Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta rejects criticism of touchline behaviour after ‘clown’ comments

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta rejects criticism of touchline behaviour after ‘clown’ comments

Mikel Arteta says critics will not make him change how he acts on the touchline, but a drop-off in Arsenal’s results would make him “look in the mirror”.

Arteta has come under fire this week for his behaviour on the touchline during Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Newcastle on Tuesday night.

Newcastle legend Alan Shearer said Arteta had been “disrespectful to the opposition” in the way he argued with fourth officials, while fellow former striker Chris Sutton called him “a clown”.

Asked about the scrutiny on how he behaves on the touchline, Arteta said: “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.

“There are moments - it is not the way I behaved against West Ham, every game is special. 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!

“To be fair I have not read it (what has been said). Is the criticism negative or positive, because criticism is not always negative, it can be very positive.”

It has also been argued that Arteta’s actions on the sideline impact his players, who were charged by the FA in the wake of Tuesday’s draw with Newcastle.

Arsenal were charged with allegedly failing to control their players in the 95th minute after their appeals for a handball by Jacob Murphy were turned away by referee Andy Madley.

Arteta are currently top of the Premier League, five points clear of Manchester City, and asked if his actions impact his players, the Spaniard said: “That’s not for me to say.

“I hear a lot of times that this team is the mirror of the coach, or the passion - I don’t know.

“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.

“So 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.”