Forest defeat shows why Arsenal won’t make the Top Four under Arteta

So to add to his proud record of being the first Arsenal Manager to not qualify for Europe in quarter of a century, Mikel Arteta at the weekend led to us to only our 2nd third round FA Cup exit in over two decades.

What was most concerning about Sunday was how these players didn’t treat it like it was an important fixture.

Concerning, but not a surprise as we equally went through the motions in a EUFA Semi Final last year when our season was on the line.

The Cups are our only route to happiness this campaign, the only chance of silverware.

Should a squad need a reminder of a game’s importance? No.

Yet that is a manager’s job.

Either we have too many players who think they are better than they are, or a coach who has the inability to motivate them.

I kept waiting at the City Ground for the Gunners to realise they had gotten away with not showing up and wake up before it was too late.

If we had any leaders, they would have warned the youngsters that they had gotten away with things in the first 45 minutes, but no damage had been done, now rectify this situation.

It shows how far we have regressed that I was hoping we could hang on ’til extra time against a Championship club, so we would have half an hour to sort ourselves out.

The worrying aspect is this is our future, this is what our boss wants to build.

A young team with a couple of hot prospects who will look good some weeks, but when it matters lack game management.

Remember how good a young Fabregas, Nasri and Vanpersie looked together?

Yet in those key moments of games and seasons they needed experience to help.

Remember not showing up at Everton?

A needless penalty conceded at Old Trafford.

Gabriel’s stupid red card last weekend?

Melting at Man City and Liverpool the moment we faced anxiety?

This happens too often, which is why I maintain we won’t finish top 4.

Because in moments where you need to fight and show grit, our weak mentality is highlighted.

So while Arteta talks about absentees, he’s been freezing out an Aubameyang and Pepe anyway.

In other words, Saka, Martinelli, Eddie, Odegaard and Lacazette, that’s all we have?

Why are we patting the club on the back yet again for slashing the wage bill in January, while not bothering to bring in anyone with more quality?


Be Kind in The Comments


Tags Arteta Forest


  1. As Dan wrote the most disappointing aspect of the loss was the complete absence of a Winning mentality. This has to be the managers responsibility. I’m also with those who have commented that the reason Arsenal played so well against Man. City was because you know who was not on the sidelines micromanaging everything to the max.

  2. I’m reading about Mari going out on loan and Kolasinac’s contract ripped. So in addition AMN and Balogun gone on loan, we have 2 more players going out. Then there’s the possible sale of Nketiah.

    4 more outgoings would leave us with 21-man squad, in which several are still U21 eligible.

    That absolutely must mean more players incoming, surely?

        1. I thought there was a deal type, that enforces a U-18 player to sign his professional contract after turning 18?

          We successfully tied up Wilshere, Saka, Balogun, etc after they turned 18

  3. No problem as long as we finish sixth

    If we win the NLD, we could expect a top four finish. Otherwise we could be content with a Europa League ticket

    This is why the players should avoid injuries and fatigue in the League Cup games. We should also not crucify the team if they lose against Liverpool, because the NLD is much more important to get next season’s CL ticket

  4. Arteta seems to be begging the players to deliver what they are paid for and what sopporters are paying for to come and watch their club on the pitch. Insteat of the opposite. NO team work at times, loosing a ball and not chaising it up, thrawing hands when then other team mate did succeed with the goal attempt or a pass. At times I get confused with these young midfilders , when their own team mate wins the ball they go to him insteat of spliting and opening space to him?

  5. Arsenal players must remember they are playing for their pride and the club’s supporters and the club owners pride.

  6. We should always be balanced. The writer either forgot or deliberately refused to acknowledge that Arteta won the same FA trophy in his first half season. At any rate that performance is not an indicator of the team that gave Man City a run for their money. As anyone may appreciate this was a reserve team of people who have not been playing together regularly. The disjointed performance clearly showed that.
    Those who want Arteta out will jump at every available opportunity to bash him. We don’t have to love Arteta but we should not glee at our team’s poor performance if we are true supporters of the club. It is simple dishonesty! In real life do you glee at your misfortune because it will also hurt your perceived enemy?

    1. The Forest performance wasn’t just disjointed though – it was abject. It looked like either the players really didn’t care (something I don’t believe to be true) or that they didn’t believe in the team to deliver and that lack of belief translated into a shadow of a performance.

