Arsene Wenger says Arsenal need to be “much more efficient” against Barcelona after failing to score with 24 shots against Hull in the FA Cup.
A combination of poor finishing and excellent goalkeeping kept the much-changed Gunners out at the Emirates.
“We need to be much more efficient [against Barcelona] because one thing is for sure – we will not have 75 per cent possession [against Barcelona],” said Wenger, who should really be told that they actually only had 68% possession against the Tigers.
“We need to be much more efficient when we have the ball.”
Asked if his side were struggling to find their killer instinct, Wenger said:
“Yes, because when you look back at the games we have played recently, nil-nil at stoke, nil-nil against Southampton, nil-nil today.
“With the quantity of the ball we have, we must score more goals. That is for sure.
“We had a lot of the ball [against Hull], we had many shots, they defended well and overall we lacked a little bit. Sometimes with the final ball we wanted to make too much of a decision alone and lacked quality with the final ball. On top of that their goalkeeper had a great game.”
One issue for the Gunners is that talisman Alexis Sanchez is looking very sort of form, Six games into his return from injury. The Chilean was wasteful from the bench at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, wasting possession on a number of occasions and hindering the attack.
The 27-year-old has looked a shadow of the player who impressed consistently last season, and injuries can hardly be used as an excuse. Sanchez has scored against only Dinamo Zagreb and Burnley is his last 14 games. In 26 games in all competitions, he has scored in only six.
The other issue for Wenger ahead of the Barcelona game is where does Theo Walcott fit into the Arsenal line-up? With Olivier Giroud starting up-front, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joel Campbell playing well as the right sided attacker, there appears to be no room for Walcott.
“It’s a complicated answer,” said Wenger when asked of Walcott’s best position earlier this season. “If you ask him where he loves to play, even he is not certain.” The England international turns 27 next month, and we are yet to truly discover his best position for either club or country. So is he.