Arsenal boss Arteta hits back at criticisms over his touchline antics

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hits back at criticisms over his touchline antics – after Spaniard came under fire for behaviour in Newcastle clash… and accuses critics of taking ‘context out of a situation’

  • Mikel Arteta has hit back at criticisms over his passionate pitch-side antics
  • The Arsenal boss received backlash for his touch-line displays recently 
  • However, he claimed it was simply ‘passion’ for his side as they faced Newcastle
  • The Spaniard did admit that his critics ‘can have their opinion’ on his antics 

Mikel Arteta will not dilute his pitch-side passion in the wake of criticism of his antics and an FA charge for failing to control his players.

The Arsenal manager insisted he will ‘look in the mirror’ and assess his behaviour but will continue to physically and verbally defend his players and club as he sees fit.

Arteta was involved in lengthy protests at the end of Tuesday’s acrimonious draw with Newcastle – just as his players were surrounding the referee amid two late penalty appeals.

Mikel Arteta has fired back at critics of his passionate touch-line displays of late

The Arsenal boss was an incensed figure on the side-lines in his side’s game with Newcastle

‘I hear a lot of times that this team is the mirror of the coach, or the passion – I don’t know,’ Arteta said.

‘That’s me! I will always try to be better. Whatever I do, if it is tomorrow or the next day, is to make the club stronger, my players better, play better and win.’

Pundits and former players such as Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton claimed Arteta’s animated activity could have a detrimental impact as the pressure mounts to maintain the Premier League title race with Manchester City.

But Arteta insisted: ‘I’m not part of that debate. I think publicly they can have their opinions. I try to do my best for this football club, to defend it, to promote it, to play with the passion I believe the game has to be played with.

‘Every manager behaves differently regarding the circumstances. You cannot take the context out of a situation – I don’t think that is fair. That’s me! Whether I am here or on the pitch, that’s me – the good and the bad!’

Arteta looks bemused as the fourth official indicates a five-minute added time period

Arteta watched on as his side failed to score for the first time in a match all season

The Spanish coach has not altered his approach since starting his managerial career at Arsenal three years ago, but did concede he might change if he felt his style was no longer helping his players.

He added: ‘That’s not for me to say [if it helps the players]. If I have to do something, I will do it. If I have to change something, believe me, I will look in the mirror at myself and I will change it very quickly.’

Arteta’s next test of character is Monday night’s FA Cup tie away to third tier Oxford United.

And he hopes to use the match to reintroduce England international Emile Smith Rowe for the first time since undergoing groin surgery last September

‘First of all, we need him fit and at his best, and when we have an incredible player that we have missed a lot in the last few months. On Sunday, if he trains well, he will hopefully be available to give us something in the game.’

Emile Smith Rowe is limbering up for his first Arsenal appearance since last September

Smith Rowe’s return could ease Arsenal’s transfer demands as they compete with Chelsea for the signing of Ukraine star forward Mykhaylo Mudryk

The Shakhtar Donetsk has repeatedly made his fondness for Arsenal well known and Arteta indicated that could swing the transfer sage their way – rather than enter a bidding war.

He explained: ‘Valuations have to be made between the selling club and the buying club, and it is difficult but it shows there are a lot of clubs with a lot of financial power to spend big amounts, and we have to compete with them.

‘To be smart, we have to see good opportunities and we have to be attractive for players. At the end of the day, players decide where they want to play, and if they want to play for our club, that is great.’

The Gunners are hoping to get back to winning ways in their FA Cup trip to Oxford United




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