“Been clear for a while” Journalist pinpoints what Arsenal is missing after Forest loss

Sports journalist, Josh Challies has blamed a lack of depth for Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup this evening.

It was déjà vu yet again for the Gunners as Forest dumped them out of the competition at The City Ground.

Mikel Arteta started the game with a strong team, considering the competition and the gap between both clubs in the English football pyramid.

Eddie Nketiah, Charlie Patino and Cedric Soares all earned starts in the game as Arsenal looked to make the next round of a competition they won in 2020.

However, Forest defended well and eventually scored a late winner in the game through Lewis Grabban.

Arsenal has lost some players to AFCON, and Challies believes they lacked proper options to win the game.

He tweeted: “Absolutely huge week for Arsenal. Lack of depth has been clear for a while, this performance highlighted in. Two huge games and need activity in the market.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

A lack of squad depth is truly an issue for Arsenal, but the team Arteta fielded for this game was strong enough to win the match.

Most of the starters have been looking for an opportunity to prove their worth and had it today.

Their unconvincing performance means they would likely return to the bench while others keep starting ahead of them.

Tags Josh Challies Nottingham Forest v Arsenal


  1. The team was strong enough, the performance was not. It seems no matter who plays we are always one game away from a poor performance.

    1. To be fair this is not a surprising result. Our wins in the Carabao have been against low level or injury ravaged teams. Forrest away loomed as by far our hardest cup test by far especially with so many players out through illness and AFCON. Holding Lokonga Cedric have barely seen game time in the PL as Arteta has stayed with the same starting 11 for so long. With no European football the second tier squaddies just got rusty. Losing in the 3rd round of the FA Cup is actualy a blessing in disguise as it means less games in this covid riddled, match rescheduling nightmare season all teams face. We are in the semis of the Carabao so are much closer to a final than an FA Cup run. Sometimes there is a such thing as a good loss and this wil prove to be such a result.

      1. No excuse for me Liverpool sailed through with a similarly “second string” it isnt about the players but the way we play. We didn’t give it a go, players didn’t perform and that includes regular first teamers.

      2. FF, though this shambles was totally unacceptable and a disgrace, you have a good point on now having fewer games than our rivals, which MAY work to our PREM ADVANTAGE!

        How any team can go from the MAN CITY PERF TO THIS ALARMING RUBBISH IN A WEEK OR SO IS BAFFLING, even allowing for the players missing today. Apparantly Patino played, though he must be related to the INVISIBLE MAN.

  2. So all we have left is the 2 legged semi final v Liverpool and the league games remaining.

    No FA Cup
    No European Football

    Should be no distractions from the Top 4 but with the squad being so light we will end up 6th come May.

    We need reinforcements this window and even more so in the summer. Mikel must get us back into Europe by the league position.

  3. After spending over £250,000,000, signing 17 players, letting five original first team squad players out on loan and the reason is that we are “lacking depth?”

    Well, who’s fault is that then?….. wait for it, nothing to do with the here and now will be the comments… blame others.

    1. It will always be blamed on someone else. Some still blame Wenger even though he’s been gone almost 4 years now.

      If we’re short on depth, why not let AMN play and leave next week on loan?

      Nketiah and Cedric are better served elsewhere. Nketiah fluffs his umpteenth chance (no surprise except to Arteta), and Holding looking a disappointment if he doesn’t turn it around.

      Now January prices even higher because everyone knows we are needing a striker and midfielder.

      Absolute genius to loan a midfielder before securing a replacement, top stuff really, Mensa material there.

      1. Friends, all doom and gloom again. Remember the mauling Wenger’s team had against Forest some years back? This was a 1-0. The frontline players played safe as they are needed for the league, so leave Saka, Ode, Martenelli aside. the rest are rubbish and I will keep saying – Kolasinac, Holding, Chambers and we need upgrades. Nuno was shocking and messed with the wrong manager, hope he will be gone to City with us banking the cash.

  4. I have always maintained from day one that 5/6 is the goal for this season. Never top 4. Cup runs are a bonus. A clear out in the summer and 3-4 additions. A top 4 challenge “next” season has always been the time line of the process.
    In Arteta I trust

    1. I dont agree with the old chesnut “next season” total lack of ambition thinking like that. Where we are today, half way through the season, with no European football and 250 mil spent, 5th would be a backwards step and failure. Now we are in forth we should be looking up not down. Totally defeatest thinking any different.

    2. FF, for someone who contributes absolutely nothing to the conversation, you sure enjoy patting yourself on the back a lot…I can’t even imagine what your endgame is, minus ruffling a few feathers and killing time while awaiting your release, but surely you must have something you’re actually good at that you could pursue instead of continuing this seemingly never-ending crusade of nonsense

    3. fairfan, so let me get this straight.

