MIKEL ARTETA vows not to change his touchline behaviour just to appease critics.
And the Gunners have subsequently been hit with an FA charge of failing to control their players after they angrily surrounded ref Andy Madley to demand a late penalty.
But Arteta is adamant he will continue to give 100 per cent from the technical area and should not be judged on one night of frustration.
He said: “I haven’t read the criticism of my behaviour and I am not part of that debate.
“They can all have their opinions but I will always try to do my best for this football club, to defend my players.
“And I will always have the passion that I believe the game has to be played with. But that’s me. That’s the way I am, on and off the pitch, for the good and the bad.
“The way I behaved against Newcastle was not the same as I behaved in our previous game against West Ham and I don’t think it’s fair to take the context out of the situation.
“I read a lot of times that this team is the mirror of the coach and I am not going to change the passion I have.
“I will try over time to be better but I will do whatever I have to do to make the club stronger, the players better and to win games.
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“And if I have to change something, believe me, I will look in the mirror and I will change it very quickly.”
Tuesday’s draw followed by Manchester City’s 1-0 win at Chelsea means Arsenal’s lead at the top of the Premier League has been cut to five points.
And Arteta is eager to boost his team’s title chances by strengthening his squad during the January transfer window to give them the resources to hold off City’s inevitable late charge.
Arteta must improve his conduct, says Halsey
By Mark Halsey
HOWARD WEBB’S return to refereeing has brought a wave of optimism across English football.
The PGMOL’s new boss has already shown a transparency and openness that has been missing for some time.
Webb won’t fix things overnight but I’ve already seen his early influence on VAR which will lead to better consistency.
Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Newcastle was a prime example of VAR being less intrusive and not getting involved in incidents they didn’t need to with more refs on-field crucially making vital decisions.
I didn’t agree with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta’s claim that they should have been awarded a late penalty for a handball by winger Jacob Murphy.
And it was no surprise that the FA charged Arsenal for failing to control their players.
Murphy had his arm in a natural position and the close proximity of the cross also showed ref Andy Madley got the call spot-on. But in the past, VAR may well have intervened to create further confusion the game does not need.
I believe Madley called it correctly with everyone understanding his decision since — apart from Arteta.
Webb plans to meet Premier League officials this month and Arteta will get his chance to ask further questions — but I’m sure Webb will also want to make the Spaniard aware of his actions on the touchline.
Arteta must remember he is a role model for the game and his antics, like I have mentioned with Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp previously, fell below the standards we expect.
Arteta must improve his pitchside conduct going forward.
Arsenal have already had two offers rejected by Shakhtar, the latest worth up to £62million, but are refusing to allow themselves to be outbid by Chelsea.
Arteta added: “We have to compete with them, so we have to be smart and we have to be attractive to players.”
Arsenal ace Emile Smith Rowe could be involved in tomorrow’s FA Cup third-round tie at Oxford United — his first outing since a groin op in September.
Meanwhile, U’s skipper Elliott Moore warned the Gunners they will not have it all their own way at the Kassam.
Moore said: “We’re not expected to win but we still as a club believe that we can.”