By Kevin Campbell

12th Jan, 2022 | 9:00pm

Campbell: This could be the real reason for Arsenal humiliating Tavares

Kevin Campbell has insisted Nuno Tavares’ humiliating first-half substitution was not “personal” from Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.

The former Gunners striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the Spaniard was trying to “galvanise” his lacklustre side with the change.

Arsenal left-back Tavares was replaced by Kieran Tierney in the 34th minute as Nottingham Forest recorded a shock 1-0 win over the Gunners in the FA Cup third round.

Arteta suggested post-match that the decision was made to “try and improve the performance of the team”.

Campbell echoed the Arsenal boss’ comments, insisting he was trying to “shake the team out of their slumber” by hooking Tavares.

“I’ve rewatched the game, and I don’t think Arteta was trying to make a specific point to him,” he told Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs.

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“He could have taken anyone off. The key, for me, was to try and shake the team out of their slumber.

“The player he brought on, Tierney, was a player he hoped could wake the team up and get them moving.

“That’s why I think he made the move. I don’t think it was personal to Tavares, because we’ve seen how well he’s done since he’s come in.

“On that day, Tavares wasn’t at the races – like a lot of other Arsenal players. Arteta will have been hoping Tierney could have a galvanising effect, but it wasn’t to be.”

Tavares joined Arsenal from Benfica in July 2021 for a reported fee of £6.8million plus add-ons.

The Portugal U21 international lost possession 10 times in just 34 minutes of action prior to his withdrawal (Sofascore).

In other news, Arsenal players told to ‘have a good look at themselves’ after an embarrassing reveal.