Mikel Arteta not fussed by Roy Keane issue as long as Arsenal keep winning

Mikel Arteta has told his players they can call him what they like – just as long as they keep winning.

TV pundit Roy Keane claimed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had shown a lack of respect in a post-match interview by calling the Arsenal manager by his first name rather than “manager, boss or the gaffer".

But Arteta, 38, insisted he does not mind them calling him by his first name and suggested it was a unique relationship because he has only just retired as a player and has shared a dressing room with some players.

Arsenal boss Arteta said it was “not an issue” because there was mutual respect and results are clearly proving the players are responding to his methods.

Arteta said: “I was told that Roy mentioned that. I give them the choice to call me whatever they feel comfortable with. With some of them obviously I shared a dressing room.

“For me, I don’t feel disrespected. I understand why he is saying that as a player, but the way I feel with them – and I feel so close with them, with some of them I played with – so for me it is not an issue and it is not the way I would feel respected or disrespected.

“It is something that before I joined I was a bit concerned with, and at the moment I am not. Because I think it is not just something that has to come from me. It is something that both parties have to understand, respect and go about the relationship in the same way.

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“To be fair they made it really, really easy for me in that sense. Obviously the feelings I have for them won’t change whether I am on one side or the other, because at the end we are part of the same thing. But it has not been something difficult to manage.

“I leave them the choice. There are people at the training ground who call me boss or coach. The French guys call me coach. It depends. It’s not an issue for me.”

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Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock added: “We all really, really respect the manager. What he has done in the ten months he has been here has been mind blowing. We talk about it in the changing rooms and there’s never a lack of respect.”

Arteta also revealed that he is taking it “step by step” with Mohamed Elneny who is set for a new contract after his remarkable revival under the Arsenal manager, going from being on the brink of leaving to an integral part of the midfield.

Arteta added: “What I can say is that I am really pleased with the player and everything that he is doing and hopefully he can continue like that and perform rally well throughout the season.”

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