Let me stress, I don’t agree with what Mikel Arteta said after the Newcastle game, but I believe he had the right to say it. The only damage his words had was to our title hopes, the pressure getting to a young manager supporting the perception that Arsenal lack the mentality to be Champions.
Yet words that he was entitled to use.
While I would like our manager to self-reflect and believe his failure to do so will cost us the title, it doesn’t alter his freedom to express his opinion.
The FA clearly disagree.
On Thursday afternoon they confirmed they have charged Mikel Arteta for his comments on the 4th of November, the 41-year-old having till Tuesday to respond.
If found guilty, a punishment could include a touchline ban.
Given his employers released a statement the very next day reiterating the Spaniard’s stance indicates the club will not back down and nor should they.
What the club wrote was pointless, with little suggestions about how VAR and officiating could be improved, but again their language (like our boss) was hardly offensive.
The Football Association though believe that: “It’s alleged that his comments constitute misconduct as they are insulting towards match officials and/or detrimental to the game and/or bring the game into disrepute.”
Clearly Arteta felt the failure to overturn Anthony Gordon’s goal was a ‘Disgrace’ and ’embarrassing’ but that’s not insulting someone.
Yes, his deflection tactics are cringe-worthy and transparent but that’s not a crime. At zero point does he swear, abuse or mock anyone personally.
If disagreeing with a decision is ‘bringing the game into disrepute’ then maybe the media shouldn’t be allowed to ask for your point of view?
As part of the TV contracts, broadcasters have rights to interview managers in a certain time frame after the final whistle. They pay enough money to make that demand, but managers can’t then be judged if they are emotional.
Arteta for example, was more measured when expressing himself days later when he had time to process his thoughts.
Companies surely want managers being honest for good TV.
How dull will the product be if every manager feels forced to say what he’s meant to say and not what he’s really feeling?
Arteta will simply join the majority of his peers by keeping his thoughts to himself, not feeling it’s worth expressing himself, making future post-match interviews pointless.
No, I don’t agree with how Arteta conducted himself on Tyneside. It lacked class.
I don’t agree with what he said yet I agree with his right to say it.
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