      Assuming it’s the latter, that’s worrying because it wasn’t just “a reserve team”.
      Leno is no longer first choice but he was Arsenal’s first choice for a long time.
      KT and White are first choice defenders.
      Sambi is third choice central midfielder.
      Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli are all first choice attackers. So arguably, half the team was first choice. To still have such a lack of belief is really concerning and highlights more than just a lack of depth in squad quality but a lack of resilience in their winning mentality.

      It’s clearly something that will need to be built over time by Arteta.

    2. No proper fan would be happy if we lost to prove a point about Arteta .
      It’s just some of us want a better manger which seems to be a problem with other fans as they cannot except a difference of opinion.
      Give a manager in league 2 ,250 million and a 3 year project and he wouldn’t do any worse than Arteta.

    3. No one is happy when we lose and we dont show glee when it happens it just we want the team to put the effort in as most of us do in our every day jobs.
      I for one would love for arteta to be a success but I was also one who thought the job was far to big as a first job. Also this mentality of the NLD being more important than the league cup is truly ridiculous imo, I would rather win a cup and lose twice to spurs than win nothing but only my opinion.
      We did play so well against man city but we still lost so it meant very little if anything, the players need telling that when you represent our club it is the greatest honour that you can have in football and every game you are representing every arsenal fan who ever wanted to put on the famous red and white shirt. I love my club always have and it hurts me when I see players not putting in the effort that they should, I personally would get Ian Wright and some proper legends to go into the club and tell these so called superstars what it means to play for US

    4. No because if city was a one off you could say unlucky
      It’s not unlucky if most big games you mentally fold moment you deal with adversity

  7. As I said immediately after the Forest loss the result was meaningles in the grand scheme of things. In fcat I also said the loss is beneficial to our PL chances as we now have less games to play. Its like 99% of Arsenal fans saying our season was over after going 0-3. Since then we have the second best PL record in the league. A return to Europe from the league has been the goal this season. Top 4 would be a welcome bonus but for me not expected at all.
    We can actually afford to lose to Spurs Chelsea Westham away and Liverpool at home and still comfortably qualify top 5th or even 4th.
    Without buying any more players.
    Win 8 more home games Brentford Burnley Brighton Everton Leeds Leicester United Wolves 24 points.
    10 points from away games at Watford Palace Newcastle Villa Southampton Wolves.
    = 69 points which would have given us 3rd place last two seasons.
    Any points points at Westham, Chelsea, Spurs and at home to Liverpool would be a great bonus but not totally necessary.
    So we are on track.
    We don’t “need” any more players but is the management desperate/ambitious to spend another 40-50 mill on top of the summer 150m spend to buy 4th place. If they don’t trust the manager to deliver then the answer is probably yes. COYG

  8. Bro ffs pls support ur team it’s absolutely useless with all these negativity saying that we can’t get top 4 🤦, ur a supporter ffs ur supposed to be supportive of ur own team and let me just remind u that the season ain’t over yet just because we had a really disappointing a loss, doesn’t mean that we can still have a good season.

  9. Dan…

    An article like this is difficult to argue against, especially after experiencing such a loss and in the way we did. Without a doubt, the team that took to the field against Nottingham Forest had what it took to win, and with a little more skill and experience, they could have won.

    However, as in any other sport, and drawing particularly from the Chess game, there are critical positions that should not be compromised, which is exactly what we did in that game: the midfield positions. I’ve considered whether Arteta should be held accountable for such a glaring shortcoming in such an important position of the game. While many would blame him, probably for their own reasons, we could also ask pertinent questions, such as what personnel were available to him? In this regard, he chose to play the only available option within the team at the time, and we can’t argue with that. While we can criticize him for letting AMN go so soon, we don’t have a complete understanding of what goes on behind the television screens, social media pages, and news publications. As a result, we can only point fingers ignorantly.

    Finally, I believe that lessons have been learned, but we will only know this based on the outcomes of the upcoming games. No doubt, this current lack of personnel needs to be addressed as soon as possible because we are short and vulnerable in the midfield. Arteta, unfortunately, will be ultimately responsible for taking the sticks, despite the fact that other parties, including the club’s proprietors, are involved.

    Nonetheless, we move forward with optimism, hoping that mistakes will be corrected and lessons learned!

    Stay safe and wishing us well!


    1. Fire, your penultimate sentence :

      How many more times are we expected to learn from our mistakes?

      Why has the season been riddled with inconsistencies, both on and off the pitch?

      Every true Gooner wants MA to succeed, but when would YOU, personally, say enough is enough?

      1. “The Cups are our only route to happiness this campaign, the only chance of silverware? ”
        I am happy every time the club plays whether we win, lose or draw.
        I will be shocked but elated with 4th.
        I will be very happy with 5th/6th.
        Disappointed but ok with 7th.
        8th place or below and then we must change the manager.

