Arsenal were deservedly dumped out of the FA Cup in the third round, again, by Nottingham Forest as they put in perhaps their worst performance of the season.
With recency bias, there is the tendency to believe that the most recent thing is the worst.
We’ve watched some shocking Arsenal performances this season, but the team that turned up in Nottingham, but never showed up, delivered one of the worst.
Finishing the match without a single shot on target, it was stale, turgid and static.
Hauling Nuno Tavares off after 33 minutes for being awful did nothing other than anger the player and leave Mikel Arteta with yet another situation to smooth over.
Eddie Nketiah, playing for his future, showed why he’s a f**king idiot to turn down a contract from Arsenal, who shouldn’t be offering him one if this display is anything to go on.
As Cedric was sprinted past with ease, Ainsley Maitland-Niles was impressing at right back for Roma, who somehow conspired to throw away a 3-1 lead over Juventus to lose 4-3.
I could go through the squad like this. Don’t even get me started on Sead Kolasinac coming on at the end. He hasn’t played since his ankle was destroyed in November and is another the club want rid of. What was the point of that?
Did Arteta and his men buy into their own hype after the praise that was lavished on them in the wake of the Manchester City defeat? Did they think they just needed to strut out on to the pitch and the win was theirs?
Perhaps, but few of those players started that game, and many in this side had points to prove.
They all failed miserably.
Arsenal's Cedric, Holding and Nketiah made a more eloquent statement about their status and standards today than a frustrated Gunners fan could ever hope to. No wonder Arteta felt like apologising after. Cup shocks happen but that's the rancid attitude MA is trying to eradicate.
— Tony Leen (@tonyleen) January 9, 2022
Dress like Spurs, play like Spurs, I guess…win the next three, Arsenal, and all will be forgiven.
After the game, Mikel Arteta apologised:
“They won, they scored a goal and we didn’t,” he said.
“We weren’t good enough on the day and we are out of the competition which is really disappointing. We have to apologise for that.
“Today showed that we weren’t capable of winning against Forest in the cup away from home,” he added.
“We weren’t good enough to put in a performance where we deserved to win the game.
“When you have nine players out, that’s a big explanation but I don’t want to use excuses.
“The team I put out there, I expect them to play better and to compete better than what we’ve done today.
“We haven’t done it today. When you don’t do it in the cup against any opponent, you are out.”
Asked what was missing, he said, “Drive, quality, [being] convincing, too many errors, too many giveaways in dangerous areas and that capacity to mentally approach the game, or change it, adapt it when it was needed to find a way to win and we didn’t.
Arsenal player ratings vs Nottingham Forest (half-time)
- Bernd Leno 7.0 (6.0)
- Cedric Soares 7.1 (7.1)
- Benjamin White 7.2 (7.4)
- Rob Holding 7.6 (7.0)
- Nuno Tavares 6.9 (7.1)
- Albert Sambi Lokonga 6.6 (7.0)
- Charlie Patino 7.1 (7.0)
- Bukayo Saka 7.1 (6.6)
- Martin Odegaard 7.4 (6.8)
- Gabriel Martinelli 5.9 (6.1)
- Eddie Nketiah 6.0 (6.1)
- Kieran Tierney 6.7 (n/a)
- Alexandre Lacazette 6.0
- Sead Kolasinac n/a