Reservations over Arsene Wenger's defensive tactics held by former players and pundits are shared by members of his Arsenal staff.
Wenger's approach has been called into question following the Champions League draw with Anderlecht and Premier League defeat by Swansea City after leading in both games.
Paul Merson, the former Arsenal forward, was the most outspoken of manager Wenger's critics last week, branding Arsenal "clueless" and while such a harsh view is not shared by anybody at Arsenal, there is frustration inside the club over Wenger's refusal to change his defensive set-up.
Steve Bould, Wenger's assistant, takes a particular interest in the defence, but other backroom figures were left dismayed by the Frenchman's approach at the Liberty Stadium. Having seen Arsenal take the lead through Alexis Sanchez, Wenger made no obvious attempt to try to close the game out or solve the problems Calum Chambers was suffering on the right.
There is a feeling that Wenger would have been better moving Nacho Monreal to the right, or play 19-year-old right-back Hector Bellerin, and put Chambers into the centre of defence. Wenger, though, stuck with the same defence that threw away a three-goal lead against Anderlecht and made it easy for Swansea to expose their weakness.
Having studied the Anderlecht match, Swansea's gameplan was to make as many crosses from the left as possible to try to put Monreal and Kieran Gibbs under pressure. The move worked out with the winning goal, as substitute Bafetimbi Gomis rose above Monreal to head a Jefferson Montero cross from the left past Wojciech Szczesny. All of Wenger's substitutions came once Arsenal had fallen behind, rather than trying to influence the game earlier by sending on Bellerin or Jack Wilshere to try to protect the lead.
Wenger will be given £20m in the January transfer window to try to shore up Arsenal's defence, but there remains regret that he did not do so in the summer. Arsenal will hold a scouting meeting this week to discuss targets and start to assemble a list of who exactly they will bid for.
Celtic's Virgil van Dijk is a man Arsenal have watched, with the Scottish club demanding around £15m, while Manchester United's Chris Smalling, Aston Villa's Ron Vlaar and West Ham United's Winston Reid are also being monitored.
Defender Per Mertesacker admitted it was "unbelievable" that Arsenal lost the lead again at Swansea after shooting themselves in the foot against Anderlecht and questioned the team's maturity.
"The game at Swansea was completely in our hands, especially in the second half when we scored," Mertesacker said. "Then we have to play serious football and not lose the ball, but they got us on the break and that's completely unbelievable in our situation.
"We know Anderlecht came back when we were winning 3-0 and Swansea came back due to mistakes we made. We have the potential, but if we don't play that serious football then any team can cause problems against us.
"I thought we are mature enough to realise when we have the lead to take possession and not let them get us on the break. That's what happened. We lost the ball on several occasions and that was the problem.
"When you get such a result as against Anderlecht, normally you come back quickly and after such a setback normally we bounce back immediately. At Swansea, that was not the case and we now have to take the international break really seriously and work hard on the issues."
Goalkeeper Szczesny was equally honest in his assessment of Arsenal's defensive troubles, adding: "We had a poor five-minute spell at Swansea and at this level it costs you. It's something that we need to focus on because it's been two games where short spells lacking discipline and focus have cost us."
Merson has vowed not to back down in his row with Wenger after his old boss questioned his managerial record and the validity of the 46-year-old's views.
Of his brief managerial career at Walsall, Merson said: "I wasn't a great manager. But I don't remember drawing a game after being 3-0 up - and I never had a team full of internationals.
"I think it is childish he (Wenger) has had a dig at me. Not interested in Paul Merson? He was begging me to stay when he offered me a new contract (in 1997). I respect Arsene Wenger, he's a brilliant manager. When he first came here he was far ahead of his time. But times change. It's my job to give an honest opinion. I was at Arsenal 14 years and I say these things because I care - I'm not backing down." (© Daily Telegraph, London)