Premier League • England

Ian Wright says Mikel Arteta ‘won’t like disrespect’ from player he recently backed

Mikel Arteta Arsenal January 2022

Ian Wright believes Mikel Arteta will be furious with the reaction of Nuno Tavares after he was hooked in the first half of Arsenal’s FA Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

Tavares, 21, lasted just 34 minutes at the City Ground and was replaced by Kieran Tierney. Arteta took decisive action after a poor start to the game, but the defender’s reaction will have infuriated the Arsenal bench. The youngster ambled off the pitch and threw his gloves to the ground in front of Arteta and his staff.

It was a petulant reaction, which Wright believes will be clamped down on by the Spanish boss.

Arteta signed the Portugal U21 defender Tavares from Benfica last summer.

He was in fact the Gunners’ first signing of the summer transfer window in a deal reportedly worth around £8m. And Arteta will surely be furious with the player after recently backing Tavares.

The left-back did come under fire and was at fault against Liverpool in November. The Gunners were hammered 4-0 with Tavares at fault for Diogo Jota’s goal.

Arteta though stuck with Tavares in the following game against Newcastle, despite Tierney’s availability. And afterwards said: “After what happened at Anfield, and some individual errors that we had, we had to be very careful with the messages that we send to the players.

But the Gunners boss was backed into a corner on Sunday after Tavares’ woeful first-half showing.

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The manager said: “It’s a decision that you have to make in certain moments to try to improve the performance of the team and that’s what I did.”

And Wright, speaking on ITV’s FA Cup coverage, feels Tavares’ reaction will not sit well with Arteta.

“He has started very poorly. He is coming off and he’s thrown his gloves down, I think this is the wrong manager to do that with,” Wright said.

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Tavares ‘sloppy in everything he’s done’

“Showing that kind of attitude. I think the disrespect he is showing at the minute is something Mikel Arteta won’t like, especially given the performance he has put in.”


Roy Keane was in agreement with Wright and felt the defender could have no complaints to being taken off.

“Why is he upset? He must know [he’s at risk of being taken off],” he said.

“He’s right in front of the dugout and the manager, he’s been sloppy in everything he’s done.

“Ok, a player can make a mistake but that sloppyness is down to his attitude and the way he started the game and you can’t start a game like that. You’ll get dragged off.”

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