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 By Tom Adams

Sanchez struggles as uninspired Arsenal drop more points

With Arsenal trailing Manchester City by 18 points, the FC crew examine the reasons behind their inconsistency this season.

It's three games without a win in the Premier League for Arsenal after a frustrating 0-0 draw at West Ham.

Alex Iwobi hit the post in the first half and Jack Wilshere, back in the starting XI as one of Arsene Wenger's four changes that also saw a switch to a back four, missed the biggest chance of the second when he fired horribly off target.

After a home defeat to Manchester United and a draw at Southampton, this stalemate in East London leaves Arsenal languishing in seventh place, behind Burnley. It could have been even worse, though; West Ham's Javier Hernandez struck the bar late on.

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Positives

It was a relief to even take a point given how close Hernandez was to snatching the win at the end. But that would be clutching at straws.

Negatives

Arsenal were simply not good enough in the final third. They dominated possession but couldn't break down well-organised West Ham. Alexis Sanchez continues to underwhelm as he drifts towards a free transfer departure and this was another poor away display; 18 points have already been dropped on the road this season.

Manager rating out of 10

3 -- A midweek match against a struggling side is naturally a target for rotation but Wenger may have changed things too much. The move to a back four wasn't the reason for Arsenal's blank in front of goal, but dropping Alexandre Lacazette didn't look like a smart move, unless he is carrying a fitness problem.

Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Petr Cech, 5 -- Struggled in the air all night and got lucky on 67 minutes when he dealt poorly with a high cross and Marko Arnautovic had a header cleared off the line, but the whistle had blown for a mystery foul.

DF Hector Bellerin, 5 -- Desperately needs a good performance but this was not it. He offered little at either end and is living off his reputation at the moment.

DF Laurent Koscielny, 4 -- Another shaky performance from a former rock at the back; Arsenal looked vulnerable at times and Koscielny was responsible. It was his awful crossfield pass which led to the Hernandez chance.

DF Nacho Monreal, 5 -- Pressed into a back four, he lost Arnautovic but the forward's header was ruled out for offside. Monreal also looked desperately unconvincing when Hernandez exploited some poor defending to almost score.

DF Ainsley Maitland-Niles, 6 -- Got the nod ahead of Sead Kolsinac and looked bright throughout. He supplied Giroud some dangerous crosses.

Alexis Sanchez had another poor game as Arsenal dropped points at West Ham.

MF Granit Xhaka, 4 -- An early misplaced pass didn't set the best tone and, by the end of the first half, Xhaka was hitting shots wide from range. Listless, he also seemed to hesitate in the build-up to Hernandez hitting the bar.

MF Jack Wilshere, 6 -- Incredibly, Wilshere was making his first league start for Arsenal in almost 600 days. He often played in advance of Ozil and showed some nice touches but he wasted a huge chance on 70 minutes when smashing over from close range.

MF Mesut Ozil, 5 -- Toiled without reward. He proved incapable of opening West Ham up and missed a big chance when stabbing a shot wide on 56 minutes.

FW Alex Iwobi, 5 -- Carved out the best chance of the first half when a fierce effort was tipped onto the post by Adrian but, otherwise, his performance was weak and he didn't give enough in the final third.

FW Olivier Giroud, 5 -- Cut a frustrated figure as Arsenal consistently decided against giving him the aerial service he craves. Found it hard to make an impact.

FW Alexis Sanchez, 4 -- Continues to struggle for his best form. He flitted around on the fringes before seeing a fine free kick saved by Adrian on 74 minutes.

Substitutes 

FW Danny Welbeck, 6 -- Didn't offer enough after replacing Iwobi.

FW Alexandre Lacazette, NR -- Came on too late to influence the game.

Tom is one of ESPN FC's Arsenal bloggers. You can follow him on Twitter @tomEurosport

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