Mikel Arteta blamed his players’ lack of hunger after Arsenal’s FA Cup exit to Nottingham Forest.
Nottingham Forest defeated Arsenal 1-0, with captain Lewis Grabban scoring the game-winning goal with seven minutes left.
Arsenal failed to score a single goal all night, and Arteta could not hide his disappointment.
‘We needed more zeal and determination to win at all costs,’ the Spaniard said. We required a lot more.
I was extremely disappointed by the performance.
‘Not with our attitude, but with how determined we were to change the game when things were tough.’
‘It’s inconvenient, but it occurred, and we need to figure out why.’
‘I’ve been playing games like this for 18 years, so the challenges you’ll face are nothing new to me.’
‘It’s really hurting right now.’
‘It’s ingrained in our culture, and getting out of it today is a major pain,’ says the author.
‘We lacked the incisiveness, determination, and purpose required to move the ball in a high-quality manner.’
When we had the chance, we didn’t hit the target.’
Arteta altered his usual lineup, but he still fielded a team that included internationals and young talent.
Forest, on the other hand, were so far ahead in the first half that Arteta decided to take young left-back Nuno Tavares off after half an hour.
The 21-year-old Portuguese retaliated by hurling his gloves into the dugout.
‘I just did it to try to win,’ Arteta said afterwards.
‘When I see that the team’s performance isn’t improving, I have to make the decision to try to improve it.’
‘I’m not interested in discussing individuals.’
Despite the fact that Forest manager Steve Cooper only joined the club in September, he has already helped the club climb the table. His prize for this victory will be a Round Four match against East Midlands rivals Leicester at home next month.
Cooper admitted that his team was at ease during the victory.
He said: ‘If someone said we’d score a goal, miss a good chance and maybe have a penalty, and them not have a shot on goal, I think we would have taken that.
Yeah I did feel comfortable. Someone said to me it must have been a long eight minutes after we scored. But I’ve had longer eight minutes.
I mean no disrespect by that. The players were really engaged with what it took to win. I did not feel threatened at all.’