and it is showing during the early stages of the season.

During the summer window, Arsenal were in hot pursuit of both Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar and after months of heavy interest, it was the Ghanaian midfielder who made the move to the Emirates.

While Partey will certainly prove a very astute midfield signing for the Gunners, the profile of Aouar would also definitely have given Arsenal a buzz in the middle of the pitch.

For a while, Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka have been tasked with the mantle of flourishing in the Arsenal midfield but they are struggling to create much for Arsenal's fearsome attack.

Against Leicester, Arsenal's biggest creative threats were defenders David Luiz and Kieran Tierney. It says a lot about the team when that's the case. 

Arsenal are struggling for creativity in the middle of the pitch under Arteta at the Emirates

Arsenal are struggling for creativity in the middle of the pitch under Arteta at the Emirates

AND LACAZETTE STRUGGLING TO FIRE  

Arsenal supporters were very happy with their summer transfer business, especially thanks to the huge news that talisman had signed a new lucrative three-year contract following his FA Cup heroics.

It was viewed as a big statement of intent that Arsenal, a club that has been on the decline in recent years, managed to persuade one of the deadliest strikers in world football to stay as they looked to restore their glory days.

He responded to signing his new deal by scoring a on the opening day of the season at Fulham but since then, we have barely seen anything from .

The biggest problem is that he has been left out wide - played on the right against Leicester - while Alexandre Lacazette was deployed centrally last weekend. 

While has scored plenty of goals cutting in from the wing, he has proved ineffective out on the flank recently, neither netting or creating anything and Arsenal are suffering as a result.

Lacazette is hugely under-performing and looks shot of confidence, missing a sitter against Leicester in the opening half. 

Arteta certainly shouldn't be afraid to be ruthless and drop Lacazette in order to play star man up top with true wingers around him like Nicolas Pepe, Willian or Bukayo Saka.

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