Mikel Arteta questions Arsenal players' hunger and desire

‘We needed much more… I’m really disappointed with the performance’: Mikel Arteta questions his Arsenal players’ ‘hunger’ and ‘drive’ after Gunners crash out of FA Cup with 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest

  • Arsenal crashed out of the FA Cup with 1-0 defeat against Nottingham Forest
  • The Gunners failed to register a single shot on target during Sunday’s game
  • Mikel Arteta said he was very disappointed by manner of defeat at Forest
  • Spaniard acknowledged his players lacked drive and hunger against Forest

Mikel Arteta accused his Arsenal players of lacking hunger after they crashed out of the FA Cup at Nottingham Forest.

Arsenal lost 1-0 to the Championship club with Forest club captain Lewis Grabban scoring the winner with seven minutes left.

Embarrassingly, Arsenal did not manage a shot on target all night and afterwards Arteta could not hide his frustration.

Mikel Arteta cut a frustrated figure as Arsenal lost 1-0 to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup

The Spaniard said: ‘We needed more drive and hunger to win at any cost. We needed much more.

‘I am really disappointed with the performance.

‘Not with the attitude, but how much purpose we have and what determination we showed to change the game when it’s difficult.

‘It is frustrating but it happened and we have to analyse why.


The Spaniard questioned his players’ desire and hunger in the defeat at the City Ground

‘I have been playing games like this one for 18 years and it is no surprise the difficulties you are going to face.

‘It is really hurting now.

‘It is a competition that is embedded in our history and to get out of it today is a big pain.

‘We didn’t have enough incisiveness and determination and purpose to move the ball with enough quality.

Arsenal were largely disappointing and failed to register a single shot on goal in 90 minutes

‘And when we had the chances we didn’t hit the target.’

Arteta made changes to his usual team but still fielded a team full of internationals and young promise.

But Forest were so much superior early on that Arteta chose to drag off young left-back Nuno Tavares after half an hour.

The 21-year-old Portuguese reacted by throwing his gloves to the ground by the dug out.

Forest substitute Lewis Grabban (left) broke the deadlock as he scored the only goal of the game in the 82nd minute

Forest’s reward for knocking out Arsenal is a home tie against FA Cup holders Leicester 

Arteta said afterwards: ‘I just did it to try to win.

‘I have to make the decision to try to improve the performance of the team when I see it is not going in any other direction.

‘I don’t want to talk about individuals.’

Forest manager Steve Cooper only joined the club in September but has already moved them up the table. His reward for this win is a Round Four tie at home to East Midlands rivals Leicester next month. 

Forest manager Steve Cooper felt his team were comfortable throughout the game

Cooper admitted his team were comfortable during this 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.’

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