Mikel Arteta accused his Arsenal teammates of a lack of passion during their FA Cup exit at Nottingham Forest.
Arsenal fell at Nottingham Forest 1-0, with Forest captain Lewis Grabban scoring the winning goal with seven minutes remaining.
Arsenal embarrassingly failed to score a goal all night, and Arteta could not disguise his annoyance afterwards.
‘We needed more will and zeal to win at all costs,’ the Spaniard stated. We required significantly more.
‘I am quite dissatisfied with my performance.
‘Not with our attitude, but with how much purpose we have and how determined we were to turn the game in the face of adversity.
‘It’s infuriating, but it happened, and we need to determine why.
‘I’ve been playing games like this for 18 years, and the challenges you’re going to face are unsurprising.
‘It is really painful right now.
‘This is a rivalry that is ingrained in our past, and exiting it today is a significant hardship.
‘We lacked the incisiveness, commitment, and purpose necessary to move the ball with sufficient quality.
‘And when we did have a chance, we missed the objective.’
Arteta made some alterations to his typical lineup but nevertheless fielded a team loaded with internationals and youthful talent.
However, Forest were so dominant early on that Arteta dragged teenage left-back Nuno Tavares out after half an hour.
The Portuguese 21-year-old responded by tossing his gloves to the ground near the dugout.
Afterwards, Arteta stated, ‘I did it only to win.
‘I have to make the decision to attempt to enhance the team’s performance when I sense that it is heading in the wrong direction.
‘I’m not interested in discussing individuals.’
Steve Cooper, the team’s new manager, started in September and has already helped the club climb the table. As a result of this victory, he will face East Midlands rivals Leicester in the Round of 16 next month.
Cooper confessed that his squad was at ease during the victory.
‘If someone told us we’d score a goal, miss a good chance, and perhaps have a penalty, but they wouldn’t have a shot on goal, I believe we’d take it.
‘Yes, I did feel at ease. Someone said to me that it must have been a long eight minutes following our goal. However, I’ve had an additional eight minutes.
‘By that, I do not intend any disrespect. The players were really invested in winning. I felt absolutely no threat.’