Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has clear January objective after shock FA Cup defeat

Mikel Arteta on Arsenal's 'No More Red' campaign

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Arsenal were on the recieving end of another FA Cup shock as Nottingham Forest beat the Gunners 1-0 at the City Ground. It was a toothless display from Arsenal, but it’s proven to Mikel Arteta that he now has one clear objective in January.

Arsenal suffered a shock defeat in the FA Cup third round as they were beaten 1-0 by Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Sunday.

The Championship side humbled Arsenal in the first half, and even had the better of the opportunities before the break but neither side managed to break the deadlock during a flat first period.

However, after the hosts mounted pressure on Arsenal, they finally made the breakthrough as Lewis Grabban became the hero with just seven minutes left to play, poking the ball past Bernd Leno following a brilliant Ryan Yates delivery.

Victory was no more than what Forest deserved, and Arsenal’s toothless performance has given Mikel Arteta a clear objective in January.

Arteta’s side struggled to break down the Championship outfit as they looked uncharacteristically weak in attack compared to recent weeks, and Eddie Nketiah failed to make any impact on a rare start.

Although Arsenal have majorly improved under Arteta, their issues in attack remain as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continues to be exiled from the squad, and the remaining three strikers at the club are all out of contract next summer.

In Aubameyang’s absence, Lacazette has found a new lease of life at Arsenal, and the Frenchman is enjoying one of his most positive spells in the team as the Gunners adapt a fresh identity.

And Arsenal looked incredibly flat against Forest while Lacazette looked on from the bench, and the forward didn’t have time to make an impact when coming on, showing that the Frenchman is clearly the main man under Arteta, and the Gunners boss must work on a new deal for the forward.

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Both Nketiah and Lacazette were subject to heavy interest over the summer but Arsenal decided to hold on to the pairing as Arteta has assessed their futures this season.

Although Nketiah may be one for the future, Arsenal’s lack of creativity compared to what they’ve treated fans to in recent weeks has proved that Lacazette is their best current option, and Arteta must prioritise a new deal for the forward this January.

While the Aubameyang saga remains uncertain, Arsenal must secure Lacazette on a new deal to avoid a potential crisis at the club, as there is the possibility that they could start next season with no natural no.9.

But it’s a deal that Lacazette has deserved, rather than the Frenchman simply being the best choice that Arsenal have, as the Gunners have been prolific with him in attack.

With Lacazette occupying a false-nine position in Arsenal’s team, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard have all thrived in a well-drilled attack, and the Gunners are currently occupying a top-four spot as a result.

It looked certain that Lacazette would leave Arsenal either in January or for free next summer, but even the Frenchman appears to be enjoying his football with the Gunners, making it likely that he could put pen to paper on a new deal.

Lacazette signed for Arsenal back in 2017, but with Aubameyang arriving shortly after, this is the first time that the Frenchman has been seen as the main man, and assurances that it will stay that way will surely beckon a new deal.

An extension will surely mark the end of Aubameyang’s time at the club, but if the Gabon international was to leave Arsenal, it could provide a fresh start for Lacazette.

Lacazette’s quality has never been questioned but his consistency has lacked, but his impact this season is clear to see, especially as Arsenal really struggled against Forest in his absence.

Nketiah didn’t look comfortable leading the line for Arsenal, and the evidence is there for Arteta to ensure that the Gunners secure Lacazette for the future.

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