We all know that is how long it took for us to have a shot on target and that came from a 17-year-old German called Serge Gnabry, a player I really hope we can keep hold of because he is going to be good, very very good.
No matter how many experienced, international players we had on the pitch, not one of them could manage that in regular time, disgraceful.
We really were awful again in the final third and yet again, sloppy defending was our downfall.
Here are how the two sides lined up and the substitutions are included!
ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Mannone; Jenkinson (Gnabry 81), Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Andre Santos; Arteta, Coquelin; Ramsey, Podolski (Arshavin 81), Cazorla; Gervinho (Giroud 74). Booked: Arteta, Vermaelen, Ramsey, Gervinho.
SCHALKE (4-4-1-1): Unnerstall; Uchida, Howedes, Matip, Fuchs; Farfan, Hoger (Jones 46), Neustadter, Afellay; Holtby (Barnetta 64); Huntelaar (Marica 87). Booked: Afellay, Hoger. Goals: Huntelaar 76, Afellay 86.
Referee: J Eriksson (Sweden).
Fifteen minutes into the game and Afellay nipped in behind Jenkinson and sprinted in towards goal, out came Mannone, who then dived at Afellay’s feet in attempt to get the ball, Afellay went over – penalty! No, how wrong could I be, Afellay was deemed to have taken the dive and was shown a yellow card.
How lucky were we, that should have been a penalty and at least a booking for our goal keeper.
Just after the half hour mark, Per Mertesacker made a great block to prevent Jefferson Farfan from taking the lead. That wasn’t the only time our Tiny German saved our night, he made three more strong and decisive tackles in the first half, one that I thought Schalke bossed, especially in midfield and down our left side.
In possession we looked lacklustre and out of ideas and our passing continually let us down. Gervinho, well he was yet again Gervinho, he ran around all night but in possession he looks lost and his distribution is late and poor!
Santos had a nightmare at left back and Schalke loved it, they hit us down our left at every given opportunity and how we didn’t go behind earlier than we did amazed me.
Huntelaar was guilty of missing a wonderful chance and I thought maybe luck was going to be on our side..
However, as we entered the last quarter of an hour of the game, the Dutchman didn’t miss his second chance, he breezed through the middle of Vermaelen and Mertesacker and his shot found the back of the net. Replays showed that maybe Mannone could have done better, the defence certainly could have done!
Benedikt Howedes then missed a chance to make it 2-0 after Farfan had yet again made Santos look invisible before getting his pass in.
Gervinho then went into the book for taking a tumble in the area, desperate measures from a man who had again had a heavy first touch and lost the ball. That was enough, off he went and Giroud (who should have started in my opinion) came on.
Then the killer goal came, and no surprises to see it coming from the left either, as Farfan once again left Santos standing, fired in his cross which found Afellay unmarked which was not surprising as Jenkinson had been substituted, and slotted in with ease.
2-0, game over and the home fans were on their feet, leaving!!
Well well, what is there to be said about that?
Much was said during and after the game, I am sure much more will be said today.
Steve Bould has spoken about our defeat:
We looked jaded, I don’t know why that is. Coming off the international break we haven’t performed really. I don’t know if that’s the reason but we definitely look jaded. With the ball we lack a bit of confidence. [Not creating chances] is not what we want, it’s not what we’re accustomed to. We normally create chances and at the moment we’re not, so we have to correct that.
How can they be jaded?
The AGM could be interesting today, then again……
That’s it for another day……