Former footballer Kevin Campbell has criticized Arsenal's performance in their FA Cup third-round tie against Nottingham Forest. The Gunners put in a woeful display, registering no shots on target to lose 1-0 to the EFL Championship side and exit the famous competition.
Speaking to Football Insider after the match, Campbell said:
“I know it was a makeshift team at times but you have to have more quality than that. Look at you, the players on the pitch. You have got to have more quality than that. It started off bad and just got worse. To have no shot on target… This is a Premier League side. The players need to have a good look at themselves.”
He added that Forest deserved the win as they showed more desire than their fancied opponents during the game.
“Nottingham Forest deserved to win, let me get that straight," he said. "They were more tenacious, played more as a team and the only quality seen in the final third came from them.”
However, Campbell believes the young Gunners squad need to dust themselves off and prepare earnestly for the next game. Arteta's side play Liverpool in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final tomorrow (13 January).
“They cannot be despondent though because there is a semi final this week," he said. "They have to dust themselves down and be ready to go again.”
Arsenal likely to miss key players for Liverpool clash
While the result against Nottingham Forest will certainly raise concerns, Arteta will hope to get his team back on track ahead of their encounter with the Reds. The Carabao Cup represents Arsenal's only chance of winning any silverware this season.
However, the Gunners may be a little shorthanded going into the fixture. Arteta confirmed after their defeat against Forest that Emile Smith Rowe, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Granit Xhaka are all doubtful for the clash. While Smith Rowe and Tomiyasu are carrying injuries, Xhaka recently tested positive for COVID-19.
The Premier League giants will also be without Thomas Partey, who is currently representing Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Liverpool, on the other hand, will be without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who are also on AFCON duty, while Thiago Alcantara is still injured.