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Arsenal legend criticizes Marco Silva for early substitution of Iwobi

Posted : 03 April 2024

Former Arsenal and Everton defender Martin Raymond Keown criticized Marco Silva's decision to substitute three Fulham players just after the half-hour mark at the City Ground in Nottingham.

Super Eagles duo Alex Iwobi and Calvin Bassey were included in the starting lineup by the Portuguese manager in an effort to bounce back from their disappointing draw with Sheffield United.

Fulham faced relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest, who had not won any of their last six games, but Fulham found themselves trailing early in the match.

Within nine minutes, Callum Hudson-Odoi scored for Forest, followed by Chris Wood doubling the lead just ten minutes later with a long-range effort.

Marco Silva's response to Fulham's early struggles was to substitute Iwobi, Harry Wilson, and Sasa Lukic in the 33rd minute, bringing on Tom Cairney, Adama Traore, and Willian instead.

Former Arsenal legend Martin Keown, who was commentating on the match, described Silva's decision as a significant blow to the players' morale and publicly embarrassing.

Morgan Gibbs-White extended Forest's lead just before halftime, while Nigeria-eligible defender Tosin Adarabioyo pulled one back for Fulham early in the second half.

In his post-match conference, Marco Silva defended his decision, stating that he wanted to see a reaction from the team and emphasized that the substitutions were not a reflection of the players' performance.

Nottingham Forest's victory lifts them three points clear of the relegation zone, providing some relief from the threat of relegation.



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