Arsenal’s FA Cup humiliation reveals the biggest weakness Mikel Arteta has to deal with

Familiar issues returned to haunt Mikel Arteta, as he watched his Arsenal side fall at the first hurdle of the FA Cup after losing 0-1 to Nottingham Forrest in the third round.

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Pictures of Nottingham Forest v Arsenal

The FA Cup has been a safe haven for Arsenal over the years, but the old competition may have dwindled Mikel Arteta continued scrutiny.

Arteta gives me a lot of leverage when he win the historic competition in 2020. His success against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea at Wembley appeared to be his safety blanket as Arsenal’s results began to suffer in his first season in charge of the north London side.

However, the familiar daggers may soon be brought out to help him again after Nottingham Forrest shocked the Gunners with a 1-0 scoreline at the City Ground.

Lewis Grabban’s 83rd-minute strike was enough to send Arteta and his besieged side toppled over.

While Arteta named many of his biggest cannons against Steve Cooper’s determined men, Arsenal’s secondary weapons put them in defeat against the Championship side.

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Mikel Arteta saw his team eliminated very early in the FA Cup

Arteta surprised everyone at the City Ground when he sent summer signing Nuno Tavares off after 35 minutes, while Arsenal youngster Charlie Patino was also swapped for Alexandre Lacazette after 69 minutes.

The 18-year-old is certainly a bright prospect, but he has struggled with the intensity and fierceness of cup competition – better days lie ahead for the Arsenal academy star.

Most of the sentiments that have come with Tavares’ start at Arsenal, since his move to Benfica in the summer, have been promising and positive, but his angry looks and the fact that he threw his gloves when Substituting could expose him to Arteta’s wrath.

The Arsenal boss has assembled a vibrant and impressive young team, but his side has withered away in the presence of their wiser heads.

Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka’s solid partnership was a major shortcoming for the Gunners, while Eddie Nketiah rarely caused a problem for Forrest’s back four.

Unfortunately for the Gunners, their lack of squad depth will continue to hamper their top 4 and title aspirations if it is not addressed.

Arsenal’s dazzling form in recent weeks has given them a terrible start Premier League season feels like a bad dream. Unfortunately, that was not a dream, and Arsenal could not afford to treat it as such.

Lewis Grabban scored in the 83rd minute to send Arsenal out of the FA Cup


AFP via Getty Images)

Their initial squad depth issues were fully exposed in the 0-2 loss to Brentford and Chelsea, before City of Manchester Grind them into powder in the following encounter.

Arteta’s side have certainly faced significant change since that bad day at the Etihad Stadium, and their ten-man performance against Pep Guardiola’s side is testament to the improvement. their considerable.

Patino’s inclusion with the first team and the match against Forrest suggests he will soon become a big part of Arteta’s squad, while the same can be said of the summer signing of Albert Sambi-Lokonga. .

But their alternatives in defensive areas are raising more difficult questions.

Arsenal is missing a series of high-class players in key positions


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Gabriel Magalhaes’ absence has always surfaced like a sore thumb, while Cedric Soares is a completely different defender from top star Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Tomiyasu has proven himself to be an outstanding player since his £15.5m arrival in Bologna, bolstering the right side of the Gunners’ backline with clever positioning and a defensive approach. sure.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Soares, who only seems to come to life when he has a chance to move forward and join the attack.

Arsenal’s alternatives in the squad are unequal in quality as well as dissimilar in style.

Few teams can replace a top player with another top player in the Premier League, but the top teams can make up for the absence of their stars with the fewest players in possession. similar characteristics, strengths and playing styles of the absentees. star.

This is not happening at the Emirates Stadium right now, and if Arteta’s team doesn’t make it through Liverpool In the semi-finals of the League Cup, Arsenal will no longer have a safe haven to cushion their fall.

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