Arteta rejects criticism over touchline behaviour


Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has dismissed criticism surrounding his behaviour on the touchline after he clashed with officials and Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe in Tuesday’s goalless draw at the Emirates.

Arteta was furious in the second half of the Premier League game after the referee failed to award Arsenal a penalty and was also upset about the amount of time added on.

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The Arsenal boss hit out at the “scandalous” penalty decisions from the officials during the game but said he will not change his behaviour in the future.

“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,” he said in a news conference on Saturday.

“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.”

The Premier League leaders will be keen to get back to winning ways when they travel to third-tier side Oxford United in Monday’s FA Cup third-round match.

Arteta said he is hoping for attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe to return from a groin injury.

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The 22-year-old had a breakout campaign last season with 10 league goals but has had limited game time this season with only four substitute appearances, his last match coming against Manchester United at the start of September.

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

“Tomorrow he trains well, he will hopefully be available to give us something in the game.

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

Information from Reuters was included in this report.



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