Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta remained unrepentant on Tuesday about his emotional outburst following his team’s 1-0 defeat by Newcastle United in the Premier League after which he labelled the officiating “embarrassing and a disgrace”.
Speaking ahead of his side’s Champions League home clash against Sevilla, the Spaniard said he would do the same again.
“It is my duty to stand in front of you and the cameras and give a clear and honest assessment of what happens in the game and this is what I did, reflect very openly,” he told reporters.
“The game was conditioned by the decisions that were made and it was my duty to be defending my players, supporting my players, supporting my club, defending my people in the best possible way. This is what I’m going to do time after time and I will do it with the way I feel and with the evidence.”
Arsenal suffered its first Premier League loss of the season after Newcastle’s winning goal was allowed to stand despite a VAR check for three different reasons.
Arsenal issued a statement on Monday defending Arteta and said the club “deserved better”, adding that the officiating body, the PGMOL, urgently needed to address the standard of officiating.
“I stand for the same words that mistakes are part of football in any other way and we are here to constructively improve the game with everything we can,” Arteta said.
“This is what we are doing as a club, in the manager’s meetings, to give our opinions and our voices and to raise things in the most constructive way to get a better game.”
Asked again about his conduct and whether his actions encouraged disrespect to referees, Arteta said: “You have to understand that we have to be there and if you guys want our opinion, then we have to give it in an honest way and clear.
“Be clear and honest but respectful and value what we have and make sure we continue to evolve the game.”
Arsenal could qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League if it beats Sevilla in Group B.
Arteta’s side is top with six points, one more than Lens and four ahead of Sevilla.
“The moment you have a chance in football to put it to bed, do it,” Arteta said. “We will have to do a lot of things right tomorrow against a really good team with enormous experience.”
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