Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta responds to being called a ‘clown’ by pundit after Newcastle draw

Arteta on Arsenal Credit: Alamy
Arteta on Arsenal Credit: Alamy

Mikel Arteta has defended his touchline behaviour after he was criticised by several pundits after Arsenal’s draw against Newcastle earlier this week.

The Spaniard clashed with Newcastle’s Eddie Howe after Arsenal were not awarded a penalty late on. The head coach stated post-match that the decision was “scandalous”. 

On Friday, Arsenal were charged by the Football Association for failing to control their players after a few of them surrounded referee Andrew Madley following the flashpoint.

Alan Shearer described Arteta’s antics on the sidelines as “disrespectful”, while Chris Sutton, writing for the Daily Mail, said the Spaniard behaved like a “clown”.

“I am not part of that debate,” said Arteta on Saturday. “Of course, they can have their opinions.

“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.

“Every game is special and every manager behaves very differently regarding the circumstances. And 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.”

Asked if he was prepared to change his behaviour, Arteta replied: “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.”

After seeing Manchester City reduce the gap to his table-topping side to five points following their win at Chelsea, Arteta will switch his attention from the Premier League to the FA Cup ahead of Monday night’s trip to League One Oxford.

Arteta finished his first season in charge of Arsenal by winning the FA Cup before they suffered a shock third-round defeat at Nottingham Forest last season.

“It is a competition that is attached to the successful history of this club and on Monday we have a good test,” added Arteta.

“It will be difficult and we have to take the competition very seriously, the opponent very seriously and play well, to a high level, to win the match.

“Not many years ago we won it, but then we had the experience last year of going out of the competition so it is a competition we want to play in and compete.”

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