Arsenal put Chelsea to the sword with some ruthless attacking movement at the Emirates on Boxing Day, leaving Mikel Arteta with an easy solution to his selection woes.
The Gunners went into the game languishing near the bottom of the table, but are now within touching distance of the top half.
Having struggled for attacking creativity, Arteta rang in the changes for the visit of Chelsea and opted to drop Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The club captain hasn’t been himself this season and has struggled, and was forced to watch Gabriel Martinelli play in his usual position on the left wing.
The young Brazilian put in a showstopper of a performance and caused constant problems for Chelsea right-back Reece James.
Considering Arteta’s indecisiveness with his line-ups this season, the Arsenal boss now has an easy fix.
Aubameyang hasn’t been his goalscoring self while on the left wing, as he has often been tasked with too much defensive responsibility.
With his gradually declining pace, he would be better off playing through the middle in a solely attacking-focused role.
Martinelli would then be allowed to continue on the left with Kieran Tierney at left-back, considering how well the two linked up against Chelsea.
Sky Sports commentator Gary Neville noted how well the two left-sided players linked up, saying: “Those two have been brilliant down that left side, Tierney and Martinelli,” Neville said.
“They caused all sorts of problems for James and Pulisic in the first-half, now Hudson-Odoi after the break.”
Arsenal played with Alexandre Lacazette through the middle against Chelsea, but the Frenchman has proven on more than one occasion that he is more than capable of playing in a number ten role.
That would give Aubameyang the freedom to play as a centre-forward and cause problems for defences in a central role.
Arteta will have to rotate his side heavily in the weeks to come considering the clustered fixture schedule, and could do worse than giving Martinelli increased minutes.