Press conference

Arteta on exiting the Emirates FA Cup

Alex Lacazette

Mikel Arteta cut a frustrated figure after Lewis Grabban’s late goal consigned us to defeat at Nottingham Forest in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Our manager spoke to the media after the match - you can read what he said below.

on his overriding emotion after the result…
I’m really disappointed with the performance, first of all - not with the attitude, but how much purpose we had and what determination we showed to change the game when it’s difficult to play against [them] and the way they play. [We needed] more drive, more hunger to win at any cost in every single action. We were not there at our level today.

on why he brought Tierney on during the first half…
I just did it to try to improve the performance of the team.

on if he was concerned about replacing Tavares in the first half, given it creates a story…
I understand that, but I had to make the decision to try to improve the performance of the team. It’s not to go in any other direction.

on what Tavares wasn’t doing…
I don’t want to talk about individuals. 

on how frustrating it is to see a performance like that after the progress his team have made…
It’s frustrating, but it’s happened - and we have to analyse why it’s happened. We can talk about all the players that we didn’t have - nine or 10 - or the players that we had. Today we should have done something different.

on if the performance surprised him…
I know - because I’ve been playing games like that for the last 18 years - how complicated it is to come here and the difficulties you’re going to face is no surprise. But when we do that, we have to face it in a different way.

on if the match re-emphasised how important it is to bring in midfield reinforcements…
I want to try to get the best out of the players we have. It’s clear where we need to strengthen but at the moment it’s what we have and what we have has to play.

on if Xhaka has any chance to be back for Thursday…
I don’t know. It will depend on the next few games and how he’s feeling.

on if the defeat is more painful given Arsenal’s success in the FA Cup…
It’s really hurting. It’s a competition that is related to our history and to go out of it today is a big bump.

on if Smith Rowe and Tomiyasu will be in contention to play on Thursday…
Again, it depends. They were injured and they couldn’t play. Gabi was suspended. I’ll have to see in the next few days how they were.

on the decision to loan out Maitland-Niles given missing players in midfield…
No, that decision was made for many different reasons.

on why he thinks the team struggled to create chances…
Again, because we didn’t have enough incisiveness, determination and purpose to progress the ball with enough quality into those areas. When we had the chances to do that, we didn’t hit the target. When you don’t hit the target, it’s difficult to win a match.

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