Mikel Arteta, Arsenal’s head coach, slammed the media after his team’s 1-0 win over Chelsea on Wednesday. After a Jorginho miss, Emile Smith Rowe scored early in the game at Stamford Bridge, and the shot held up as the Gunners defended resolutely in the second half. But after the game, Arteta felt forced to lash out at what he saw as an unjust reading of his pre-match remarks, in which he seemed to say that certain Arsenal players weren’t giving it their all.
Arsenal vs Chelsea | What has been said:
Arteta told Sky Sports, “There’s nothing broken on the inside. I’m not sure what they’re trying to do from the outside. They want to blame me for something I never said. From the first minute, you can see the team’s spirit. Efforts should never be questioned. I said it’s my fault and duty if I don’t get 120 percent off each player. This was not reported in the papers. That irritates me greatly. For the remainder of my time here, I will protect my players against anyone. They haven’t earned it.”
On the public, Arteta added: “They won’t be able to crack [the team’s bond]. They can try, but they won’t succeed in breaking it. They can’t touch it, not only with the players but also with the coaching staff and the council. Whether they want to touch it, it would be for their own thoughts, what I’ve written. That’s not going to work for me. It’s the first time I’ve had to express myself.”
The Arsenal manager seemed to say that some of his players had let him down this season by not giving it their all.
When asked if his players had given it their all, Arteta said, “They gave it they’re all. Yes, for the vast majority of them. Some of them will reach a point where they can no longer be pushed. You’d like to grow them, but you can’t. I didn’t say any of them when I said a majority. Any people have a major impact on the outcomes.”