Wenger blames players after Gunners FA Cup loss
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger pointed fingers at his players following yesterday’s title defence-ending 4-2 defeat to Nottingham Forest in the third round of the FA Cup.
Wenger blasted his players’ defensive performance but rejected suggestions that his weak team selection contributed to the result.
“Unfortunately, it was the case on top of that to see the team lose because we played against a very good Nottingham Forest team that was sharp, focused, won the challenges that were decisive and you know overall our performance today was not good enough to win the game.”
“Defensively, you cannot afford the mistakes we made today to get away with a good result.”
“It was very frustrating,” added Wenger in relation to having to watch the match from the sidelines due to his touchline ban.
Wenger selected several bit-part players for yesterday’s game with Joseph Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, and Reiss Nelson all featuring in the starting line-up. Defensive pair Rob Holding and Per Mertesacker have only played a combined 11 Premier League appearances between them this season.
To make matters worse, first team regulars Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere, Hector Bellerin, Petr Cech, Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey, Alexandre Lacazette, Olivier Giroud, and Francis Coquelin were not even named among the substitutes.
“We had eight or nine international players and only two young players in the team, so I believe it would be a bit easy to think that was a problem today,” Wenger said in defence of his selections.