That was awful. Possibly the worst I’ve seen Arsenal play in ages. Worse than The Etihad, Anfield, Brentford, Everton and Old Trafford put together. If Mikel Arteta and his players wanted another good FA Cup run, they didn’t show it. From back to front, as a team we were toothless, unimaginative and outplayed. Nottingham Forest weren’t much better for much of the game but they had fight, belief and a big desire to win. They got it too and no one can say they didn’t deserve it.
Nuno Tavares was oiked off before half time but to be honest, any one of 6/7 players would have had no cause to complain had they followed him. Throwing his gloves down in what looked like a bad reaction to Arteta’s decision wasn’t wise but he’s young and hopefully, he’ll learn. He could of course have just been frustrated with his own performance.
I’m sure we all want to see Charlie Patino play in Arsenal colours but I don’t think playing him in the heart of midfield alongside Sambi Lokonga, who hasn’t played for quite a while, was a good idea. Of course it’s easy for me to that after the event but honestly, I thought that as soon as I saw the team sheet. Calum Chambers or Ben White would have been my choice in the absence of Granit Xhaka. Better still might have been AMN but for some reason, which seems even more bonkers today than it did yesterday, he’s been allowed to leave on loan.
Mikel Arteta’s team selection will be questioned I’m sure, just as his substitutions will be, especially Kolasinac coming on from the bench when we needed a goal, but let’s not forget how many injuries we have and two out with Covid. It wasn’t the player’s experience or lack of it which led to the defeat in my opinion, it was their attitude and the constant making of errors.
“We were not good enough and we have to apologise for it. We needed more drive, more hunger to win at any cost in every single action, much more. We were not at our level. I‘m really disappointed with the performance, first of all. Not with the attitude but how much purpose we have and what determination we showed to change the game when it’s difficult to play against the way they play”. – Mikel Arteta
Well, if he’s pleased with the attitude his team showed then were in trouble because there was nothing about Arsenal’s performance which made me truly believe they wanted to win the game. Martinelli and Saka were trying but one was kicked to pieces and the other is still in the pocket of the Nottingham Forest right back. Disappointingly, Mikel Arteta did nothing about it. Eddie Nketiah meanwhile, did nothing to prove he’s worth keeping but then it must be difficult to find form when a player is not playing each week.
As said, losing a game is not a crime for any club, but there’s a way of being beaten and yesterday wasn’t it.
Next for Arsenal is Liverpool, a team which will tear us apart if we perform as we did yesterday.
See you in the comments.