Yesterday’s 0-0 home draw with Hull may have had an almost entirely rotated XI, but the failings of the team to dispatch an equally rotated Hull City side, had a lot of familiarity about it.

Arsène decided – rightly in most people’s opinions I think – to ensure that players were fresh for Barcelona and United by making nine changed to the team, with only Koscielny and Big Per being retained from the weekend, both of whom I’d expect to see on Tuesday night. Steve Bruce was also true to his word and rotated 10 of his players from their last game, seeing Chrtis Davies keep hi place. The result was a game that felt very stop/start and never really got going in my opinion.

Arsenal pretty much dominated from start to finish and within the first fifteen minutes Theo had forced a smart save from the Hull reserve team ‘keeper Jakupovic. That was to prove to be the theme for the whole afternoon, as different Arsenal players took it in turns to have pot shots and the Hull ‘keeper kept out every single one of them.

I was tempted to write that we keep having ‘keepers coming to the Emirates and having blinders, but there comes a time when you have to look more at our own finishing, than the performance of the man in between the sticks. As a former ‘keeper myself, I know full well that the odds are by-and-large stacked against you if you look at the size of the goal you have to defend, so to say that it is ‘keepers having the games of their lives each week, lets off some of the poor finishing of our forward line. To my mind, the only real chance in which there’s not a lot more an Arsenal player could do about where he angled his shot towards goal, was Joel Campbell’s free kick that was tipped on to the post. That was placed perfectly from the Costa Rican and it was only the slightest of touches from the ‘keeper that deviated it away from nestling in the net. The rest of the chances we had – from Welbeck, Walcotf, Iwobi and later on Alexis – were placed just close enough to the goalie to ensure that he could save it comfortably enough, whilst making it look like he’s had a worldie of a game. If more of our chances were to find the postage stamp parts of the goal frame, then he’d not be being heralded as a hero this morning, just a victim of Arsenal’s forward line.

Perhaps I’m being harsh, because Hull are topping the league and are looking like swiftly returning to the Premier League next season, but we should still be able to dispatch a reserve team with our own squad players. And do you know what’s weird? This morning I find myself racking my brain to work out who had a poor game. None of the back five made any mistakes, Gibbs in particular looked good going forward I thought, whilst in midfield Elneny and Flamini looked comfortable in possession throughout.  Iwobi continues to impress at number ten, although he faded in the second half before coming off, whilst I thought Campbell and Welbeck in particular looked really lively. Perhaps it was Theo that could have done more with his chances, but for each of the chances he had, I don’t recall him having an easy attempt at goal. He typically found himself having to fashion himself a bit of space before getting his shot away.

So I don’t get it. Was yesterday a poor performance by Arsenal? Was it just that Hull were fortunate? Was it just an example of two sets of players who are a little shorn of match sharpness because they don’t play very much? Can anybody help me out here?

What certainly doesn’t help anybody out is the fact there’s a replay. Steve Bruce would have rather it go to penalties yesterday, which shows you just how much he didn’t want another game added in to an already heavy fixture schedule for them, but it’s the same for us. Perhaps you could argue that Arsène could just play the same rotated players again who probably won’t play in the Spuds game (assuming the replay takes place the midweek after that match), so it shouldn’t make a lot of difference, but as the games come thick and fast you just want to be able to navigate through these sort of matches and give the whole squad time off during the week, so it’s not really ideal.

But it is what it is. We have to go to Hull and pick up a win to progress, but let’s worry about that after four very tough fixtures in all competitions, starting with Tuesday night against those European minnows Barca.

Until tomorrow.