Arsenal News: Mikel Arteta has reacted angrily to Antonio Conte’s claim that he complains excessively ahead of Arsenal’s crucial match against Newcastle.
Following his team’s 3-0 loss to Tottenham in the North London derby on Thursday night, the Spaniard accused referee Paul Tierney of “killing” the game with his decisions, particularly the first-half dismissal of Rob Holding, which reduced Arsenal to ten men.
In a post-match interview, Arteta indicated that if he expressed his true feelings, he would be suspended for six months. Spurs boss Conte criticised Arteta as a result, stating, “I listen to him complain a lot.”
Now, Arteta has chosen to respond ahead of his team’s vital match on Monday night at St James’ Park.
Arsenal News: What did Arteta say?
The Spaniard was adamant: “In my three years here, I have tried to avoid making any complaints. On Thursday, I had no complaints. I merely replied that I couldn’t give a clear assessment of my feelings about the game. This brings us to the end of the discussion.”
“Whatever we do, we’ll do our utmost to defend the club, as we have in the past. The other night, I attempted it myself. That was not done with the goal of swaying anyone’s opinion.”
“However, I was being honest and forthright. It is my job and responsibility, I believe, to describe how the club feels when I speak on its behalf. If I can’t do it, I’d prefer not to.”
Spurs pushed over Burnley on Sunday, piling more pressure on Arsenal ahead of their clash with the nouveau riche Toon. Arteta is confident that his team will finish in the top four if they win today and again on Sunday against Everton.
Champions League qualification is a must, Arteta
“We want to be playing in the Champions League,” Arteta said. That’s all there is to it ” We’ve gone so far, and now it’s in our hands. We want to take advantage of it, as well as the excitement and opportunity that it brings, and we’ll want to go for it.”
Despite letting players like former club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and defenders Pablo Mari and Callum Chambers leave, he believes he does not regret adding to his roster during the January transfer window.
Arteta on no signings in January
“We’ve come so far with this bunch of players,” Arteta added. There were and still are decisions to be made. And it wasn’t just about the club or myself; it was also about the players in those positions and how they planned to contribute to the squad.
“We attempted to do things correctly. Then, of course, we’ve had some bad luck with long-term injuries, which has made the situation considerably tougher.”