Mikel Arteta has revealed his thoughts about his ongoing battle with the FA due to his words in the Newcastle post-match press conference.
Following the controversial loss, Mikel Arteta gave a rather honest post-match interview. The Arsenal manager spoke out against the use of VAR and used strong words to voice his disapproval. Arteta went on the label VAR a “disgrace” and “embarrassing” after Anthony Gordon’s winner was allowed to stand.
The FA have confirmed that they will take action against Arteta for how he conducted himself in the conference. It is expected that Arteta will either receive a touchline ban or will be fined by the FA.
Mikel Arteta speaks on potential touchline ban after Newcastle rant
During the pre-match conference for the Brentford game, Arteta was asked about what the club had done to oppose the decision.
Speaking on whether the club will contest the FA charge Arteta said: “We’ve been asked to give our observations, our opinions and to run through everything that happened on the day. That’s it.”
Arteta also confirmed that the club have given their observations: “Yes, we have. We tried to give our points and the reasons why. There’s not a lot more I can comment on,” he said.
When asked whether he would do things differently if he could turn the clock back, the Spanish manager said: “That’s not possible – it’s like in the game, I give the lineup and then if we don’t win, and you ask me ‘would you pick the same one’… it’s easy, isn’t it?
“I’d [like it] if we could do that, stop and rewind and say ‘give the ball to him instead of him’. We cannot do that, unfortunately. Things go really fast. You have to do that and that’s it. You learn from everything, that’s for sure,” he added.
Asked if managers are being put in an unfair position for sharing their thoughts on officials, Arteta noted: “I think it’s good that we are communicating. We want to improve the game, all of us, referees, managers, officials, owners, sporting directors, you guys, we all want a better game, that’s it.
“To have a better game we have to have freedom of speech, respectfully, in a constructive way, but we have to promote that. If not, you don’t get better. That’s for sure. It’s good that they are talking in front of the media and explaining the situation because it brings clarity.”
When asked if anything changes about the way he speaks after the news that he will face charges for his words, Arteta said: “You have to be yourself. As a leader, you have to be authentic. You cannot be someone you are not and this is who I am here, when I’m on the pitch, when I’m there, and I want to think that we have to talk to make things better.
“We have meetings and I talk in a really straightforward way two days before about certain opinions that I had in the face. When I have to talk about myself and be critical about myself, I’m the first one to do it. I want to be very positive and that’s what people expect. At the end we have a role with a lot of responsibility and we have to stand for our actions and the way we are.”
Arsenal also released a club statement, via their official website, backing Mikel Arteta’s actions following the rant. It is clear that the club and the manager will stand their ground and try their best to bring this dispute to a rational conclusion.