Was Arteta right to withdraw Tavares so early against Forest?

Watching the first half of yesterday’s FA cup game against Forest was like watching paint dry for Arsenal fans, but without any smooth finish at the end of it.

I saw just about every player being a yard slow and misplacing passes all over the place, not to mention the wastefulness of our strikers and the complete ineffectiveness of our midfielders.

But just over half an hour into the game, Tavares was the one who was taken off and replaced by Kieran Terney. The left back then stomped off the pitch with the hump, and threw his gloves to the ground showing his anger.

Ian Wright was not happy with Tavares’ reaction. ‘He started very poorly with this bad backpass, and with this one you look at his reaction,’ Wright said on ITV. ‘He is coming off, he’s throwing his gloves down, I think this is the wrong manager to do this with.

‘The disrespect the is showing at the minute is something Mikel Arteta won’t like, he shouldn’t be acting like that with the performance he put in.’

Nottingham Forest v Arsenal

I agree it has been widely acknowledged that the Portugese defender was not playing very well, but he was certainly not the only one, and you could argue that Arteta’s actions even unsettled the rest of the team by showing his angry petulance by singling out one individual for the blame. Would that have helped the atmosphere on the pitch?

There was only ten minutes until half time, so the Boss could have waited and bawled out the whole team, including Tavares if he wanted, but now there is a possibility of him having another unhappy player in his ranks.

Do you think it was sensible to make an example of Tavares so early in the game?

The Just Arsenal Show
Dan Smith talks about knife crime in London, No More Red, and doing things ‘The Arsenal Way’

Tags Nuno Tavares


  1. If it had changed the complexation of the game then yes, but did it….no! We lost, end of story.

    All it’s done now is damages Tavares’ confidence. For someone that’s young and new to England he’ll have a couple bad games and this was one of them but he’s also had really good games.

    Bottom line you’d never see MA do that to some of his “favourite” players regardless of how poor their performance may be.

    You need consistency when dealing with a squad and for every to be treated fairly, looking in from the outside that does not seem to be the case over MA’s tenure.

      1. Well if he was allowed to continue, we sure as hell would’ve conceded because of him. Then this same lot would’ve blame it on MA for NOT subbing him off.

        Looked like he was sick or something. Nevee seen someone jogging and pressing so half-heartedly.

        1. We’ve had players perform poorly in different games over the season so far, why haven’t other players been hauled off after 30 mins when having a rubbish game?

          It’s not the decision itself, it’s the lack of consistency. If you can’t understand that then I don’t know

          1. Saying Tavares was poor, is sugar coating, he was absolurely lethargic. There was one dangerous cross from his side, if you look that clip again, you can see how pathetic his effort to stop that cross was. He really stopped even trying! Then there was that hoofing when no one was around, we just don’t do that. Then misplaced passes.

            Also his tracking back was incredibly slow. We know he’s fast but yesterday, as I said, he looked like was sick or hung over.

            There is difference having poor game like Tierney and playing absolutely quarter-heartedly.

            I dont know what was up with him but he was correctly subbed off as he didn’t look to be in the right set of mind.

        2. No one would of blamed Arteta for anything because who would of thought Arteta would of done what he did? As the report said he singled out Nuno when the whole team was playing bad and had Arteta waited till half time all we’d be talking about is how bad we played and lost. Arteta rash reaction was wrong.

      2. @Mark 2.0 Is playing through a poor performance and trying to get better not part of gaining experience? That’s how young players learn, on the pitch.

        Maybe you’ve never played sport competitively I don’t know but there is nothing more demoralising than being taken off very early. Get him in at half time and give him a solid talking to and tell him he’s got 5 mins to show he wants to be on the pitch or he’s off!

      3. Mark is dot on. You can’t have a player making 3x school boy errors inside 20min and who is unable to move forward, as he got hemd in by a right winger with tremendous pace. At least trienry gave a slightly better effort in containing the opponent.

    1. Tavares was obviously all over the place and his mind not in it at all.
      As a singled out decision, Arteta was right here. He is of course responsible for the abysmal performance in general, and should be critized for that.

    2. Jesus pjsa, maybe there was something else at play that we aren’t privy to?? Oh I forgot, you people have all the knowledge of the club at your fingertips.. regular insiders lol

    3. PJ-SA White was just as bad strolling around the pitch carrying the ball to the half way line you would have thought we were 3-0 up. He had as much like as a bottle of Lemonade with the top off Idle b****rd needs a kick up the arse

  2. There was only one response that I would describe as petulant and it wasn’t Arteta’s.

    Tavares has had a great start to his Arsenal career but his attitude and approach was all wrong yesterday. Hopefully he will learn. And hopefully Arteta doesn’t freeze him out.

