Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has claimed that he will continue voicing his opinions on referees. The comments come after the Spaniard was charged by the Football Association (FA) for harsh words towards the state of officiating in the Premier League.
Arteta previously blasted referees for not ruling out a game-winning goal by Anthony Gordon in their defeat to Newcastle. The Gunners manager labeled the failed decision as “embarrassing” and a “disgrace” in his postgame remarks. Arteta may face a touchline ban and a hefty fine for the comments.
On Friday, Media members asked the Arsenal boss if the club has tried to combat the charge by communicating further with the FA. “Yes, we have,” replied Arteta. “We tried to give our points and the reasons why. There’s not a lot more I can comment on.”
“There is a process and when you get asked to give your observation and explain yourself, you have to do it in the right way. We have a mechanism and the processes in place to do that. Let’s see what happens.”
Mikel Arteta claims freedom of speech will improve referees
Despite the potential ban, Arteta proclaimed that he will continue being himself in interviews. “You have to be yourself. As a leader, you have to be authentic,” stated the Spaniard. “You cannot be someone you are not and this is who I am here. I want to think that we have to talk to make things better.”
“When I have to talk about myself and be critical about myself, I’m the first one to do it. I want to be very positive and that’s what people expect. At the end we have a role with a lot of responsibility and we have to stand for our actions and the way we are.”
Along with vowing not to remain silent on issues, Arteta also stated that freedom of speech will ultimately help improve the game. “We want to improve the game, all of us: Referees, managers, sporting directors, officials, [the media],” continued the coach.
“We all want a better game and to have a better game we have to have freedom of speech, respectfully and in a constructive way. And we have to promote that and if you don’t then you don’t get better.”
Other Premier League managers avoid similar discipline
While Arteta has been charged, the governing body has overlooked similar situations from other Premier League managers. Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi was given a warning for his comments following a draw with Sheffield United. The Italian coach claimed to not like “80 percent of England’s referees” in his postgame interview.
Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino also avoided legitimate punishment for an outburst after a matchup with Manchester City. The manager was seen yelling at fourth official Craig Pawson on the sideline following the final whistle. Pochettino, however, also confronted referee Anthony Taylor on the pitch as well.
Arteta may not officially learn his penalty on the charge for another 10 days. An independent panel must first review the case at hand. The manager will be on the sideline for his team’s visit to Brentford on Saturday, Nov. 25th.
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