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Mikel Arteta apologises to Arsenal fans and is ‘sorry’ for substituting Nuno Tavares –

by rks2008


Mikel Arteta has said sorry to Nuno Tavares for substituting him at half time in Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Monday evening.

The 22-year-old started at left-back in place of Kieran Tierney, who is sidelined with a knee injury, and was at fault for Palace’s second goal as he was caught on his heels which allowed Jordan Ayew to score.

Tavares has not started since he was substituted after just 35 minutes in Arsenal’s defeat to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup in Janaury.

But Arteta insists the decision to replace Tavares at half time at Selhurst Park was tactical.

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Asked about the thinking behind substituting Tavares, Arteta replied: ‘Today it was just a tactical reason.

‘How I want to do it with what Palace was doing and how we could attack and control the game much better in that position.

‘We put on another attacking midfielder with Emile in that space and that was the only reason.

‘I’m sorry that it was Nuno again but we had to do it.’

Arteta also issued an apology to Arsenal’s supporters for his side’s ‘unacceptable’ performance.

‘Congratulations to Palace for the game they played but we made it impossible for ourselves with the way we competed,’ Arteta told Sky Sports.

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‘You have to be physical and run and then you earn the right to play. We were really inconsistent on the ball and that is unacceptable.

‘We were poor, especially in the first half. I apologise to our supporters. We didn’t have the presence today or the composure to dominate the situation so that is what I’m most annoyed with.

‘Some days you are not there and you are late all the time. They got on top of it and had a good atmosphere and we could not get out.

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‘When we had the big chances we didn’t score to give ourselves the best chance to get back in the game.

‘First of all we need to put our hands up and get the criticism we deserve. Then we accept it, look ourselves in the mirror and look to the next game. This was not good enough.

‘We have to face the challenge and the opportunity is in our hands. We have to be honest with ourselves and support each other.’

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