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Mikel Arteta admits he was left with choice of silence or lying ahead of Newcastle United

5 days ago
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Mikel Arteta not in the best of moods ahead of facing Newcastle United.

The Arsenal boss watched on as his team crumbled and lost 3-0 to fierce rivals Tottenham on Thursday night.

A win would have guaranteed the Gunners a place in the Champions League next season, instead their hopes lie very much in the balance, only a point ahead of Spurs with two games each remaining. Plus Tottenham have a 12 goals advantage when it comes to GD.

Mikel Arteta clearly wanted to say plenty after this Tottenham defeat but when it came to the referee, the Arsenal boss took a vow of silence. Arteta saying that if he did say anything then he would either have to lie, or if not, he would end up potentially banned from the touchline on Monday night at St James Park.

Mikel Arteta clearly wanting to blame the match officials for the defeat AND making that clear, without actually giving a blow by blow account of what he felt aggrieved about.

To be honest, Mikel Arteta and his players only had themselves to blame, as they were clearly second best on the night AND Rob Holding looked like a man on a mission to get sent off.

Hopefully the Arsenal and Mikel Arteta frustrations will carry through to Monday night, with Eddie Howe looking to make it seven wins in the final eight home games of the season at St James Park.

Mikel Arteta speaking to the media after losing 3-0 at Tottenham on Thursday night, asked what he thought about the referee?

“I cannot do it.

“I just want to say that I am really proud of my players but obviously we didn’t get the result that we wanted.

“I can’t wait to play on Monday (against Newcastle United).”

On the red card for Rob Holding

“I want to be on the touchline on Monday night.

“No [I can’t talk] because I will be suspended.

“You can ask the referee if he wants to come and give an assessment of the match.

“I can do it but I have two options, I can lie to you, which I don’t do, or if not I will be suspended and I really want to be on the touchline against Newcastle.”

Was it a red card?

“I prefer not to [speak about the incident].”

On what went wrong?

“That we lost the game.

“Obviously, we wanted to play the game and we were so excited to play a game and you’ve seen the team, how it started, the way we were playing and this beautiful occasion was destroyed and unfortunately, we could not enjoy the game that we wanted to play.”

On the race for top four

“We can’t wait now to play on Monday (at St James Park).

“This is how I feel.”

On not handling the occasion

“No. I didn’t see any of that.”

If the players should remember they are still in fourth

“Absolutely, [it’s important that] the disappointment doesn’t take over, more than the great opportunity and the beautiful two games that we have added of us and this is where our energy is going to be now.”

On how Rob Holding is feeling after his red card

“I haven’t spoken to him personally, but you can imagine obviously having to leave the pitch so early in a huge match like this is very tough.”

On Gabriel’s injury

“I don’t know.

“Gabi is normally not a player who wants to or asks to come off the pitch, he felt something and hopefully it’s not much, because having Rob (Holding) out and Ben (White) with no training sessions, obviously we are really short in that position. It’s a muscular problem (for Gabriel), and we’ll have to assess him.”

On whether Arsenal will appeal Holding’s red card

“I don’t know, I will speak to the club and let’s see how we feel about it and what options we have.

“We always defend our club in the best possible way, so we will look at the options that we have.”

Thoughts turning to Newcastle United

“I have already done that.

“This (Tottenham) game is now history. We have to play on Monday (against Newcastle) and we have to start to win the game now.

“We have to manage the frustration and I know how they were feeling about a few things. I didn’t want that frustration to take over us, because then we were going to lose more players.”

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