There have been many pundits giving their analysis over what has gone wrong at North London sides Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur this season, but there is one position that is often overlooked by experts.
Undoubtedly both teams have a wide ranging set of issues at their clubs, which has led to their current predicament, but their problems in the full-back position is something that often goes under the radar.
All the top teams across Europe in recent years have been high-performing full-backs whether it is Alexander Arnold and Robertson at Liverpool, Marcelo and Carvajal at Real Madrid, or Alaba and Kimmich at Bayern Munich.
Modern football has made it necessary to have tactically adept full-backs who contribute going forward without compromising on the defensive part of their game.
Looking at Tottenham and Arsenal’s full-back options it would be hard to pinpoint a single name who can be counted as one of the best in the Premier League, let alone Europe.
Ben Davies is arguably the best of the lot but he has spent large chunks of this season out injured.
Serge Aurier pops up with the odd goal and assist but is a huge liability defensively, while youngsters Japhet Tanganga and Ryan Sessegnon severely lack experience.
For Arsenal, their best full-back this season has been academy product Bukayo Saka, who has had a very positive impact on the side since being put into the role by Mikel Arteta.
Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac lack consistency and both of them are injury prone, while summer signing Kieran Tierney has failed to string together a run in the starting lineup after promising much since moving from Celtic.
The lack of quality in the position reduces attacking options and puts the creative burden on the midfielders and forwards only.
Spurs had a formidable full back quartet a couple of seasons ago with Rose, Davies, Walker and Trippier all quality players who could perform at a high level consistently.
Walker and Trippier left the club in search of silverware and Rose’s form had fallen drastically prior to his loan move to Newcastle this January.
Arsenal’s best full-back over the past decade was arguably Nacho Monreal, a loyal servant who gave it his all but never the best in the business.
It is clear that major changes are required at both clubs to turn things around and the full back role is something that both Mourinho and Arteta need to focus on.