Per Mertesacker has thrown out a warning shot to his team-mates who may not get more chances for Arsenal thanks to dismal display.
The Gunners lost to Nottingham Forest at the weekend to give up their chance to win a fourth FA Cup in only five seasons, losing 4-2 to the lower league side.
The retiring German defender has now warned those players who were awarded a chance to prove their worth to the manager in the match that they may no longer get time on the pitch this term, with only the latter stages of the Carabao Cup, the Premier League and the Europa League left to compete for.
‘The players who didn’t play a lot recently, no one justified their selection,’ he said.
‘In the first half, we played “in the park” a little bit-we were not precise, especially in the final third. Second half, there was a little bit more spirit from ourselves but they out-battled us.
‘It is difficult to take because for those players who played it was probably their last chance to show up and show the manager that they are ready to play more games. It is not the case anymore.’
The German went onto slam those who featured during the match, claiming they didn’t look like they really wanted to win it.
Mertesacker added: ‘We wanted the FA Cup, we had to defend it. You couldn’t see that we really wanted to defend it. This round is always the toughest. You face a championship side, away, you need to be ready and for the majority of the game we were not.’
A mass exodus is claimed to be on the cards this month, but could that be tied to the disgraceful displays of many at the weekend? Is Mertesacker right to slam the players even though some of the younger players may not quite be deserving of such criticisms?