    Yes it would have been nicer and gentler and spared Tavere’s blushes had Arteta had waited until halftime to give them all the hairdryer treatment that they deserved. Maybe it would have been more effective given that nothing changed after halftime. But I’ve got no problem with Arteta being more ruthless than what we’ve seen previously – the culture at Arsenal needed changing, is changing but, as yesterday showed, is not where it needs to be. Yet.

  3. Yes to the substitution but maybe wait until half time, i agree PJ this could damage his confidence, take him off at half time if no improvement and have and explain to him why you are doing it, much less brutal than just hauling him off after half hour and ignoring him completely, i can understand his reaction but he was poor as were the rest to be honest, I cannot see Nketiha being a top striker at this level we need to replace Auba, end of.

  4. I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again ,it was a pathetic decision from a manager who does not like his authority questioned ,I’m not defending Tavares display as he was sloppy but no more sloppy than the rest of the players ,the problem is that Tavares had Arteta shouting in his ear over and over and over for the half hour he was on the pitch words we’re exchanged leading up to his removal which obviously Arteta can not handle and him being right in front of the pit bull took the brunt of his displeasure.
    To top it off Tierney came on and was just as bad and was guilty for his part in the goal ,couldn’t make it up .

    1. Your comments concerning Tierney are nonsense but you clearly put him in the same bracket as Arteta when it comes to hostility. Tavares, whom I like, was clearly struggling with his game, and was by some margin ,the poorest player on the pitch.I do not condone Arteta’s decision to hook him when he did and I hope Tavares returns against Liverpool.Lokonga was directly culpable for the Forest goal, and how you perceive Tierney as being the guilty party is beyond me and any other reasonably minded fan .Ackshay summer you up pretty well so perhaps you ought to revert to him in your own inimitable manner.

      1. Well seeing you said you didnt watch the game how would you know .
        I have nothing agaist Tierney as you seem to think ,as I rate him as a solid left back but he did no better when he came in and to suggest he had no role to play in the goa in complete nonsense (your favourite word )
        He was stood ball watching and jogged back ,how you can say different is weird but then again you never stop talking about him as he’s Scottish and you seem to think he does no wrong .
        Tavares was awful Tierney was just as bad as was the whole team along with the novice manager you condemn others for speaking out about .
        I’m honest in my views ,if you don’t like them move along buddy and bother some one else .

        1. Regarding ashkayI haven’t seen a post to respond in an inimitable manner towards him but I would imagine if I did it would be in the same vein I just gave you your answer.

          1. Did arsenal performance got better after Tavares replaced ? no .for me no player is to be blamed for the arsenal loss it is up to the coach to train the players individually to make them fighters not to repeat their mistakes ,to have a good ball control, to have a precise pass ,to have a controlled dribling, to have on target and precise shoot on goal,not to make errors even in forced conditions to be strong and win fifth fifty ball on air and on ground, to have a good timely tackle with out a foul and as a team also to have a good,aggressive coordination, pressing tactics at the defense, midfield and attack. So it is the responsibility of the coach to train the players individually and as a team to get the performance required to be a champion.

        2. watch the game again Dan

          for 35 mins he got 1/10 for me and thats being nice

          He was worse then when Eboue got subbed on and off with 20 mins.

          1. I didn’t say he played well Val
            So read what I said again 👍
            Funny You mention Eboue which I remember very well ,but My most vivid memory of our boss was getting brought on by Wenger and giving a goal away and being brought off as well .
            Strange how 2 different situations come together but have so much in common .

          2. Val ,he sees what he wants to see.Perception rather than reality, but he is never wrong. He is on record on this site calling for us to sell Tierney and recently pronounced that Tavares was the superior LB.Will be now admit these facts or deny them.

