Schalke 2 – 2 Arsenal: We’d have taken it before the game…

It’s all been quite negative in the press in regards to Arsenal. The players, the manager and the board have all been criticized heavily by the fans and media. Fans haven’t quite been too nice about the team or to each other, but that is what happens when things don’t go the way we want them to go.

I’ve been saying for a while that we have a plethora of players, and they do need time to gel. Tonight we played another change in personnel and this time we saw Vermaelen move to left back. I agreed with the decision before the game and we all thought that the switch would give us some defensively stability against a team who we knew would attack.

With Theo Walcott a surprise starter, considering the news he was ill before the game, the line up was:

Mannone

Sagna – Koscielny – Mertersacker – Vermaelen (c)

Arteta – Wilshere

Walcott – Cazorla – Podolski

Giroud

And the inclusion of Walcott paid off as he was involved in everything. He is relatively fresh compared to the rest of the team as he’s not played too much the season, and it was no surprise that he scored the first goal of the game hovering around Giroud who latched on a mis-judged back header fluffing his chance, only for Walcott to knock the ball in.

It was soon 2-0 when Podolski threw in another great cross to the head of a diving Giroud who added another goal to his season tally. For me, the movement forward was a good sign. However, to be honest, it was against the run of play, as the home team had been playing very well up until the two goals.

But as individual mistakes have been costing us this season, it struck again a minute before half time, when Cazorla slipped just before the centre circle, giving the ball away, three passes later, the ball is in front of Huntelaar, and it’s 2-1 to the Arsenal – Koscielny accidently keeping two Schalke players on-side.

Schalke stepped it up in the second half and when Vermaelen forgot he was a left back, he left Farfan free on the right of midfield, and then conceded an own goal trying to rush to block him. 2-2.

At 2-2, neither team took many risks and both teams had good chances. Before the game, we’d have taken the draw – the key thing now is to beat Montpellier in the next game.

Arsene spoke after the game and was pleased with the performance, believing the team is gelling well.

For us it was important first of all not to lose and if possible to win. We managed the first part, not the second one. I felt that overall we played reasonably well, but dropped physically in the second half. The regret we have is that we conceded the goal just before half time and we missed the [Theo Walcott] chance at the end of the game. I think the two, of course, have a big impact on the result overall. Schalke never gave up and worked hard. I believe we have shown a good response to Saturday’s game and you feel the team is getting better. I think in one month, if we continue to develop, we will be there.

We now return to the Premiership with a key game against Fulham on the weekend. We’ll be without Jack, but hopefully we’ll have enough in us to get a very important three points in the league…

More tomorrow amigos.

 

 

 

  • azharie

    hope we can see ramsey replace jack and wallcott stick with right flank..thats the ideal position for me.

  • sevin

    The only satisfying fact that came from last nights game was that Wenger
    FINALLY fielded a side that was the strongest available to him, heaven
    only knows what the score would have been if he had fielded Santos at LB
    and Ramsey on the wing again, I would suggest a resounding defeat.
    What really worries me now is 3 things, 1st, the best team available to
    use at PRESENT hasn’t got a hope of winning anything, that might change
    when Diaby and Gibbs are fit again but they generally don’t last more
    than a couple of games. 2nd, Wenger chose not to field this team against
    United which would have stood a fine chance of collecting something at
    OT, that surely proves what we all know, in that Arsenal’s sole concern
    is qualifying from the group and pinching 4th spot in the premier league
    just for the MONEY. 3rd and final, the Theo Walcott debacle, he shot
    himself in the foot after the game by smirking and saying ‘you have to
    ask the boss’ to the question of not being selected due to contractual
    problems, its pretty clear that Hill-Wood wont sanction what his agent
    wants for his man, and without Walcott’s 8 goals and assists this year,
    Arsenal would be sitting near Southampton in the league, out of the
    league cup and staring at the exit of the CL. Try getting rid of some of
    the garbage at the club, buy more quality players ESPECIALLY A LB to
    cover Gibbs, and pay Walcott what he wants and deserves.

  • John

    Good result. We’re going to get better.
    Theo situation needs to be resolved ASAP

  • John

    Against Fulham, I’d prefer Coquelin in the middle. I think Ramsey is injured.

  • worldofarsenal

    Indeed, the sentiment around the progress of the team is that they can improve.
    How long it will take to improve is another thing.

    Fingers crossed we sign Theo up. He’s in his best form so far in an Arsenal shirt.

  • worldofarsenal

    I believe Ramsey is not available for selection.
    We may see Coquelin play instead, as Jack is suspended.

  • sevin

    What is Roman Neustadter going on about, “We we’re unlucky with both of
    their goals”, what about Cazorla’s slip that lead to Huntellar’s goal
    just before H/T, what about Sagna allowing a cross from Affelay before
    Farfan’s shot deflected in off of Vermaelen. Don’t get me wrong, on the
    balance of play Schalke deserved a point, but both of their goals we’re
    completely fortunate.

