Ian Wright takes aim at ‘very poor’ Eddie Nketiah in Arsenal’s FA Cup loss to Nottingham Forest as the Gunners icon criticises his movement and urges the forward to be ‘sharper’ after missing chance to put the team ahead
Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has slammed the performance of Eddie Nketiah during the team’s woeful FA Cup exit against Nottingham Forest, calling the forward’s movement ‘very poor’.
Mikel Arteta’s men were dumped out in the third round of the cup by their Championship opponents, with the Gunners failing to show any sparkle up front, with Nketiah tasked with leading the line.
But 22-year-old wasn’t able to inspire Arsenal and missed a handful of good chances to put them ahead – including a header that went wide from Bukayo Saka’s cross.
Eddie Nketiah needed to be much sharper during Arsenal’s loss to Forest, says Ian Wright
The Gunners icon took issue with the 22-year-old’s movement as he failed to impress up front
Wright believes Nketiah needed to be much ‘sharper’ at the City Ground as he deputised for the rested Alexandre Lacazette, saying better movement might have helped him score the opener.
‘I thought his movement was very poor,’ the pundit said, speaking to ITV.
‘Ally [McCoist, on commentary duty] was talking about it, there were a couple of instances when you thought if it is not quite going for you, you just need to be sharper.’
Nketiah was leading the line but couldn’t inspire the Gunners against the Championship outfit
[On the missed chance] ‘He sees the ball all the way here, I’m not sure why he got mixed up with what he’s trying to do, is he going chest it, is he going to head it?
‘It was one of those days when he needed to take the half-chance because the game was going to be tough for you and as a striker you need to take that half-chance.
‘He had one with the header but he got it all mixed up.’
The boyhood Gunners star ended up playing the full 90 minutes, but Arteta was forced to bring on Lacazette on 69 minutes as he looked to get his side in front – although they would eventually be beaten by a late Lewis Grabban strike.
The boyhood Gunners star missed a great opportunity to head Mikel Arteta’s men ahead
Nketiah wasn’t the only player in the firing line from Wright, as he also took aim at left-back Nuno Tavares, who was hooked before half time, with the pundit believing he showed ‘disrespect’ towards Arteta.
‘He started very poorly with this bad backpass, and with this one you look at his reaction,’ Wright said. ‘He is coming off, he’s throwing his gloves down, I think this is the wrong manager to do this with.
‘The disrespect the is showing at the minute is something Mikel Arteta won’t like, he shouldn’t be acting like that with the performance he put in.’