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Oct 25, 2012

Arteta: We are not creative enough

Arsenal are struggling to turn possession into chances, Mikel Arteta said after the 2-0 Champions League defeat to Schalke at the Emirates.

•  Arsenal hunted down
• Blog: Same old for Arsenal
• Blog: Arsenal fail to react

The setback meant Arsenal had failed to score for a second successive game, having also drawn a black in Saturday's defeat to Norwich at Carrow Road.

Having enjoyed significant possession against the German side in the opening stages on Wednesday, Arsenal did not muster a shot on target until stoppage time - by which time Schalke had caught them on the counter twice to win 2-0.

"[Schalke] was a different game to Norwich," Arteta said. "It seems to take us a fair bit to create chances. We're controlling games, but there are moments when we get caught out.

"We need to create more opportunities. For all the possession we have, I don't think we're creating enough. At Norwich, we had one opportunity. That's not enough, and tonight was the same.

"And then you have situations where, you're going forward trying to win, but get caught on the break and they do damage.

"Teams, who sit back can complicate things for us, but [QPR on Saturday] should hopefully be different. We need to score early so we can bring teams out. Then we can be much more comfortable."

His concerned were echoed by Gunners captain Thomas Vermaelen, who bemoaned a lack of cutting edge in the final third.

Although Arsenal are still expected to progress from the group stages, they failed to produce the response expected after the defeat at Carrow Road.

"We are really disappointed,'' Vermaelen told Sky Sports. "We lost on Saturday and wanted to be better today, but it was the same story. We didn't create enough chances to score goals.''

Asked why Arsenal had been unable to right the wrongs of the weekend, the Belgium international added: "It's difficult to explain. We gave 100%, but it's difficult at the moment because we're not creating enough chances to score goals.

"Teams come here with strong organisation, technical ability and sometimes it is difficult to get through."

Schalke's Hunterlaar, who again proved his class on the European stage, said: "We are very pleased. We had our chances and scored two goals. We now have seven points, and it is looking really good. We have three matches left.''

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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