Dear Arsenal supporter,
We gave a disappointing performance against Norwich on Saturday.
I felt that we lacked a bit of sharpness throughout the game. We tried to get into our rhythm after 20 minutes but we missed what makes you successful at the top level - complete focus.
We certainly had a lot of the ball but ultimately we did not create much with that possession. It was an illusionary domination.
The attitude of my players has been excellent this season but Saturday was not at the level that we have produced until now. It was the first time this season that we were way below par.
Norwich were strong defensively, they were focused, committed and sharper than us. Now we have to put that performance behind us, realise that was not good enough and respond against Schalke on Wednesday.
I hope Saturday's result will have a positive impact on the squad. It was a shock to the system, but you have to give credit to Norwich as well. They played well, they were completely committed and they deserved the win.
The Premier League is the Premier League. If you are not ready for the fight then you will always have bad surprises.
Jack Wilshere was back in the squad for Saturday but I decided not to bring him on. We have to be conscious he has not played for 14 months. I would have brought him on if the game had allowed it but it was too intense. He will play on Monday with the under-21s and then we will see where we go from there.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain did come on at Norwich but he got a kick on his hip almost straight away. He will be out for Wednesday but it is not a long-term problem. I don't think Kieran Gibbs or Theo Walcott will be ready to face Schalke either.
Thanks for your support.
Happy Birthday, Guv!