Kevin Campbell continues to defend Mikel Arteta’s first-half substitution against Forest

Mikel Arteta substituted Nuno Tavares in the first half of Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat against Nottingham Forest.

The Gunners had made a sloppy start to the game and the Spanish gaffer had to do something about it.

He swapped the former Benfica man for the more reliable Kieran Tierney in the first half.

Expectedly, the former wasn’t happy, and it seemed Arteta had made him a scapegoat for the team’s poor performance.

However, former Arsenal man, Kevin Campbell insists the Spaniard made the decision for the sake of the team.

He didn’t think Arteta did that because of a personal problem with Tavares, instead, it was to shake off the poor start from his team in the early stages.

The former striker tells Football Insider: “The player he brought on, Tierney, was a player he hoped could wake the team up and get them moving.

“That’s why I think he made the move. I don’t think it was personal to Tavares, because we’ve seen how well he’s done since he’s come in.

“On that day, Tavares wasn’t at the races – like a lot of other Arsenal players. Arteta will have been hoping Tierney could have a galvanising effect, but it wasn’t to be.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

Tavares hasn’t been at the races in some games he has played for the club and needs to focus on getting better as a player.

He understandably wasn’t happy with the decision to sub him off in that game, but he should ask his manager how he could have done better to avoid a repeat of that.

Now that Arsenal has exited the FA Cup, the club’s fringe players will struggle to get game time for the rest of the season.

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