Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta bats back at Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher criticism


Mikel Arteta has defended his decision to speak out on the officiating during Arsenal’s clash with Newcastle earlier this season, when his side were beaten 1-0 following a controversial goal by Anthony Gordon. Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher criticised the actions of the Spaniard, but the Gunners boss appears to have no regrets.

Gordon’s goal proved decisive at St James’ Park in November, with Arsenal players feeling that the ball was out of play in the build-up and that Gabriel was fouled directly before Gordon slotted home from close range.

Arteta emerged after the match to label the decision not to rule the goal out as a ‘disgrace’ and ‘embarrassing’ for the Premier League. The criticism received a mixed reaction from the wider Premier League, with some understanding of the outrage but others – such as Neville and Carragher – feeling that the Arsenal manager overstepped the mark.

Arteta has defended his enraged rant ahead of the return fixture at the Emirates Stadium this weekend, saying: “I have a duty to defend our players, to defend our club and to raise our voices when you feel something is not right. You have to say it. I also said that privately, in front of everybody’s face and it’s not something that I did publicly when I had not said it before. The order was right. I did it internally, I did it in front of them, face-to-face, then I did it publicly.

“Then I have to justify myself. It was a good experience as a coach! I have to tell you. To go through that. But I am lucky to have a club that gives me a lot of support as they did on that occasion.”

Arteta consulted sporting director Edu and director Tim Lewis ahead of his passionate rant, and both individuals gave him permission to go ahead and speak on the officiating in Tyneside. He continued: “You know that when you talk publicly, you are not going to please everybody.

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