Friday, January 27, 2023

Arteta claims criticism over his touchline behaviour is ´not fair´

SoccerNews in English Premier League 7 Jan 2023

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Mikel Arteta believes criticism over his touchline behaviour has been unfair following complaints about his conduct against Newcastle United.

Arteta clashed with Magpies’ boss Eddie Howe during a 0-0 draw at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday, as the league leaders dropped points in the Premier League for just the third time this season.

Howe and Arteta were involved in an angry confrontation on the sidelines when referee Andrew Madley chose not to award Arsenal an injury-time penalty, with Arteta calling the decision “scandalous” after the game.

The Arsenal manager came in for criticism following the match for how he acted, and the Gunners were charged by the FA on Friday for failing to control their players in the aftermath of the late incident.

However, Arteta believes some of the commentary about his touchline actions has been unjust, saying he only acts in the best interests of Arsenal.

“I try to do my best for this football club, to defend it, to promote it, and to play with the passion that the game has to be played in,” Arteta said. “Every game is special and every manager behaves very differently regarding the circumstances.

“You can’t take the context out of a situation. That is not fair. That is me, here and on the pitch, for the good and the bad.

“That is me and I will try all the time to be better and whatever I do, if it is tomorrow, the next day, or the next one, is to make the club stronger and my players better, to play better, and to win.

“But if I have to do something, I will do it, and if I have to change something, believe me I will look in the mirror myself and change it very quickly.”

Manchester City took advantage of Arsenal’s draw with Newcastle by beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, closing the Gunners’ lead at the Premier League summit to five points.

Arteta’s men turn their attentions to the FA Cup as they travel to play League One side Oxford United in the third round on Monday.

Arteta revealed Emile Smith Rowe could feature in that match, having not played for Arsenal since early September because of a groin injury.

“First of all we need him fit and at his best.” Arteta said. “When we have that we have an incredible player that we have missed a lot in the last few months.

“Emile can play as an attacking midfielder, as a winger and even as a nine, I think he’s played there before.

“If he trains tomorrow, hopefully he will be available to give us something in the game.”

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