Arsene Wenger has called on his team to be more efficient in the final third as he saw them draw a blank against Hull in the FA Cup today.
In a scenario not too disimilar from the 0-0 draw with Southampton a couple of weeks ago, Arsenal had plenty of chances, but found themselves denied by the opposition goalkeeper. Swap Fraser Forster for Eldin Jakupovic, and finishing that wasn’t as clinical as it should have been, and you end up not scoring again.
Speaking after the game, Wenger said, “The goalkeeper did well of course, but we had maybe 70 per cent possession and more than 20 shots on goal, and we didn’t score. We have to look at ourselves as well, even if you can give credit to their ‘keeper.
“We need to be more efficient in the final third, because today we had more than 70 per cent possession and we will not have that on Tuesday night. That means we’ll have to be more efficient with much less of the ball.”
Asked if a potential replay was a nightmare, he continued, “The nightmare would have been to go out. The frustration is that we didn’t score and it’s not what we wanted, to have a replay, but between that and going out, we choose the replay.”
It’s yet to be scheduled, but the early word is the week after the North London derby at White Hart Lane. And the Arsenal manager refused to countenance the idea that a ‘weakened’ team was to blame for the result.
“People want you to give a chance to young players. When you play them, they say ‘it’s a shame’. Up front we had Walcott, Welbeck and Campbell, all internationals. People always want you to buy more and more players. When you play them, they say ‘why did you play them?’
“I think the team was of quality and that’s not an excuse.”