  10. Perspective shouldn’t change as drastically as the ins and put at arsenal since MA came along.

    I keep saying it, look at the turnaround of ins and outs needed just to get us in the mix. But the work isn’t done yet, still 5 or 6 players needed to be sold, and 4 or 5 to come in.

    So to read the current situation as a failure if we don’t get top 4, means not truly appreciating at what stage we are at in this journey.

    Current league position and positive team performances is easy to blind us. But in the end, it’s the end of the road when we know the situation

    1. Four or five players needed to be sold, four players needed to come in. O dear have you really thought about what you have said. Even if there was the remotest chance of selling fringe players we would get very little for them. Also players have contracts and are quite entitled to refuse to go if they do not see things to their advantage. To bring any player let alone four would require another big investment from the club which I believe will not happen in this window. There well might be one or two players brought in but only if they are high class players and are considerably better than those we have. Those sort of players are costly and are not easily convinced to leave their present club to come to Arsenal. Yes, they might come for a massive salary and at the same time prove to be not good enough. So it is not a simple thing to say 5 out 4 in its not a supermarket.

  11. I knew who was the writer just by looking at the title. Using that same logic i am stating that our display vs City shows that we will finish in the top 4.

  12. But we lost Ackshay, so how would we finish in the top four?

    Yes, we played well, but we lost.

    I don’t read anything that the author has written, that he cannot back up, as much as we might want / think otherwise.

    1. Can you imagine man u losing two games in a row and some fans wanting positive Feedback?
      How far we have fallen

      1. We have become a mediocre team and the fans too have become a mediocre. Our expectations have become very low.
        After spending alot of millions last summer (the highest in the epl), some fans are comfortable with top 6.
        We have improved massively, fine, but why should we regress? Why support any form of backsliding?

  13. To be frank, Arteta is making it difficult to support him. I don’t know how he wants to explain it that we didn’t have a shot on target against Notingham Forest; it is so embarrassing.
    Alot of you backing him are saying the midfield is empty….. Did you guys watch the way our attack plays, they are all pathetic (Mart, Saka, Ordega and the Clown (Nketia).
    If we continue playing like that against any premier league team, we’ll get massacred. We played with 7 first team players and still couldn’t get a shot on goal.
    Let’s forget Negativity or being pessimistic, let’s be realistic, can a performance like that get you anywhere?

  14. Ken…

    Let’s put it this way: if your job is as dynamic as professional sports or any other job that requires you to face new challenges all the time, you are more likely to make mistakes along the way. As a result, you continue to learn until you master the art. Even if you master the art, with time and the law of decay, you will inevitably decline, and new concepts and processes may be required to maintain top performance.

    That being said, I really want to see Arteta converge on his consistent first team players, and at the very least good backups, and then if he still fails to perform based on his acquired team, he should be fired.

    I will prefer to pass judgement at the end of the season. By then, I believe there should be enough evidence to decide whether or not to drop the axe!

    Nevertheless Ken, I sense your frustration and understandably so! And I guess my patience with Arteta is becoming a pain to hear! *smiling*

    Trust you are doing fine and your daughter too…

    Warm regards!


  15. The Forest result is not an “end of the world” result, it hasn’t undermined our priority which is getting top four..

    Even though is disappointing, but I do think the manager underated the championship side, I see no reason why he would start and inexperience Patino along side Error prone and not ready Lokonga when he could have simply played either Chambers or White or both of them in the midfield and we wouldn’t be worse.

    And why on Earth is Nketiah even playing when he is hell bent on leaving?

    Nottingham Forest are not doing badly and they could beat a few sides in the premier league currently if arranged, plus our previous record against them, we should have gone with better personnels rather than what we came up with.

    We need to understand that each time Arsenal lines up to play a game, we are lining up like an under 23 side, so there isn’t any need to bring more inexperience to an inexperience team no matter the cup.. We should go with our best and senior players in every cup or opportunity we’ve got.

    Lastly not that am too pissed anyway cos deep inside I want us to concentrate on the league and get top 4, if elimination from the cups is the price we are going to be paying for that, then so be it

  16. I have always had doubts as to Artetas ability to get us top 4. The Forest game on its own has nothing to do with wether we get top 4 but it showed up some things that Arteta and Arsenal are doing wrong, that makes me think why we wont get top 4. The players we have let go, the squad player we have and the decisions that go on week by week and game by game are so naive and damaging.

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