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Arteta on early Tavares substitution: I did it to try and improve the team

Mikel Arteta has revealed his decision to substitute defender Nuno Tavares, during the first half of Arsenal‘s FA Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest, was a strategic choice to try and improve the team.

The Gunners were poor throughout the match against Forest, but Tavares had a particularly difficult game when he was taken off after just 34 minutes for Kieran Tierney.

“I just did it to try to improve the performance of the team,” Arteta told ITV after the game.

“I have to make the decision to try to improve the performance of the team when it’s not going in any other direction.”

Simply not good enough

Sunday’s defeat marked just the second time Arsenal have been knocked out of the third round of the FA Cup in 25 years, both times against Forest at the City ground.

Arteta says Arsenal were not good enough and should apologise for their performance.

“I don’t want to use excuses,” Arteta added. “I expect the team I put out to do better and when you don’t in the cup you are out.

“Today [Sunday] showed we were not capable of winning against Forest away from home and didn’t put in the level to win the game.”

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