Erik ten Hag ‘annoyed’ at loss to Arsenal
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Arsenal fan and broadcaster Laura Woods has jumped to the defence of Mikel Arteta as debate continues over his touchline antics. The Spaniard was booked for getting overly animated during the Gunners’ win over Manchester United on Sunday, with similar incidents unfolding at various points this season.
Referee Anthony Taylor judged Arteta to have overstepped the mark against United, trotting over the the touchline and showing him a yellow card. The Arsenal boss currently holds a five-point lead over Manchester City, despite having played a game fewer, with a first Premier League title since 2003/04 at stake.
Many, including broadcaster Richard Keys, were happy to see officials crack down on Arteta’s exuberance on the touchline, as has become a common theme in Arsenal’s recent games. Others, however, believe that he is being singled out unfairly.
“We’ve grown up watching Jose Mourinho sprinting up touchlines and screaming at people,” Woods told talkSPORT. “Pep Guardiola literally kicked a bottle and it hit someone on the bench the other week. It was completely accidental, of course, but he loses his head all the time.
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“We’ve grown up watching Jose Mourinho sprinting up touchlines and screaming at people. Pep Guardiola literally kicked a bottle and it hit someone on the bench the other week. It was completely accidental, of course, but he loses his head all the time.
“[Jurgen] Klopp ran onto the pitch and celebrated with Alisson. He literally ran onto the pitch. And guess what, we loved it. We love all of it because it’s passion. We always talk about players becoming these robots – don’t make the managers do that as well.
“If [Arteta] really steps out of line, the referees can deal with it but this thing that’s happening at the moment with everyone rallying against Mikel Arteta is because of exactly what Simon Jordan said… he’s the Johnny-come-lately and everyone wants to pull him down.
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“That’s the way it works. If he didn’t do things like that, people would say he’s boring. It would be like ‘Mikel Arteta is so uninspiring, he never gives us anything in interviews’. Get over it. If you’re genuinely that offended by what he’s doing, you’re watching the wrong sport.”
After Eddie Nketiah’s 90th-minute winner sealed victory against the Red Devils, Arteta was asked whether he needed to learn from the incident that saw him booked, to which he responded: “You can always get better in life.”
Arsenal came from behind to beat United at the Emirates, with Nketiah’s first goal of the evening cancelling out Marcus Rashford’s thumping opener. Lisandro Martinez and Bukayo Saka each got on the scoresheet before Nketiah’s telling contribution in the dying embers of the game.
Emotions are running high in north London with Arteta hoping to hold off the Premier League challenge of Pep Guardiola – with whom he served as assistant manager while at Manchester City – in the race for the title.
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