Thursday, July 18, 2024

Arteta: We weren’t good enough, we have to apologise

Mikel Arteta was less than impressed by his makeshift side as Arsenal crashed out of the FA Cup at the third round after a 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest. 

Lewis Grabban came off the bench to seal the win with seven minutes remaining on an afternoon when the Gunners struggled to create any serious chances and looked very lightweight in midfield. 

Here’s what the boss had to say when he faced the ITV cameras…

On the performance…

They won, they scored a goal and we didn’t. 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.

On what was missing…

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.

On whether removing Tavares in the first half summed up his frustration…

No, it’s a decision you have to make in certain moments to try to improve the performance of the team. That’s what I did.

On Arsenal’s inconsistency…

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.

On what Arsenal have to learn…

That what we’ve done today is nowhere near the level and the standards that are required.

On the need for new signings…

Today showed that we weren’t capable of winning against Forest in the cup away from home. We weren’t good enough to put in a performance where we deserved to win the game.

On some of the players he called on not producing…

It’s a collective issue.

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Lord Bendnter

Cannot blame Arteta for this. It was a garbage performance and Arteta cannot put his boots on to do the work for you


Can’t blame Arteta for introducing Kolasinac when we were down by a goal or for picking Nketiah and Cedric for starting eleven? I don’t think so. He needs to be blamed too.

Greg in Seattle

Limited tactical options, so I have to think that was simply a moonshot – let’s throw a literal knife-combatting street fighter into the mix and see if lightning strikes.

La Defense

Nketiah reminds me of Chuba Akpom. Bark bigger than bite.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

True for any other coach in any other circumstances.

Naked Cygan

What is the deal with Arteta’s sh*t does not smell? Yes, the players are to blame for not performing, but surely he is to blame for keeping Nketiah on after missing so many chances and picking the line up and tactics. It is time we accept the facts. Arteta is learning on the job. His first job as a manager and can’t expect more if he is limited in his tactical abilities.


After watching another team kick Saka all over the place, I remember Arteta was a major part of City’s rotational fouling. Why do we have to put up with this and not put it about a bit as well?

Refs seem to think he is fair game!


Did Colback even get spoken to by the ref? All he did was kick Saka, hell he even fouled him 3x in 1 move & didn’t even give away a free kick

Morrisey fan #1

What’s worse is the tactic seemed to work. The poor fella looked so fed up and was unusually timid.

Der Kaiser

Indeed he was hacked all match


Pretty poor all round, the fact we couldn’t even muster a shot on target is embarrassing… Not sure I agree with the first half substution, should have been taken off at HT

Akan Williams

Learn from this and move


we dont…

learn i mean

Funsho Patrick

We’re in the middle of a midfield crisis! With hindsight how do you let Maitland Niles go without replacing him? We were short of the passes and control xhaka and partey give….if we address this adequately during the window then this loss may turn out to be the catalyst for our champions League run…. there’s no way we’re top 4 with injuries to either xhaka or partey…we should also let nketiah go…cut our losses..the audition could prove expensive….no one plays like lacazette in the team…he needs back up or we’re suddenly in a crisis if he’s injured or gets covid… Read more »

Der Kaiser

Indeed, Naitland Miles would have been a better option today- can only assume we are signing someone


Today just showed a serious lack of depth in the squad. Still got a long way to go in this project. Arteta/Edu done well last summer in the transfer window, hopefully can keep it going in this window and the next, and hopefully we will have an actual squad next season. Forest weren’t special today either. Lokonga lost possession and they made the most of it. He wasn’t alone too, so many wayward passes from Holding and a few others, so hard to blame Lokonga alone. Hopefully this gives the players a kick up the backside to produce in the… Read more »

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

We all thought we had depth before. Many fans were happy with the depth. Fans who say Xhaka shoudn’t be playing for Arsenal need to think again.


Anyone who thought we had depth was kidding themselves. We have prospects. Lots of will be ok for the future.

The Arsenal

This is the kind of game Xhaxa may have bossed. Xhaxa shouldn’t be playing for Arsenal and he only is because the rest of our cms aren’t that good or ready yet. unless you think there is nobody in the world better than him. I don’t understand fans that dont realise how much an upgrade on Xhaxa betters the entire team. Guy somehow has more defenders on here than Auba.


How would Xhaka boss the game exactly? Would he change our dreaded U-shaped pattern? Or would he simply receive the ball and pass it on his left foot to Tierney? Xhaka hasn’t bossed a game for us in ages, unless giving away gamechanging penalties or red cards is what you consider bossing. Holding and White was abysmal on the ball today, and the midfield didn’t get the ball fast enough. Maybe a seniority issue as White & Holding didn’t trust enough to pass the ball to Lokonga or Patino.

The Arsenal

‘May have’…Did u not read the rest of the post.


Ok. Thought we missed Partey’s presence big time.

Bleeding gums murphy

Many fans want Xhaka replaced. I would have thought that would be obvious to many.


