Pundit praises Arteta for what he did in the game against Nottingham Forest

Noel Whelan has praised Mikel Arteta for his decision to take off Nuno Tavares in Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest.

The Portuguese youngster was handed a rare start by the Spaniard for the FA Cup game, but he struggled at the early stages and was subbed off in the 35th minute.

That is an unusual time to replace a player when he is not injured, but the Arsenal manager made the right decision, according to the former Leeds United man, Whelan.

He claimed managers are paid to make tough decisions and Arteta showed he knows what is asked of him with that decision.

The player might not be happy, however, he has been very error-prone for much of this season and deserved to be subbed.

He tells Football Insider: “We’ve seen before that his distribution on the ball isn’t of the standard we expect from an Arsenal player. You can’t keep giving the ball away, it’s really disappointing.

“It’s so important to Arsenal that they keep the ball and recycle it properly. Sometimes you’ve got to cut a man loose for the benefit of the side if he can’t do that.

“It’s not to take a pot shot at one particular player, it’s about making a tough decision for the good of the team, as Arteta did.

“Even though they didn’t win, that shows the strength in character of the manager.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

Tavares has had more than enough chances to prove his worth to Arsenal and knows he has to do better.

The embarrassment of being subbed off in the early exchanges should motivate him to become better than he has been in recent matches.

At 21, the former Benfica man will get better and he has an outstanding player to learn from in Kieran Tierney.

Tags mikel arteta noel whelan


  1. elliott says:

    it’s a shame really, he really made a good start to the games in which he played. I don’t know what changed but the Liverpool game really changed how he’s been.

    1. Neil says:

      I think issue is a lack of match time…no European football has caused this

  2. Reggie says:

    Noel who?

  3. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    frankly I have no qualms with a manager removing a player from the pitch when they’re underperforming, especially if this type of managerial maneuver has been equally dispensed in previous matches, which hasn’t been the case whatsoever, but considering that few if any players were putting in a shift, I would have waited until halftime before subbing him off

    managing young players is a delicate dance, one that requires a manager to walk a fine line between making player’s accountable for their respective actions without embarrassing them unnecessarily in the process…usually a manager will have some experiences to draw upon whenever they encounter these types of highly nuanced situations, but sadly this doesn’t really apply here…unfortunately, far too often MA’s man management style has failed to pass muster, as he’s had a somewhat disturbing propensity to turn molehills into mountains…as such, he appears to lack the requisite amount of foresight that’s usually required whenever one is conducting a massive squad rebuild

    1. Siamois says:

      I agree.

    2. jon fox says:

      TRVL.You clearly believe you know better than MA in almost everything, from your regular posts. Such a shame that someone as “clever” as you is not our manager then! NOT!!!

      1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

        JF, you know what’s infinitely more humorous than your old school grade 6 schoolyard “NOT” comment, the fact that I actually had more managerial experience than our present manager prior to us giving him the keys to the kingdom…btw I’m rubber and you’re glue, everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you…just felt you might feel more at ease if I lowered myself to your level

  4. RFrancis says:

    Instead of embarrassing the young player, running the risk of destroying his confidence, a shrewd and competent manager would find other ways to motivate and help his player during a difficult game. Tavares has been one of our best performers this season. He deserved to be treated a lot better.

  5. Damilola says:

    Arteta is the man who is failing with his flexibilities in the use of talented players.

    Nuno Tavares with his pace, strength, technique and height have the qualities to play centre back and develop into another Kolo Toure but Arteta surprisingly shamefully isn’t seeing that.

    Cedric is the player that wasn’t meant to be in that lineup yesterday. Ben should have been shunted to right back with Kolasinac or Nuno drafted in to left centre back meaning Tierney keep his place at left back.

    We all know that Tierney and White are fundamental to the way the team play from the back.

    Also Chambers or Kolasinac to partner Lokonga in the midfield pivot ahead of Patino would have given us more authority on the game than Charlie Patino.

    Nketiah play against us yday. He played so selfishly for himself, refusing to drop deep and be the creative hub so that Saka and Martinelli can find space to run into. Arteta’s bias is the reason he didn’t sub him off for Lacazette. And that’s where we lost the game because Lacazette would have created space for Saka, Ordegaard and Martinelli to move into and win the game for us.

  6. Phil says:

    I’m not condemning Arteta for the line up at Forest. That side had the ability to get a positive result against a slightly above average Championship side. My issue is the tepid performance of every single player with the exception of Leno who did nothing wrong.
    Arteta had to have had more than an eye on the side he wishes to play at Anfield and three days later at The Toilet Bowl. But to have a team perform as they did puts every bit as much blame on Arteta as it does the players.
    Every game is won or lost in midfield and as soon as the side was announced it was obvious where we would struggle yet Arteta thought differently. He is blinded by his ego far too much. This is now two seasons running he has dumped us out of a competition we need. Now we are left with having two games against the Scousers we need to win if only to get the support back onside. And a loss on Sunday is just not acceptable. Arteta has found himself under pressure yet again due to his incompetence

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