Arteta defends Arsenal celebrations, says he hadn’t heard criticism


Mikel Arteta says he loved the celebrations after Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Liverpool on Sunday and had no idea his staff and players were being criticised in the media until his press team briefed him before this afternoon’s press conference.

On Sky Sports, pundit Jamie Carragher scoffed at Martin Odegaard’s decision to borrow the camera of club photographer Stuart MacFarlane while the likes of Chris Sutton and Richard Keys aired their own grievances on BBC radio and beIN SPORTS.

While it’s not the first time the ‘celebration police’ have knocked on Arsenal’s door, it’s clear Arteta pays little attention to the nonsense said and written about enjoying life’s better moments, pointing to peers who do the same.

Asked if he was surprised by the media furore, he said: “No, because they told me today. I didn’t know anything about it. But I love it – I’ve seen [away] managers at the Emirates on their knees, on the pitch.

“I’ve seen very big managers walking onto the pitch, I’ve seen managers going across the touchline. I’ve seen that all in the Premier League.

“Personally, I love it because it brings such passion and emotion to the game. When it’s done in a natural and unique way, I think it’s great. It’s my opinion and a lot of people may have something very different to mine.”

He added: “I see a lot of games and in game three, game six, game eight, there are managers and teams celebrating a lot, fans celebrating a lot. It’s so tough to win in this league.

“For sure, it was a big match for us. You can tell how much it meant from the [first] whistle. You could sense the stadium and the atmosphere very different already. It was a great day.”

He also had warm words for the way club captain Odegaard took it upon himself to include MacFarlane in the post-game jamboree.

“That’s something that happened because there’s a relationship – they do it every day here at the training ground.

“But people are entitled to have their opinion. When you do something publicly, there are going to be opinions.

“Some of them are positive, some of them not so positive. That’s our job, to accept all of that and still behave in what you think is the right way to behave and make sure we don’t lose that.”

His answer as to whether or not Arsenal are unfairly treated in the media was also an interesting insight into his personality.

“I don’t agree with that. In my life, what I have heard in the past five days, it’s all positive. So do you want to hear more the negative part, or the very positive part?

“I think there has been a lot of positiveness, and maybe a little criticism, if you focus there, you only see that. It depends on your perspective.

“It was an extremely positive reaction from our people, from media, staff, others managers, I got so many texts. When I’m walking in the street it’s pride and a lot of compliments for what we did, so I don’t have that impression at all.”

Arsenal head to the London Stadium on Sunday to face West Ham. Rumours the club will award themselves a replica Premier League trophy should they win are thought to be wide of the mark.

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