Did you see Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta go on a ‘rampage’ as the pressure builds?

Arsenal boss Arteta Credit: Alamy
Arsenal boss Arteta Credit: Alamy

Of course you didn’t because actually, Mikel Arteta just got a bit mad about a decision that went against his football team and just jumped up and down a bit. Like other managers do.

 

Under pressure
Arsenal have not lost a Premier League game in four months. They have been unbeaten in 11 Premier League games and have won nine of those 11 games. Only five Premier League teams have ever had a better start to the season than Arsenal.

On Tuesday night they drew 0-0 with Newcastle United, the Premier League team with the tightest defence in the top flight, to move eight points clear at the top of the table.

So…

‘Losing their heads with Newcastle showed Arsenal ARE feeling the pressure of being top… but with Tottenham, Man United and City to come, Mikel Arteta must hold his nerve for this season-defining run’

Oh they ARE, are they, MailOnline?

And what are the tell-tale signs of Arsenal feeling the pressure? Not actually losing to the team in third, of course, so what?

The story begins…

‘Mikel Arteta lost it. Arsenal’s players lost it. And yet, the Premier League leaders didn’t lose this game.

‘They drew 0-0 and getting a point out of Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United is perfectly fine. It is more than Arsenal’s London neighbours Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur got out of them.

‘Yet towards the end of this draw at the Emirates Stadium, the behaviour of Arteta and his team showed the pressure they are feeling at the top of the Premier League.’

Or – and this is just a theory – did it show that Arteta and his team believed they should have been awarded two penalties?

‘In their desperation to win, they lost control. In the technical area Arteta acted like a child being denied a chocolate bar by his mum at the tills, stomping and screaming.’

And obviously this is behaviour entirely specific to Mikel Arteta and his current situation of ‘feeling the pressure of being top’?

Quite why Pep Guardiola kicked a bottle just last week, Jesse Marsch was fined for swearing at officials or Jurgen Klopp was fined for screaming in the face of an assistant referee is unclear.

And this was in August with neither team ‘feeling the pressure of being top’…

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But when Arteta gets aggrieved about referee decisions, he is ‘feeling the pressure of being top’? And people wonder why fans get ideas about media agendas.

‘On the field, Granit Xhaka, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Co all surrounded referee Andrew Madley. There was no calmness. Only chaos as Arsenal insisted they were being robbed of a result.’

They did protest but it’s worth noting that five Premier League clubs have been charged with failing to control their players this season; Arsenal are not expected to be charged for their reaction on Tuesday night as no player actually crossed a line.

‘The reason for their anger was a potential penalty in stoppage time. Xhaka’s cross had been blocked by Jacob Murphy and television replays showed the ball struck the Newcastle player’s arm.

‘But let’s be honest, there is no conspiracy here. Nor is there a gross injustice because any reasonable football fan could see this was not a penalty, despite Arsenal’s angry protests.’

Indeed. But let’s be honest, the reaction to that Murphy handball was more about the penalty appeal turned down half an hour before when Dan Burn grappled with Gabriel. It’s an accumulation.

‘Murphy’s arm had to go somewhere. It wasn’t outstretched or being used to make himself bigger. It was tucked in by his body as he slid to block the cross. The ball hit him, but Madley and VAR Stuart Attwell did well not to cave to the pressure.’

VAR doesn’t ‘cave to the pressure’. That’s kind of the point.

The piece then goes on to acknowledge that Arsenal should have had a penalty for Burn’s pull on Gabriel, thus they had a reason to be aggrieved.

‘Arteta afterwards said Arsenal were denied two ‘scandalous’ penalties. The Burn one? Absolutely. The Murphy one? Not so much.

‘Yet Arteta and his players’ anger towards the officials stood out. That has become an eyesore in the Premier League. Arsenal are not the only ones to have vented their fury. They’re merely the latest club to do so.’

Exactly. So where were the pieces about those clubs? And if this is becoming ‘an eyesore in the Premier League’, then why does this particular fury stem from Arsenal and Arteta feeling the pressure at the top of the Premier League?

The answer of course is that it doesn’t; it’s a piece designed to wind up Arsenal fans.

‘Maybe they can use the ‘us against the world’ mentality to their advantage. But given what’s to come, it may be more beneficial for Arsenal to stay composed in the face of controversy.’

Well the last time they faced such controversy – and were charged by the FA – was October and they have lost none of their Premier League games since. And are now eight points clear at the top of the Premier League.

‘Maybe Arsenal could have taken more from the match. Perhaps Madley and Attwell ought to have awarded them a penalty, certainly for Burn’s shirt pull on Gabriel.

‘But now is a time when Arsenal would benefit from staying calm instead of creating chaos.’

We think they might have calmed down by the time they play their next Premier League game in ten days’ time, fella.

 

Crazy Mikel
We have scrutinised – at a length we never intended – that piece in the Mail but here are some other headlines from the last 24 hours:

‘Mikel Arteta’s embarrassing touchline antics reveals his inexperience’ – Daily Telegraph, who really should have a better grasp of grammar. As well as the other ‘touchline antics’ of far more experienced managers.

‘Arsenal: Has Mikel Arteta’s touchline antics crossed the line?’ – MailOnline again. Does nobody know how to write the English language anymore?

‘Watch Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal touchline rampage with CARTOON FLY added leaving fans in hysterics after Newcastle clash’ – The Sun. When do touchline antics become a touchline rampage?

Dictionary definition of ‘rampage‘: A rampage is when a group of people is destructive and out of control, like an angry, violent riot following an unpopular political decision. A single individual can go on a rampage, wreaking havoc and destruction, but the word most often describes the actions of an angry mob.’

Don’t think that’s quite right. Though this is pretty funny…

That’s a f*** of a lot of havoc and destruction being wreaked.

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