London, Monday @PeopleSports11
Arsene Wenger angrily blamed his players for Arsenal’s defeat by Nottingham Forest, admitting the Championship side were better in every area. Wenger made nine changes to his team but insisted it contained enough quality to beat Forest and reserved criticism for his senior players.
“We were not good enough anywhere, not up front, in the middle, at the back and we paid for it. They looked sharper,’ said Wenger. “I understand the selection will be questioned but we had eight or nine experienced internationals on the pitch, with all respect against a Championship team, and that would be the wrong excuse.
Overall I congratulate Nottingham Forest for an outstanding performance. They were winning decisive challenges and were dangerous going forward,” he added. Wenger defended his selection ahead of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Chelsea. “We had a very difficult schedule. Many players were on the edge.
We play on Wednesday, it was nearly impossible to make it,’ he said. Wenger saw his side fail to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time as Forest became the first team from a lower division to score four goals against Arsenal in the competition since Hull in January 1908.
Forest’s last two goals came via the penalty spot, with Ben Brereton then Kieran Dowell converting. Arsenal’s players complained bitterly after Dowell scored that the England youth player had kicked the ball twice.
Wenger declined to criticise referee Jon Moss but said: “The players said they’re 100 per cent certain he double-touched.” The Arsenal manager said he hated watching the game from the stands because of his touchline ban.
Forest caretaker-manager Gary Brazil praised man of the match Brereton, 18, for getting the better of World Cup winner Per Mertesacker.
“He’s a nightmare for centre halves. His hold-up play was strong and then the shackles came off and we saw a really good player,” Brazil said. -DAILYMAIL