Tavares 'not at the standard' of Arsenal after horror reveal - pundit
Nuno Tavares has been handed a “wake-up call” by Mikel Arteta following the latest in a string of below-par displays for Arsenal, according to Noel Whelan.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 21-year-old has to respond positively to his 34th-minute substitution.
Arsenal left-back Tavares was replaced by Kieran Tierney in the first half as Nottingham Forest recorded a shock 1-0 win over the Gunners in the FA Cup third round.
As per Sofascore, the Portugal U21 international lost possession 10 times in just 34 minutes of action, prompting a brave decision by Arteta.
Whelan insisted the Spaniard’s tough stance displayed his “strength in character”.
“I think it’s a wake-up call for him,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.
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“That’s how you’ve got to take it as a player.
“We’ve seen before that his distribution on the ball isn’t of the standard we expect from an Arsenal player. You can’t keep giving the ball away, it’s really disappointing.
“It’s so important to Arsenal that they keep the ball and recycle it properly. Sometimes you’ve got to cut a man loose for the benefit of the side if he can’t do that.
“It’s not to take a pot shot at one particular player, it’s about making a tough decision for the good of the team, as Arteta did.
“Even though they didn’t win, that shows the strength in character of the manager.”
Tavares joined Arsenal from Benfica in July 2021 for a reported fee of £6.8million plus add-ons.
The defender has made six Premier League starts for the Gunners this term.