      After winning the fa cup with the “dross” he, seemingly, inherited, you know want another clear out, after two full seasons of doing just that as well?
      Is that correct?
      After signing 17 new players, extending contracts of those who I assume you want out as part of the clear up (Auba?) and letting over 20 players leave, or go out on loan and spending, I believe, nigh on £300,000,000 of kronkie’s money…. you are expecting another season of under achievement, but trust the process?

      Does it not concern you, as just one example) MA brings on one of the players you want out, Kolasinac, a defender, when we are losing 1-0 with three minutes to go?

      Why do you trust a move like that?

  5. Nobody predicted top 4 when we went 0-3 abslotely nobody. Most said top ten was beyond us and many predicted relegation. I was laughed at predicting 5/6. Now those who wrote Arsenal off as no hopers are now demanding 4th place. Silly 🙂

    1. Its not about predictions, its about where we should be with what we have andxwhere we are today. We can all predict and it means JS but the facts are with the investment and what we have in the squad, where we are, we should be looking at no lower than 4th. I said at the start of the season 4th should be the least position and today, i see only what is front of us, that being well possible. Why think 5th or 6th when we are 4th? That is so unambitious and a cop out.

    2. Wyoming I mean FF just admit today was an absolute embarrassment there are no excuses and you preaching trust in Arteta is just winding people up although I think that’s what your trying to do, so mission accomplished 👌

      1. Cup competitions are hevily dependent on the draw eg our first 4 Carabao cup games were against nobodies and three were at home. Forest 8th in the championship always had likely loss written all over it especially with AFCON and illness. The PL is the one and only competition for me. The loss is good for our PL chances so a good result really.

    3. No… everyone was EXPECTING the club not to lose three games in a row, but covid and injuries played a massive part in the worst start to a season in over four decades.
      What I look for is consistency, week in week out after all the changes I detailed out above.
      The spud, City games shows the calibre of players we have and MA bought squad players, not top players to replace the “dross” you want out…. why do you think ANY fan wants MA to fail?
      That’s a ridiculous idea, but to read what you are saying about not bothering after a display like today’s, is bonkers.
      We have pool (twice) and the spuds coming up.
      According to your warped logic, the pool games don’t matter as it’s only a cup competition, so all your eggs lie in one basket… finishing 5th/6th in the PL – so tell me, how have we advanced from AW’s last season (6th) and UE’s last season (5th) even if your prediction comes true?

      1. With the calibre of the league Man City Chelsea Liverpool Man Utd are the clear top 4. Arsenal is 5/6 these days which is just fine by me.
        So imroving from 8th to 5/6 is indeed progress.
        Next season we have a tilt at top 4 and the EL.

        1. You didn’t answer my question – how if we finish 5th or 6th, have we improved on the final positions of UE and AW in the PL, with all the changes and money spent FF?

          1. FF we are 4th today, why are you looking at dropping down when we have a squad for 4th? Thats rediculous and not logical to say its an improvement to drop down from where we are and where we should be with the expenditure. We were the highest spenders in Europe in the summer. Dont try to under sell this team to make it look good when it doesn’t meet what it is capable of.

        2. Not sure about Man. Utd., but Top 6 for Arsenal is achievable and would, of course, be a definite improvement, and I’m sure most fans would have taken that after the first three games.

          1. Improvement from where Biscuitbum?
            We finished 5th under UE and 6th in AW’s last season, so what improvement is there, if we finish 6th as you suggest?

      2. Was it a coincidence, our best performace was against City of all teams without the manager, and our worst performace was against a mid table championship team? Can we read between the lines? Are the players sending out a message to the owners?

  6. As soon as Grabban came on, I knew he would score given his scoring record over the years, and given how light we were up front I had no confidence we would force extra-time. If you were really serious about the FA Cup, surely you wouldn’t be so cocksure as to field a makeshift defence.

    1. Every single player in the defense has played in the premier league and one (Holding) is an FA Cup winner. It wasnt as makeshift as you point out. The forward line contained Martinelli, Odergaard and Saka and couldn’t muster a good effort. What is with this makeshift rubbish. It wasnt makeshift it was just poor all round. And i remind you we were playing forest with a team valued 10x what theirs cost.

  7. The fact is that we were playing with 9 men in the first 35mins, 10 men after.

    I like Patino, i do, i really think he will be a great player, but not now, he was missing all game and again MA took to long to take him off.

    the way it feels is that we disrespected Forest in thinking it would be a W no matter what.

    Why didnt they ask for a postponement?
    or was it like ” yeah its only forest, we’ll play it now”?

    so right now we have 1 CM fit in Sambi who is awful imo.

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