Mikel Arteta responds to claims his touchline antics are damaging Arsenal

    Mikel Arteta has been criticised over his touchline antics
    Mikel Arteta has been criticised over his touchline antics (Picture: Sky Sports)

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says he will only make changes to his approach on the touchline if he feels it is necessary after being slammed for his antics by the likes of Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton.

    While Arteta has taken Arsenal five points clear at the top of the Premier League, he has received criticism for some of his conduct on the touchline.

    The Spaniard was seen repeatedly approaching the fourth official during Arsenal’s goalless draw with Newcastle United on Tuesday, with Premier League legend Shearer later calling his behaviour ‘disrespectful’.

    ‘I think Mikel Arteta needs to have a word with himself, or his assistant needs to have a word with him and calm him down,’ the ex-England striker said on Premier League Productions.

    ‘I think he’s disrespectful to the opposition and he’s making it very difficult for the referees who have a hard enough job as it is.

    ‘I get he wants to be animated but if his players behaved like him, he wouldn’t like it and it would cost him. He needs to calm down.

    ‘I get they’re top of the league and it’s a big game, but he’s making it very, very difficult for referees and he’s disrespecting the opposition.’

    Arteta has a reputation for losing his cool on the touchline
    Arteta has a reputation for losing his cool on the touchline (Picture: Getty)

    Shearer even claimed Arteta’s conduct could have a detrimental effect on his players as they look to win their first Premier League title since 2004.

    He added: ‘They know they’re under pressure but when you see your manager behave like that on the touchline…

    ‘He needs to calm down. He’s the one making the tough decisions so he needs to stay calm. At the minute he’s just going crazy and that can’t be helpful to the players can it?’

    Sutton also took aim at Arteta after the Newcastle stalemate and claimed the Arsenal manager was behaving like a ‘clown’.

    Asked about the calls for him to keep a lid on his touchline antics, Arteta said: ‘If I think I have to change something, believe me, I will look in the mirror and change it.

    ‘I will always try to be better. Whatever I do, if it is tomorrow or the next day, is to make the club stronger, my players better, play better and win.

    ‘People can have their opinions. 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.

    ‘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!’

    Asked if he believes his behaviour impacts his players, Arteta added: ‘That’s not for me to say. I hear a lot of times that this team is the mirror of the coach, or the passion – I don’t know.’

    Arteta was speaking before Arsenal’s FA Cup third round clash against League One side Oxford United on Monday.

    Arsenal were frustrated by Eddie Howe’s Newcastle earlier in the week and were later charged by the Football Association for failing to control their players.

    Arsenal were charged by the FA after the Newcastle draw
    Arsenal were charged by the FA after the Newcastle draw (Picture: Getty)

    The Gunners had two penalty appeals waved away by the referee and Arteta described both as ‘scandalous’ decisions.

    An FA spokesperson said: ‘Arsenal FC has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E20.1 following its Premier League match against Newcastle United FC on Tuesday, 3 January 2023.

    ‘It’s alleged that Arsenal failed to ensure its players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the 95th minute, and the club has until Tuesday, 10 January 2023 to respond.’

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