  • limet

    Oh come on Wenger, Arsenal started the season well? Languishing
    in 7th in the league, beaten at home by Schalke in the champions league
    with Gazildis stating “A 0-0 draw against Schalke would have been an
    excellent result”, and what is now customary in the quarter finals of
    the league cup awaiting our weakened team to be beaten by someone who
    fields a full strength team. And what about this Walcott bol****s, you
    start the useless Aaron Ramsey in place of him and then try to tell us
    nothing is going on, for Christ sake, he’s our top scorer with 7 goals
    FROM THE BENCH, give him a new contract, and for once STOP TALKING S**T.

  • reanaz

    We all go round and round in circles, looking for reasons, suggesting
    solutions. The blunt truth is that we have a pretty ordinary squad; if
    we are lying seventh in the league, it’s because that is about where we
    belong. We were an equally ordinary side last season, except for one
    extraordinary player. We sold him off (along with another of our better
    players) and replaced them with a couple of decent professionals but
    nobody extraordinary so it was fairly obvious we might be in trouble.
    Many of us said so at the time so it comes as no surprise that we ARE in
    trouble. Our only hope (and I know this will annoy many) is Arsene. Or
    at least the Arsene of old. But I fear these past seven seasons fighting
    with one hand tied behind his back (I’m talking about no money to
    spend, forced to sell off his best players) have taken their toll. His
    demeanour is different. His worst faults seem magnified, his virtues
    diminished. To put it simply, he appears to have lost touch with
    reality. His complaint about injuries, for example: everyone knows
    Diaby, Rossicky, Gibbs are perpetually injured. His exaggerated response
    in the dug out to MINOR mistakes by match officials. To put it at its
    worst: he is in denial because the task is beyond him. Perhaps this
    shows most of all in his handling of his players: so many of them seem
    to be unhappy with where Arsene is playing them.

  • worldofarsenal

    The majority of our goals conceded this season have come through via team mistakes. We’re quite self-imploding to be honest.

    If we just played to our potential, we’d be so much better.

  • worldofarsenal

    Wilshere is suspended for the game on the weekend, so we will see who comes in – Coquelin may be the only option if Ramsey is injured – meaning Jack will be fresh for Sp*rs!

  • jeff

    Wenger has complained that in recent matches he’s not had adequate
    midfield options to replace tired legs, with Cazorla and Wilshere
    respectively exhausted and not able to last 90 minutes. Well our manager
    fed us the line that having pursued Sahin for so long, the reason he
    pulled out was because of Diaby’s and Rosicky’s resurrections and due to
    Coquelin and Frimpong’s emergence. I seem to remember the words ” we
    are more than adequately covered in midfield.” The failure to land Sahin
    was because Real Madrid never wanted to have us exercise the option for
    a permanent move and/ or Wenger decided he didn’t want to pay him as
    much money as was needed, so he has lied to us yet again. As for
    Coquelin, why has he not played more of a part in our last two games? He
    certainly would have been better than that joke Santos ( I presume the
    Board forced Wenger to buy him). He could have come on for Wilshere
    against United and allowed Arteta to move further forward and certainly
    on Tuesday he was needed long before the last minute. Our midfield is
    not big or strong enough and Song’s tackling is being missed, especially
    in the bigger games. Our shaky defence ( “the best in the League”) has
    no protection from our midfield. We still have a fight to get second
    spot in the CL table as first looks gone now. So, if and when we
    qualify, we’ll get one of the big boys again, no doubt. But that’ll be
    ok as so many on here have said in the past “we have to meet them some
    time.”

  • Berth

    Ramsey ain’t good enough

  • limet

    It makes no difference if Usmanov pumped £200million into the club,
    Wenger, as he freely admits would refuse to spend it. Wenger is the main
    problem, he knew what was needed once, those days are long gone he is a poor
    magaer ruled by his own huge ego. He has to go for the good of the club.

  • limet

    There is only person to blame for this Jeff and that is Wenger. He bought the
    players, he coaches them (badly it seems), he motivates them (or rather he
    doesn’t), he decides on the formation (totally wrong), he picks the teams
    (usually the wrong one), he makes the substitutions (usually the wrong ones at
    the right time). Lets face it based on his performance over the last 8 years he
    is a poor manager, the evidence speaks for itself. Anyone who claims finishing
    4th is like winning and is better than picking up the FA Cup is nothing more
    than a loser with a loser mentality, this has fed itself through to the players
    who simply don’t care.

  • Berth

    Wenger is a retarded old man. And the funny thing Limet is Wenger thinking his doing us a huge favour staying in the club, not knowing his destroying what he helped build.