Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta said he stands by the comments he made on Anthony Gordon‘s controversial goal in his team’s 1-0 defeat to Newcastle and insists it’s his “duty” to defend his club and players.
Speaking ahead of his team’s Champions League game against Sevilla, Arteta remained defiant.
“It is my duty to stand in front of you, the cameras, and give a very clear and honest assessment of what happens in the game,” he said in Tuesday’s news conference. “That’s what I did. I reflected very openly how I felt the team played, and how the game was conditioned by the decisions which were made.
“It’s my duty to defend my players, support my players, defend my club, support my club, in the best possible way. It’s what I’m going to do time after time.”
Arsenal said in a statement on Sunday that they “wholeheartedly support” Arteta after he criticised Stuart Attwell’s officiating and urged the referees’ body (PGMOL) to look into the standards of refereeing.
“I think we have to really stand for our people, our values and who we are,” Arteta said. “And when the club has done it, it’s done it in very specific moments with the right reasons, and it shows the unity and understanding that’s within the club, to position ourselves in a really clear and honest way. That’s our duty as a club.”
Arteta: It is my duty to defend my club
Michel Arteta says he stands by his comments after Arsenal’s loss to Newcastle at the weekend.
Arteta did not explain why Gordon’s goal should have been ruled out but reiterated that “refereeing mistakes are part of the game.”
“I stand by the words that mistakes are part of football in any other way, and we’re here to constructively improve the game in any way we can,” he said. “In the club, individually in my duty as a manager, in the managers’ meetings, to get a better game. “That’s the only thing we are looking to achieve, everybody. “That’s it.”
Arteta is confident his team can bounce back from their first league defeat of the season and secure qualification to the Champions League knockout stages when they host Sevilla in Group B on Wednesday.
“The moment you have a chance in football to put it to bed, do it,” Arteta said on chances of reaching the Champions League knockout round with two games to spare. “We have to build a lot of things that we did right against Newcastle, improve certain things especially in the final third, to be more of a threat, but for the rest, the way the team played, the way we competed, it was extraordinary.”