Arteta was backed last summer as the Gunners spent over £150million on six new signings, but that was only a small part of the first team overhaul which will continue in the next couple of transfer windows.
There were senior players who started at The City Ground who may not be at the club for much longer – and many of them put in a performance which signified the end of their Arsenal careers.
LIVESTREAM: Arsenal vs Manchester cityJanuary 1, 2022
“We have what we have [available] and we know we have issues in many different positions,” said Arteta after the game.
“But we try to put out the most competitive team that we could today to try to win and it wasn’t good enough.
“We have the players to perform better than what they’ve done today and we have the level to beat them if we are at our maximum and today we didn’t have that.”
Cedric Soares was offered to Atletico Madrid last week but his display at right back certainly wouldn’t have turned any heads at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, while Eddie Nketiah cut a toothless figure upfront throughout the game.
Brettbarley.com understands that Arsenal will be in the market for a central midfielder and striker this month, a situation that has become pivotal with Sambi Lokonga the only available senior first team midfielder.
Arsenal couldn’t muster a shot on target during Sunday’s game.
They dominated possession, had more corners and possessed an attacking trio of Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli that many would have expected to produce on such an occasion.
Despite having players missing through international commitments, illness, injury and suspension, there was an evident tactical weakness in Arsenal’s game.
The attacking players looked isolated, the midfielders couldn’t get a hold of the game and the fullbacks were quite clearly the biggest weakness in Arteta’s side.
Arteta gave constant instructions to his players throughout the match and Gabriel Martinelli, positioned out on the left flank, was receiving orders to push further up the pitch in the first half.
What Ramsdale did after Leno’s save
Aaron Ramsdale has become a fans’ favourite at Arsenal since arriving from Sheffield United last summer.
The England international is always animated whether he’s starting between the sticks or watching on from the dugout.
Indeed, it’s something of a rarity to see Ramsdale not starting for Arsenal these days as Bernd Leno was handed a start in the FA Cup tie on Sunday.
Leno was undoubtedly the Gunners’ best player too, as he made a number of impressive saves to keep the scoreline level.
It was another moment that showed exactly why Ramsdale has added a level of positivity to the club – and a reminder that Arsenal have two first class goalkeepers in their squad.
Tavares’ terrible day
“I had to make the decision to try to improve the performance of the team. It’s not to go in any other direction,” said Arteta in response to a question about why he took Nuno Tavares after just 30 minutes.
Tavares misplaced passes, overhit a back pass to Bernd Leno and appeared flustered coming up against the brilliant Djed Spence on Forest’s right hand side.
The substitution itself wasn’t a huge surprise and it shows that Arteta has learnt from past mistakes, with Dani Ceballos staying on the pitch last season against Villarreal whilst on a yellow card – before being sent off soon after.
It may be an unpopular decision from Tavares’ point of view, but it’s not the first time he has evidently gone against what the coach demanded from him.
As a young player he’ll look to improve as he gains more minutes over the coming weeks, although being substituted so early on serves as a reminder that Arteta is not hesitant to make big decisions when they count.