Per Mertesacker has hit out at the Arsenal team after their woeful performance in the 4-2 FA Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest (via Arsenal.com).
It was a serious low point in a competition which Arsenal have dominated in recent years.
The 4-2 defeat to Nottingham Forest was the Gunners’ first defeat in the third round of the FA Cup for over two decades and the fallback began almost immediately after the match.
Per Mertesacker started the match and scored the Gunners’ opening goal but he was not best pleased with his side’s performance.
“The manager made a lot of changes,” Mertesacker said after the match. “[He] gave a lot of trust to players who haven’t played a lot recently and I don’t think anybody justified their selection today.
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“That sums it up I think.”
Mertesaker then went on to explain why he thought the team performed so poorly.
“It’s difficult. In the first half we played in the park a little bit. We were not precise, especially in the final third. We couldn’t create a lot of chances.
“In the second half there was a little bit more spirit from ourselves, but in the duels you could see that they out-battled us and that little momentum never really changed.
“When we scored to make it 3-2 and when he mis-kicked the penalty, obviously we expressed it to the ref but he didn’t listen.
“It’s difficult to take because for those players who played today, that was probably a last chance to show up and show the manager that they’re ready to play more games. It’s not the case anymore.”
So, Mertesacker believes that this match was the final opportunity for some of these players to prove to Arsene Wenger that they are ready to play more match. The German must be referring to the likes of Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck, Mohamed Elneny and even himself who have all been left out of the Premier League squads of late. It’s clear that those players didn’t cover themselves in praise.