            1. And there it is ,holding a strange grudge from what I said last season ,but not giving the whole context as per normal with this sites contributors in your vein .
              If I remember right I suggested that with Tierney injured all the time we should look to get in a LB to replace him ,you did your usual (“what football knowledge did I have “)(your brown nosed buddy jonny boy chimed in as well )low and behold that was exactly what happened Tavares came in and looked something special but Arteta benched him for the safe option In Tierney .
              I will stand what I said about Tavares being the better player ,maybe ask your sarcastic question to other frequent posters on here and see if I’m alone in my thinking .
              Talk about bias buddy .
              I’m sure Val will now answer your question that was aimed at me 🙄

  5. If Tavares didn’t follow the coaches’ instructions or played below their standard, he should’ve accepted Arteta’s decision

    Tavares needs to learn from Leroy Sane, who was substituted 36 minutes after coming as a substitute in a Bayern Muenchen’s match. Sane had been told to improve his defensive play if wanted more minutes in Bundesliga and I guess this was similar to what happened to Ozil/ Aubameyang

    Tavares should’ve apologized and trained harder, otherwise he could end up like Guendouzi

    1. Gai
      I wonder the essence of this kind of article? There are better issues to discuss on how to improve our team and essure we make top 4 or 6. By this article, are we to judge the coach or support the player?. In this case, anyone who watched the match can easily see why the coach had to remove Tavares. Players should learn to humbly accept they need to improve their games when reproved by their coach and drop their ego. I guess Auba’s ego is one of the reason why he might not be a regular for Arsenal again.

      1. I bet the writer believes whatever is written won’t affect the team and he or she could always apologize if the team finishes fourth by the end of this season

  6. As we lost and the winner came from our left flank I would say no, he wasn’t right but it was worth try as Tavares did look out of sorts for some reason

    But maybe Tavares’s very mini “tantrum” was to do with his frustration about his own game rather than being aimed at Arteta

  7. No he should have stayed on infact see these cup games doesn’t matter who the premiership teams play ,it should be a full team out as in 1st team every game that’s why the get paid and there contracts give them so much, arteta was doing good there but thts a cpl times we have been put out to Nottingham forest now ,so get real big team/small team play our way to win by playing our best ,bcoz of last night were the laughing stock now and the F.A cup is our cup we have the most wins in trophys , this blame is on arteta, if he wants to play youngsters wait untill the can prove to be in the 1st team every week then we can complain at getting beat but this was artetas fault last night ,mind Forrest ain’t no mug of a team……..COYG

  8. Something was obviously wrong with Tavares during the first quarter of the match .While he is normally switched on and enthusiastic in his work, he looked lethargic and disinterested to such an extent that I wonder if he was unwell.In my opinion Arteta was wrong to sub Tavares when he did for two reasons.First of all any issues could have been discussed between player and Manager at half time, behind closed doors.Secondly,Tavares was playing with young Patino for the first time in a competitive match.Patino himself was quite honestly struggling and Forest were making inroads down their right flank with the impressive Spence.Arteta should have offered advice and guidance to try to bring about the desired improvement down the left but he exercised discipline which to me was over the top.The fact that Tavares was unhappy is not an issue as I would expect any professional to react like he did as no doubt he was angry and disappointed with his own performance.Tavares will learn from his humbling and I am sure he will show us his true colours when next he plays, hopefully against Liverpool.Given our midfield absentees, I had visions of Arteta using Chambers and Tavares to beef us up in that area with Lokonga being used as an AM .Our Manager took a different view by playing a midfield three bereft of a ball winner and physical presence, and I am afraid his selection cost us dearly.Perhaps my thinking will come into play against Liverpool.?

    1. Tavares’ wing was a freaking highway for Nottingham! Add the dangerous backcross/pass to Leno, the many little blunders he was making for example hoofing foward when he can pass the ball… he was simply not concentrating and something had to be done.

      1. Hoofing the ball from our box in the 20th minute.
        I was so pissed.
        Like he had the chance to control the ball and hold possession and pick a pass but he just goofed it and we were under pressure again.
        Even young Patino who was opened for a pass raised his hands up like what was that you just did?

        1. That’s the moment that sticks out to me, much more than some of the other examples. It led to a corner kick I believe.

          Having said that, this whole discussion highlights some downside to Arteta’s decision as it puts the focus on Tavares’ mistakes and arguably let’s others off the hook. You could say he is taking one for the team and it would be nice if the captain on the day (Holding?) came out and said that none of them put in a shift.

          Tough call for Arteta and probably too early to say whether it was the right one. At least he had the moxie to make it.

  9. Should have waited until half-time then any reaction would have been behind closed doors. Arteta is still inexperienced when it comes to man management, which is where a father figure like Wenger would help him.

    He needs to learn not to air his dirty laundry in public. That said there are 2 issues here, one is was Tavares ignoring instructions from the side lines? Two understanding is Tavares a left back or a wing back, does Tavares or arteta know that yet?

    Another far more worrying thing for me was that Artera could not see that patino and sambi are too similar and how uncomfortable Rob holding looked as the left sided centre back. His distribution was simply awful.

