Tuesday, February 7, 2023

“I’ve been there” – Arteta reflects on Tavares’ early substitution

Mikel Arteta says he didn’t like having to substitute Nuno Tavares before half time of Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest but he’s sure the full-back will learn from the experience having gone through something similar during his own playing days.

After a shaky start to the match, which included a few misplaced passes, the Portugal under-21 international was hauled off 10 minutes before the break to be replaced by Kieran Tierney. Understandably, the player was unhappy and showed his disapproval by chucking his gloves on the ground before taking up his place on the bench.

The way the situation played out was all the more surprising given Arteta had shown patience with the player earlier in the season. Off the back of an error-ridden performance against Liverpool, the youngster was expected to be dropped but ended up starting ahead of Tierney when Newcastle visited the Emirates a week later.

“These things happen in football,” said Arteta of Sunday’s decision. “I’m there to make the right decisions to get the best performance out of the team. It’s not pleasant to make those decisions. It leaves you a bad taste but at the same time, we are here to help our players.

“To help our players you have to do it in many different ways and hopefully, that’s one way. Certainly, we want to support our players, we want to help them. The fact you have to make a decision on the day, from my side, it gives me more encouragement to help them.

“I’ve been there. I’ve been substituted at 45 minutes and I’ve been upset or made wrong decisions in my life. It’s part of a process and a development phase in any career. It’s part of your [life] experiences.

“Some experiences, unfortunately, they don’t have to be pleasant. But most of those, you take them the right way, they are really the ones that help you and to become a better person or player.”

Keen to focus on the good things that Tavares has done at Arsenal since signing from Benfica in the summer, Arteta, leaning on his own experience, stressed the player’s reaction was not worth dwelling on.

“I was upset and [thought] the coach is wrong and this is not fair. This is normally the reaction. With Nuno, I didn’t get that reaction at all, that’s it. For me, it’s just a moment, move on and focus on all the good things that he’s done since he’s been here and that’s it.

On whether he wants his players to be angry when they’re substituted, he added: “That’s a really personal thing, it’s not what you prepare, it’s something that you don’t train. It comes as an emotional moment and is [linked] to the character of the player.”

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Announce Bendtner

Hopefully he will learn from this. I suspect it’s a mentality issue, sometimes when a player makes one mistake during a game they can let it affect their performance leading to more mistakes and bad decisions in the game.

I’d hope Arteta and the coaching staff can help him with this as part of his development.


Unfortunately for Tavares he was in Arteta’s line of sight, Arteta could’ve made at least 5 changes before half time we were that woeful…! Just hope we get a reaction tomorrow night against the truth stretching Scousers… COYG..


A mush promise as MA has, he will be undone by his own ego. I really hope he learns quickly on human psychology and behavior. You have to wonder how other players privately feel about the substitution. Football has known supposedly prodigious managers who felt short.


Eh, i was ok with the substitution. He seemed more peeved that Nuno wasnt making any effort to recover when he lost the ball, and he seemed to have no focus or real energy. It’s fine, nuno seems like the kind of guy who’ll bounce back from this so hopefully it’s a learning and growing thing. Also think Arteta more stick than anyone for making strict, but completely normal, managerial decisions. Subbing a player after 30 mins is rough, yeah, but not unheard of by any means.


I have absolutely no issue with these sorts of decisions either. The thing I find strange is that he’s willing to make such ballsy calls in some scenarios, but often seems unwilling to make subs at the 50/60 min mark when we’re clearly struggling. Seems almost like a contradiction.


Time will tell.

Zadok the Regular Priest

I wish this guy was manager, we would win so many trophies thanks to his knowledge of human psychology and behaviour.


Actually I am.


There’s no need for Arteta to back track or make apologetic noises for his decision.

I was behind him all the way; Tavares was utter shite and deserved to be replaced.

We’re trying to build a squad of committed team players who get it when they’ve been crap.

As for the gloves tantrum, a spell in the stiffs might bring him to his senses.


Yeah, he was bad. I cringed when he touched the ball after the first 15. He never makes overlapping runs a la Tierney, and is so casual trying to play out of trouble. Excited to see him develop, cos his burst forward are a pleasure. But he kinda got what he deserved. And it is a strong ballsy move from Arteta, so fair play.


Stood by him after his mistakes against Pool and United. now showed him that this doesn‘t mean he‘s not having to face consequences for bad games. Absolutely on Mik‘s side in that regard. Kid gotta learn from it and move on.

Arteta-tinted Glasses

There’s a part of me which read the decision as Arteta expecting much more from Tavares’s capability in a match with lots of youngsters. He won’t do this to Mari, Soares or Holding because he knows their ceiling.


Yes exactly, all makes sense, sounds like Nuno is getting his head down, really excited by the development of our young players.

Maybe he chucked his gloves on the ground because he was frustrated with his own performance.

Fully expect Tierney to get the League Cup games now as there’s no margin for error anymore if we want to win a trophy this season.


Giving KT‘s recent fitness issues, it maybe is a bit too much to ask of him to play Pool, Sp*rs, Pool in 7 days. But yes, I feel more secure with him at the back but I assume Nuno will play one of these games.


Wind back 6 months or a year to comments that Arteta needed to build discipline. He did that by getting rid of underperforming players and holding all players to account. Fair play to him.

Bob the builder

Yet Xhaka is continually played after more than several occasions of ill discipline, and poor decisions often resulting in game changing red card cards and/or penalties.
Rules for some but not others. Hmm

Giovanni Hovno

I really like the quote on whether he wants his players to be angry when they’re substituted: “That’s a really personal thing, it’s not what you prepare, it’s something that you don’t train. It comes as an emotional moment and is [linked] to the character of the player.” To me, that’s intelligent and wise. Think this reflects really well on him.


Throwing your gloves down is a much better way to deal with discontent than telling your supporters to fuck off.


The trouble is the substitution never improved the performance at all but what it did do was to focus an unfair proportion of the blame to Tavarez when in fact none of them lifted a finger throughout the game.
For me that was the worse performance in a long long time.
And this squad of players is very light – relying on two or three players to carry them through every game. Not very good.


Nuno needs to distinguish the difference between his situations which call into question his personal character and individual game situations which cause him to be substituted. The emotions might lead him to believe they are related but he doesn’t realise how important that teams targeting him result in the whole team being targeted. He is simply identified by the opposition as the weakest link at a particular moment and structural pattern. Basically he is a pressing trigger for them. However the player who turns the ball over is the trigger. That’s too easy. Something like “if nuno has the ball… Read more »


I suspect that Arteta didn’t want to see Nuno’s confidence to crash, so decided on the substitution before things got worse for him.

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