Former Arsenal forward Alan Smith has suggested that some Gunners players are confused by manager Unai Emery's instructions.
The Gunners have operated with different formations this season, notably and surprisingly playing with a diamond midfield in their 3-1 loss to Liverpool at Anfield last month.
That defeat followed on from back-to-back victories in their opening two games of the season away at Newcastle and at home to Burnley , but they were required to battle back from 2-0 down to earn a point against Tottenham in the north London derby before the international break, as their defensive players were bailed out by their attackers.
Writing in his column for Evening Standard , Smith compared the Gunners to England's performance in their 5-3 win over Kosovo in Southampton on Tuesday, when their exciting attacking play was let down by poor defending.
"What, for instance, constitutes Emery’s best midfield combination?" wrote Smith as he suggested that Emery's problems are similar to Gareth Southgate's.
"Does he persist with a three or change formation slightly to incorporate a No10 in the shape of Dani Ceballos or Mesut Ozil?
"On the evidence so far, something needs to change. Because as well as Arsenal played going forward in the second half against Tottenham, that midfield offered scant protection to a back four in need of plenty.
"Maybe it is down to a lack of understanding. I have heard whispers, after all, that some of the players find their manager’s instructions confusing, that they do not really know what he wants them to do.
"If so, that does not bode well. A clarity of purpose is essential."
Arsenal face Watford in the Premier League on Sunday.