    Perhaps if Mari had played left, Holding right and White instead of paying, then Tavares, sambi and holding would not have struggled so much?

    We will never know now, but let’s hope Arteta and others have learned from our 8th defeat of the season

  10. Rather than focus on Tavares it was clear Spence for Forest was a danger all match and super quick.. I think that was a key factor for bringing on a more defensive minded left back…for me Tavares should be converted to a winger anyway

    With regards to the goal it came from a mistake from Lokonga rather than Tierney for me.

    Overall goes to show that the back ups are not good enough. Nketiah had a great opportunity to showcase why he should be kept but agaisnt championship opposition did not do that

    Anyway…”we can focus on the league now”!

  11. I think it is arrant nonsense to claim that MA “made an example of TAVARES”.
    That is a typical snowflake reaction and I DETEST SUCH WIMPISH TALK.

    What MA patently did was to take off our by FAR worst player- quite an”achievement” yesterday btw, and he did this for the good of the team he is paid to manage. And the team which SOME OF US support MORE than the woeful LB who started the game. Of whose feelings might have been hurt, poor little child! Ah diddums!!

  12. Who really cares what Arteta does..He was the one who wasted funds on Tavares..it’ shows how clueless Arteta is

  13. No Arteta should not have done to Tavares what he did, wait while half time to make the change, dont show him up because he is young and don’t treat some players differently. He doesn’t haul xhaka off for worse, he makes him captain. If he wants to ruin Tavares, he is going about it the right way. He was a footballer he should know the crack. What he did, didn’t change the game, so it was a poor thing to do.

  14. I think this misses the bigger picture here, how dreadfully poor everyone was, including the manager.

    There were several players who could have been subbed off for their poor performances. They looked uninterested from the start, and Arteta had nothing to change the attitude or performances on the pitch.

    That lot looked like it was their first time ever playing together, and the rust on some players was nearly visible.

  15. Jon, hope you read my reply to you, when asking for your comment regarding the result.

    On to your views above-the question being asked is not who one supports in this situation, but was MA right to do it the way he did… quite a difference.

    The only other manager I can recall doing this, is Mourinho, but that doesn’t make it right or wrong.

    As Dan kit pointed out, he had MA in his ear for the full 30 odd minutes he was on the pitch and was also facing one of the best players I’ve seen from the championship in quite a while… I’m sure he will have a great future and we could think of going for him ourselves.

    My personal view is that I would not have done it in the way MA did, but would have waited until half time.
    What this will have done to his confidence only time will tell and I’m sure, while admitting he was absolute pants, there were eight or nine other players who could have been treated in the same way.

    The bottom line is that we were a complete shambles and, for the second year running, out of the cup and licking our wounds.

  16. Won’t add much to the ladies and gentlemen, wait till half time, vad day for Nuno..etc.
    On another note, I am not sure how Arteta decided that Niles is less prepared than Sambi.
    Same goes for Chambers, the number of minutes he is having, given that he competes with Cedric, Elneny, Sambi, Xhaka, and under performing Partey (even Benwhite and Holding at times) is not understandable to me.
    The way he is managing the squad is questionable.
    If we finishes 4th, no one will care especially if we somehow won league cup.
    Anything less is a failure that should not be tolerated. Top 6 is why Arsenal forced Wenger out.

  17. I don’t know the inside facts but tarvares is a frustrating character. In one instance he is pure error-prone and another class and pace. Clearly the mark of a young talent needing shaping.
    Nothing wrong with showing a sign of frustration from the manager but it might have been more about what tierney can give them what tarvares wasn’t.

    If the player is having a off day then so be it.

    To be honest, MA could of taken off the whole team they were that poor.

    On a side note, sell Eddie to Newcastle. 8m get it done before we loss a player for free. Everyone knows he ain’t good enough for the level we need yet he has improved whilst in the 1st team mix, he will only ever make a Squad player.
    And thou I’m happy with that, he is not so get the cash in and the player out.

  18. Arteta is a poor man manager and should have waited until half time and spoke man to man. I hated the way he treated William Saliba at the time. He needs to learn how to treat his players, it’s Arteta’s worst quality, and may have a lot to do in the way the team collapsed.

