Arsenal are lacking the character needed to win the Premier League, according to former defender William Gallas.
The Gunners head into the third international break of the season just one point off league leaders Manchester City, who prevailed over them last season after an intense title race. Arsenal have lost only once in their opening 12 games. And as things stand, Liverpool are level with them, while Tottenham are a point further back.
But Gallas believes that 1-0 defeat to Newcastle earlier this month highlighted the key ingredient his old side are missing to be able to go all the way, despite having beat City with the same scoreline at the Emirates.
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"Arsenal are capable of winning important games, such as the one against City, but we expect them to drop points, and we don't know why," the Frenchman, 46, told Lord Ping.
"We all know how tough it is to play against Newcastle, but Arsenal had to leave with the three points. That's the difference between a team with a lot of character and a team without it. City have a lot of character and we saw that in their wins over Manchester United and Sheffield United, and the latter was in the last minute."
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Gallas also feels Arteta doesn't have a talismanic figure who can change the course of a game on their own, such as City's Erling Haaland or Liverpool's Mohamed Salah.
He went on to add: "We know how tough the Premier League is, and you need to have players who will give the team security. You need to have the right strikers and right defenders.
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"Arsenal have a good squad, but they need that player who will drag them out of tough situations. They don't have that player at the moment."
Injuries to key figures Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Jesus and Thomas Partey, who all figure in Arsenal's strongest starting XI, haven't helped Arteta's cause. Those selection woes were worsened in the 3-1 home win over Burnley on Saturday (November 11) as Fabio Vieira saw red after coming off the bench for a knee-high challenge, ruling him out of the next three league matches.
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