Mikel Arteta questions the wishes of Arsenal players after leaving the FA Cup


Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has accused his players of lack of “hunger” after they were dumped out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle by Nottingham Forest.

A goal in the second half from Forest substitute Lewis Grabban sentenced the Gunners to a 1-0 loss and their first outing from the third round since 2017/18, when they were knocked out by the same side.

Arsenal were bad throughout the match with left-back Nuno Tavares being pulled off before the break after making a series of mistakes.

Arteta reflected on his side’s fight after the match and admitted that the Gunners were nowhere near good enough.

“We needed more drive, more hunger to win at any cost in each individual action, much more. We were not at our level,” he says.

“I’m really disappointed with the performance, first and foremost. Not with the attitude but how much purpose we have and what determination we showed to change the game when it’s hard to play against and how they play.

“I have played such matches for the last 18 years and I know how complicated it is to come here and it is no surprise the difficulties you will face. But when we do, we have to face it in a different way.

“It really hurts. It is a competition that is very related to our history and getting out of it is a big shock.”

Arsenal’s withdrawal from the competition means that their winger will have even fewer opportunities to play this season. Since the Gunners failed to qualify for Europe last term, the likes of Eddie Nketiah, Rob Holding and Tavares were already starving in minutes.

Nketiah may even have played his last game for his boys club. The striker has turned down Arsenal’s offer for a new contract and with his current contract expiring this summer, the Gunners are eager to sell him in this transfer window.

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