  19. In principle it looked good as Tavares was awful but in practice it only made sense if arteta had some game plan behind the move … Which he didn’t as bringing tiernay on made no difference the continued woeful performance of the entire team …remember when Emery went on an unbeaten run and the talk was all about a new dawn … I seriously worry that history is about to repeat itself with farcical consequences … Of which the return of Ramsey would be a massive sign

  20. I wanted Tavares to start as I really rate him but of course he needed hooking off, he gave away the ball 9 times in the first 34 minutes and was generally having a shocker, the fact Tierney didn’t do much better is another story altogether. Talk of Arteta’s favourite players argument and suggesting others performing similarly not getting subbed is rubbish as I don’t recall anyone else having a similar half hour. One would have thought Tierney would have made a huge difference, but no, he had a bad day too. Arteta couldn’t wait till half time as Tavares was so bad he was being targeted by the opposition.

  21. I have always been a great admirer of Tavares enthusiasm but after the Liverpool game, he seem to have lost all confidence as he passed back alot, hardly took on players recently or go on the fearless runs forward……there must be something wrong in training

    The fact remains that lacazette is the key to our outstanding performances…

    Lokonga needs to bulk up…

    The advantage arsenal has in the EPL is the speed of our youthful players…but against a quick nothingham forest team, we couldn’t outrun them

    Martinelli for d first time couldn’t outrun a full back..Spence was quicker..

    Lessons learnt, unto the next game

  22. i do think there is a decent player hiding in nunos body to be honest. there is something about him that says he will come good,eventually.that young man has something, i wish all of our current crop of players had his commitment and passion.as for taking him off in the 35th minute, well, is that not what arteta gets his millions to do, make harsh decisions, for the good of the team .every single player yesterday was pathetic, ive never seen an arsenal team to lie down as such.and, it makes not a difference now if arteta was right or wrong to take taveres off. we were beaten, deservedly so , we are out of the F A cup, boo hoo, lets get on with our lives,even the greatest of teams are beaten sometimes, thats what sport is all about, the fighting chance.

  23. The manager has every right to bring off a player who is having a stinker and has failed to show up on the day. Questions arise when thinking why doesn’t he do this more often, and why are some players given a pass to complete a game despite minimal contribution. And how can he justify the idiotic decision to bring on Kolasinac in the final minutes when what you need is a final Al or nothing play. Dumb just got dumber.

  24. Players have em, I remember Emmanuel Eboue being ridiculed by the fans. Wenger dragged him off to save him any further embarrassment after a couple of matches in the under 23s he knuckled down got back in the squad and became some sort of cult figure on the terraces. Hopefully that is the model arteta and Tavares use rather than the Ozil, guendozi one

  25. I would play him tomorrow night v Chelsea in the EFL trophy if he is eligible, along with patino, bierith Hutchinson, moller and Eddie.

    v Liverpool I would select a 451 formation if every one is fit

    Tomi White Gabriel Tierney
    Saka Odegaard Xhaka ESR Martineli

    Ramsdale, Cedric, holding Mari Kolasinac, chambers, sambi, Nketiah, bierith

    1. We play Spurs away 3 days later, which I think is even more important than Carabao Cup.. so I believe we cannot play our best available XI on Thursday..

      1. So I would suggest:

        ———— Leno
        Chambo – Rob – Gabi – Kola?
        —– Patino – Xhaka
        ESR – Ödegaard – Martinelli
        ——— Nketiah

        Subbing Gabriel, Öde, ESR/Martinelli for Tomi, Laca, Saka if things look good. Xhaka don’t need rest I think, he’s played quite a lot of full matches even in short timeframes.

  26. I have said more than once that Arteta is part of the problem at Arsenal. With his attitude towards some players this team will never succeed

  27. Since Arteta’s manage Arsenal believe Taveres has in his game the right top defensive quality as a leftback that they want to have at leftback, in addition to Tierney whom they already nave for the position before they sign Taveres last summer.

    Despite the gross rudeness shown to his manager in our last Nottm Forest FA Cup 3rd round match in which his below par performance in the match led to him being substituted before half-time of the match.

    Nevertheless, I as Arsenal fan would like it if Arteta keeps his patience over Taveres showing of rudeness to him. But sit him down to talk to him over his showing of bad attitude to him. Telling him to desist from showing such bad attitude to him again or to any of his coaching staff henceforth with. And make him understand to focus seriously on improving on his performance quality level in games for Arsenal. Which is paramount to him Arteta as the Gunners boss than.being shown rudeness to as Taveres has done.

    In the meantime, Arteta should in the interest of giving Taveres a chance to develop his game performance to the top level consistently for Arsenal keep on molding him. But Taveres too MUST always be showing full respect and obedience to Arteta his manager. Otherwise, he’ll end up having a fall out relationship with his gaffer which will not be well for him at the club.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs