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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hits back at criticisms over his touchline antics

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hits back at criticisms over his touchline antics

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is hitting back at criticism of his touchline antics – after the Spaniard was angered by behavior in the Newcastle clash… and accused critics of taking ‘context into a situation’

  • Mikel Arteta has responded to criticism with his passionate pitch-side antics
  • The Arsenal boss has received backlash for his touch-line displays recently
  • However, he claimed it was only ‘passion’ for his side as they faced Newcastle
  • The Spaniard did admit that his critics ‘may have an opinion’ on his antics

Mikel Arteta will not dilute his pitch-side passion with criticism of his antics and charges at the FA for failing to control his players.

The Arsenal manager insisted he will ‘look in the mirror’ and examine his behavior but will continue to physically and verbally defend his players and the club as he sees fit.

Arteta was embroiled in lengthy protests at the end of Tuesday’s acrimonious draw at Newcastle – as his players surrounded the referee amid two late penalty appeals.

Mikel Arteta has hit back at critics of his passionate touch-line displays of late

Mikel Arteta has hit back at critics of his passionate touch-line displays of late

The Arsenal boss was an incensed figure on the side-lines during his team's game at Newcastle

The Arsenal boss was an incensed figure on the side-lines during his team’s game at Newcastle

‘I hear many times that this team is the mirror of the coach, or the passion – I don’t know,’ said Arteta.

‘That is me! I will always try to be better. Whatever I do, whether tomorrow or the next day, is to make the club stronger, my players better, play better and win.’

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Experts and former players such as Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton say Arteta’s animated activity could have a detrimental effect as pressure mounts to maintain the Premier League title race at Manchester City.

But Arteta insisted: ‘I’m not part of that debate. I think in public they can have their opinions. I try to do my best for this football club, to defend it, to promote it, to play the passion that I believe the game should be played.

‘Each manager has a different attitude towards situations. You can’t take the context out of a situation – I don’t think that’s fair. That is me! Whether I’m here or on the pitch, it’s me – the good and the bad!’

Arteta looked confused as the fourth official signaled five minutes of added time

Arteta looked confused as the fourth official signaled five minutes of added time

Arteta watched as his team failed to score for the first time in a match all season

Arteta watched as his team failed to score for the first time in a match all season

The Spanish coach has not changed his approach since starting his managerial career at Arsenal three years ago, but admits he may change if he feels his style is no longer helping his players.

He added: ‘That’s not for me to say [if it helps the players]. If I have to do something, I will do it. If I need to change something, believe me, I’ll look myself in the mirror and change it very quickly.’

Arteta’s next test of character will be Monday night’s FA Cup tie with third-tier Oxford United.

And he hopes to use the match to reintroduce England international Emile Smith Rowe for the first time since undergoing groin surgery in September

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‘First of all, we need him to be fit and at his best, and when we have an incredible player we have missed a lot in recent months. On Sunday, if he trains well, hopefully he can be used to give us something in the game.’

Emile Smith Rowe is limbering up for his first Arsenal appearance since last September

Emile Smith Rowe is limbering up for his first Arsenal appearance since last September

Smith Rowe’s return could ease Arsenal’s transfer demands as they compete with Chelsea to sign Ukraine star forward Mykhaylo Mudryk

Shakhtar Donetsk have repeatedly made their desire for Arsenal known and Arteta has hinted that the transfer sage could be swayed their way – rather than entering into a bidding war.

He explained: ‘Valuations have to be made between the selling club and the buying club, and it is difficult but it shows that there are many clubs with a lot of financial power to spend a lot of money, and we have to compete with them .

‘To be smart, we have to see good opportunities and we have to be attractive for the players. At the end of the day, the players decide where they want to play, and if they want to play for our club, that’s great.’

The Gunners will be hoping to get back to winning ways in their FA Cup trip to Oxford United

The Gunners will be hoping to get back to winning ways in their FA Cup trip to Oxford United