This was Xhaka level but we rarely play championship teams


The problem is that we miss Xhaka. That says everything about the quality of our squad. Compare Kante & Xhaka and look at the difference. Partey and a player like Kante next to him takes us up so many levels.
But until we do upgrade on Xhaka, he looks essential for the balance of the team so he was a miss today.

Anders Limpar

Of the players who came in and under performed it’s worrying that a number of the principle culprits are Arteta/Edu players, Lokongo, Taveres, Cedric. Obviously we have signed some real gems this season, but the jury is still out in my opinion.


Sad thing is, Forest didn’t need to be special today. Brice Samba could’ve took his gloves off & sat with the home fans & we still wouldn’t have troubled him

A Different George

I think today showed the importance of the Partey/Xhaka partnership for the way we want to play, especially when it is Holding, rather than Gabriel, with the ball. Patino and Lokonga, both full of promise, were unable to transition the ball to our front four in a consistent, threatening manner. Moving Odegaard there, as was tried later, might have helped, but it gives up the central creative hub of the attack. If Smith Rowe had been there, then he might have played that role–does anyone know why he was not in the squad?



Greg in Seattle

Muscular issue was mentioned briefly on the broadcast. Quad I think.

Akan Williams

We just need to learn from this and move on

Man Manny

A victory in the next league game is an appropriate way to apologise.


‘No more red’ was the slogan, they dud what they said….


Is that why Xhaka wasn’t playing?


I like the answers to the last three questions. Not much to like about the game. At least Patino got a run about.


At least this came early in the window so a good plea to the board. Let’s not have the likes of nketiah and Cedric on the pitch again

Bleeding gums murphy

Something tells me nketia will be on pitch again. I don’t get it. I would rather Lee Chapman 🤣


What’s Ali Dia up to these days?


Can’t help but think Wilshere would of been ok in this game given our midfield scarcity


He would have got fouled a lot and then picked up a knock.


Don’t agree with the treatment of Tavares. On a day when multiple players were poor, while single out a player? Arteta’s inconsistent treatment of players can lead to major problems.


Spot on, completely agree. Knowing he Arteta, he will continue to treat Tavares poorly now for his reaction to being brought off.


You know Arteta? Tell me more.


I dont think its personal and I would not be surprised in the slightest if Tavares starts against Liverpool. Given he is only 21 and playing his first season in England, you could even flip it and say that taking him off was good management by Arteta. Its not inconceivable that Tavares would have made a mistake which led to Forest scoring the opening goal. Imagine the reaction he would have got from the media & parts of our fanbase if that was the case. Stuff like that can really impact upon the development of a player/his profile in the… Read more »


Did yuou actually watch him? he played the ball away 8 times, almost scored an own goal and was completely mentally checked out. Yes people played poorly but he had 64% passing and most of the misplaced passes were simple. He even conceded a throwin by letting a simple pass run under his boot.


Not saying Nuno had a good game. Why make a spectacle of him? If it was to scare the others, it didn’t work and m may lead to animosity.


Most of the comments on the Liveblog concerned Tavares’ poor performance until he came off, to be fair.

The Arsenal

He wasn’t at the races. Looked more overawed than even young Patino.


Tavares gave us nothing going forward, so Arteta replaced him, was the right call. If you are not performing then off you fuck! fair play to Arteta, this result is not on him, so grow a pair and take the defeat ffs


I would agree with you if he had taken off Eddie…


His attitude stank though.

We don’t need players with attitude and throwing their toys out of their prams when they’ve clearly been utter shit.

Kudos to Arteta for taking him off. I hope he got the hairdryer on full power.

Runcorn Gooner

Sell Nketiah…..tomorrow.

Greg in Seattle

Seriously. Cash in while we can. He’s not the next Gnabry.


Or tonight if possible.


Yep. I’ve defended Eddie on here time and again, but that shit show was the final straw.

Get rid of him.


Holdings hair player of the month


The Tavares answer is pure bullshit. Cedric is a complete shitshow for the entire game and he takes the talented boy off 30 mins into the match. The definition of poor man management and this kind of thing will bite Arteta in the ass one day.

Also, if I’m a reporter I’m asking why Nketiah keeps getting games for Arsenal.

Bleeding gums murphy

Would be a great question and you have to wonder why it’s not asked.


Honestly, I thought it was a good decision at the time given Tavares was having a very poor game up to that point. However in hindsight it does seems a bit harsh when you look at the performance of almost everyone else. Its starting to look like specific partnerships are very important to this team – Saka & Tomi, White & Gabriel, Martinelli & Tierney, Partey and Xhaka, ESR & Tavares. Whenever one player is missing from any of those partnerships the other just doesn’t seem to work as well with a replacement. Maybe that played into Arteta’s thinking regarding… Read more »


I agree with most of that. All I’m saying is that even if you want to take off Tavares for whatever reason, wait until half time, talk to the player, don’t humiliate him and knock his confidence, especially when others are having a shit game too.

Alan Sunderland

Think he came off for not tracking runners. He deserved to get hooked, put in no work off the ball.

The Arsenal

Cant sub everybody..or Cedric and Holding would have been gone..Tavares was the worst of th elot in that time frame. And to be fair he just didnt look mentally right for whatever reason. Playing like he just woke up or was high.


