Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has accused his players of a lack of “hunger” after they were dumped out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle by Nottingham Forest.
A second-half goal from Forest substitute Lewis Grabban condemned the Gunners to a 1-0 defeat and their first third-round exit since 2017/18, when they were knocked out by the same side.
Arsenal were poor throughout the game with left-back Nuno Tavares being dragged off before the break after making a string of mistakes.
Reflecting on his side’s struggles after the game, Arteta admitted that the Gunners were nowhere near good enough.
“We needed more drive, more hunger to win at any cost in every single action, much more. We were not at our level,” he said.
“I’m really disappointed with the performance, first of all. Not with the attitude but how much purpose we have and what determination we showed to change the game when it’s difficult to play against and the way they play.
“I have played in games like that for the last 18 years and I know how complicated it is to come here and it’s no surprise the difficulties you are going to face. But when we do that, we have to face it in a different way.
“It is really hurting. It is a competition that is very related to our history and to get out of it is a big bump.”
Arsenal’s exit from the competition means their fringe players will have even fewer opportunities to feature this season. With the Gunners failing to qualify for Europe last term, the likes of Eddie Nketiah, Rob Holding and Tavares were already being starved of minutes.
Nketiah may have even played his last game for his boyhood club. The striker has turned down Arsenal’s offer of a new contract and with his current deal expiring in the summer, the Gunners are eager to sell him in this transfer window.
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