Mikel Arteta has hit out at the media for misrepresenting comments he made about his players before Wednesday night’s game with Chelsea.
Arsenal claimed a surprise 1-0 victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, to keep their faint hopes of Europa League football for next season alive.
However, Gunners boss Arteta was in a less than cheery mood when he was interviewed by Sky Sports after the game, as he took umbrage at the way in which his pre-match comments were reported by the media.
🗣️ “We put everything we had into it”
Mikel Arteta hails the spirit inside the Arsenal camp after victory at Chelsea pic.twitter.com/spUfxsRgs5
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 12, 2021
“Nothing is broken. Inside, nothing is broken. They [the media] try to put things on me that I never said,” Arteta claimed.
“You can see the spirit of the team from the first minute. It doesn’t matter whether we’re playing seventh, eighth, ninth. You can never doubt their efforts and how much they are trying.”
Gunners boss bites back at the media.
Arteta believes that the way in which his comments before the game were reported made it seem like several of his players had reached their full potential, and that there was nothing more that a manager could do to improve them.
The Spaniard has now clarified those comments, explaining that it is up to him to push his players past their potential and that they are all giving everything they have to him and the club.
“I said that if I don’t get 120 per cent off each player, it’s my fault and my responsibility, but it wasn’t [portrayed] like that in the press and I am so annoyed with that,” Arteta explained.
“I will defend my players in front of anybody for the rest of the time that I’m here. They deserve that because they earn it every single day.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) May 12, 2021
“Every player that is here does that. If he doesn’t, he is not here, because the only thing I’m going to demand until the last day is that they give me everything that they have. That is unquestionable and non-negotiable, 100 per cent.”
Despite the impressive win against the Champions League finalists, Arteta was visibly still aggravated by the media’s reporting of his comments and explained that they would never be able to harm the team’s spirit.
“They [the media] are not going to break [Arsenal’s team spirit]. They can try, but they’re not going to break that. Not the chemistry that we have – not only with the players but with our staff, with the board. They can’t touch that.
“If they try to touch it, it can be with opinions, but not by saying something that I never said. I’m not taking that.”