Was at the game . Saka didn’t seem up for it from very beginning. I was sitting around half way. Body language was poor throughout the team . Forest were consistent and committed.


Hopefully he will see that Cedric, Eddie and Rob Holding really aren’t up to standard. We need another decent midfielder, a good striker and a new right back. We’ll be better with Granit, Tomi and Emile back in the side for Liverpool. It’s a work in progress, there’ll be bumps along the way.


Let’s hope they’re fit, then!


I got down voted 100 times for saying that last week and told to f off. This kinda sums up our fanbase or this community. Wasn’t always like this, Brent mused


Hopefully there will be some transfers.


For better or worse, today highlighted a few things for me: 1. Outside of the goalkeeping position there’s a massive drop off between the first choice and second choice players 2. As much as we love him, Patino is not yet ready for 1st team football. The fans need to stop the hype and let the kid develop 3. We almost certainly need to make a signing or two this month 4.Lokonga really needs to regain match fitness (which is fair enough given he hasn’t played for a few months. All in all I don’t think its worth getting too… Read more »


Lots of these players can do fine individually when the other first choices are playing. But not good enough when all played together: Cedric Patino Holding Nketia Lakonga. And the other 5 aren’t good enough to carry them. It’s a team game. I’m not criticising selection, just commenting on depth. We aren’t MCFC.

UP North

At least there’s some confirmation tonight. One is that Holding and Cedric in particular aren’t close to be good enough as back up.
Forest’s right back was far better than Cedric.
Tavares and Sambi are still very much work in progress.
Eddie,he struggles big time to pass to better placed teammates.
We need quality depth in the squad to compete for top 4, call back
Saliba, a class striker and a better right back option than Cedric.
Another midfielder also,bit not pri 1.

The Beast

Thought Forest’s rightback was class tonight. Kept Gabi quiet all night & matched anyone for pace

The Arsenal

He was impressive as ours was bad. Even Tierney’s kick and rush move failed against him.


Is it a case where this team is unable to progress the ball forward effective without xhaka on the field? Or the team overall attacking tactics was wrong and the players wasn’t up for it mentally today?

The Beast

Think maybe it’s because both Xhaka & Partey was out. With either of them partnering Sambi think it may’ve been a different story.


I think today is one of those bigger picture results. Yes we were poor, but as I found myself reaching for the remote at full time (When are these tv commentators going to get it through their thick anti-Arsenal heads that they’re supposed to be impartial?) I realised that as far as fourth place is concerned, I really didn’t give a shit about the result today. The positives to draw from this, if anything, is to learn what clearly doesn’t work and needs removing (Cedric, Eddie) what needs to be put into the Last Chance Saloon (Holding, Laca) and what… Read more »


Good points, Mikel has shown he’s good at getting rid of troublemakers and lazy players, now he needs to up his game and start moving on some of the nice guys who aren’t quite good enough. Cedric may train well and be respectful but he needs to be told there’s no place in the squad for him to fight for, Eddie is a lightweight, selfish player who may train like a beast but needs to go, asap. Holding is a good guy and sometimes captain but he just isn’t at the level for Arsenal. We don’t seem to get much… Read more »


Oh, and one more thing.

FFS get rid of that fucking awful kit. Good cause and all that; very commendable, but just get fucking rid of those garments ASAP.

Der Kaiser

I can only assume that we are about to make signings as Naitland-Miles better than Cedric and a match for both of today’s central midfielders who were very weak. Rob Holdings passing out of defence was poor. I like Eddie but clinical strikers need to be able to bury simple headers A match where the boo boys must recognise that we needed Xhaka). Saka looked tired (not surprising). Shows how fragile our squad is and dependent on young playrs who will pick up injuries, become tired etc.Need to be careful not to overlay Saka, Smith – Rowe etc


What’s the point of apologising all the time. not rocket science for anyone to realise last summer that we will be predictably thin in midfield. As is we don’t have great assets. When Xhaka is your best mid, it says something. Partey has only recently come into performances because of Xhaka. but this gaffer had assets in hand. Torreira, Guendouzi could have all been better managed last summer. Instead he decided to take a punt on AMN but then does not play him. he’s now apparently good enough for back up for Mourinho at Roma but not us. Equally perplexing… Read more »


I am taking this in a positive light. In fact, I think this adds to the list of catalysts towards securing a top four spot this season. The club only need to focus on the league and league cup now. Nothing else to distract. And I think the board are going to take a gamble by investing into the squad in January. Artetat will take us into the top four this season, and in the summer, there will be further reinforcements. Then lets see if he is capable to go to the next level. For now, full backing for the… Read more »

Team Spirit

I feel the team was capable of wining as shown it only takes one goal and surely we had shots that were saved by the keeper instead of being scored.

I feel the team fielded was capable of winning, they just did not score!


Arterta needs to be creative. He could have played either white or Chambers to pair lokonga in d midfield


Nobody complained about City winning last week when we were clearly the better side with decisions going against us. Now we lose again, but play poorly with a handball in the goal and we get what we deserve apparently.

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x