Nottingham Forest v Arsenal pictures
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Arsenal suffered a humbling defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday. Lewis Grabban’s late goal gave Steve Cooper’s side a deserved victory at the City Ground. Mikel Arteta was understandably furious with the performance from his side.
Arteta almost named as strong a side as possible for the match.
Aaron Ramsdale was rested, with Bernd Leno stepping in and arguably being the Gunners’ best player on the day.
Takehiro Tomiyasu missed out through injury, as did Emile Smith Rowe.
Gabriel was suspended and Granit Xhaka was absent due to Covid.
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Eddie Nketiah was given the nod ahead of Alexandre Lacazette up front, as has been the case in the cup competitions this season.
But the former England under-21 international left plenty to be desired.
Nketiah is out of contract at the end of the season and has rejected all offers of a renewal.
But Arsenal should be withdrawing those offers after Sunday’s performance.
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Nketiah is not rated highly by some Arsenal supporters, who would not be averse to seeing leave despite being an academy graduate.
He missed the Gunners’ biggest chance against Forest, somehow heading miles wide when it looked easier to get an effort on target.
It was a bread and butter chance for a striker who has become known for only scoring from close range.
It would be best for Arsenal and Nketiah to part ways, either this month or at the end of the season.
Rob Holding is another player who continues to face strong criticism from supporters.
Before his serious knee injury in 2018, Holding was tipped to become a solid defender for years to come at the Emirates.
However, he has been unable to rediscover those heights. Forest allowed Holding to venture out of defence with the ball, knowing full well there was a chance he would give it away.
Ben White and Gabriel are firmly the first-choice pairing for Arteta.
If one of those two get injured, Arsenal can kiss goodbye to their Champions League hopes this season.
Cedric Soares is reportedly a target for Atletico Madrid this month.
But Diego Simeone may have been put off following his display at the weekend.
Cedric was given a four-year contract in the summer of 2020 but it is clear he is not at the standard Arteta wants his team to be.
Arsenal have made great progress under Arteta in recent months.
But it is clear there are a few players who still need to be moved on.
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