Mikel Arteta hits back at Gary Neville after ‘dangerous’ Arsenal statement

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hit back at Gary Neville after the Manchester United legend claimed the Gunners’ recent statement was “dangerous”. Arteta insists the club have stuck to their values despite the much-criticised press release following Saturday’s loss to Newcastle.

Arsenal came out in defence of their manager by releasing a statement on Sunday. Arteta was fuming after the defeat at St James’ Park, insisting Newcastle’s winner should not have counted for many reasons.

VAR reviewed the incident but did not feel they had enough evidence to rule the goal out. Less than 24 hours later, Arsenal said “They wholeheartedly support Mikel Arteta’s post-match comments after yet more unacceptable refereeing and VAR errors on Saturday evening.”

The statement went on to say that the “PGMOL urgently needs to address the standard of officiating and focus on action which moves us all on from retrospective analysis, attempted explanations and apologies.” Neville has been one of the biggest critics of the statement since it was released.

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He said on Sky Sports on Monday: “I think the Arsenal statement is quite dangerous. I think all clubs have signed up to a new behavioural charter at the start of the season.

“I’m not saying that referees shouldn’t be put under pressure that Mikel Arteta or other managers shouldn’t feel aggrieved at the end of matches. What I am saying is that the clubs themselves should definitely behave better in these circumstances.”

Those comments were put directly to Arteta at his press conference on Tuesday morning. And the Spaniard has stuck to his guns, insisting the club have done nothing wrong and they have only carried out their duties.

Arteta said: “Again we have a duty to express how we feel with all the evidence that we have and the history of what’s happened. I think we have to really expand for our people our values and who we are.

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“And when the club has done it, it’s done it in a very specific moment for the right reasons and it shows as well the unity and the understanding that there is within the club, to position ourselves in a really clear and honest way. I think that is our duty as a club.”

Arteta claimed on Saturday that the decision to give Gordon’s goal was an “absolute disgrace” and that he was “embarrassed”. He stands by his comments and says he would behave the same way again.

Arteta said: “It is my duty to stand in front of you, to stand in front of the cameras and give a very clear and honest assessment of what happened in the game. I did reflect very openly on how I felt the team played and how the game led to this result by the decisions that were made.

“It’s my duty to defend my players, supporting my players, supporting my club, defending my people in the best possible way and that is what I’m going to do time after time.”

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