Mikel Arteta finally breaks his silence on pre-match protest against Stan Kroenke.
Furious Arsenal’s supporters staged a protest against owner Stan Kroenke on Friday ahead of their Premier League clash with Everton at the Emirates Stadium.
Despite Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta urging his players to focus on matters on the pitch rather than off it, his team lost the game, and the Spaniard refused to blame the protest for his loss.
Gunners supporters flocked to the Emirates Stadium ahead of the Everton clash to make their feelings known about Kroenke’s decision to put the club forward to join the widely-criticized European Super League and his overall running of the club.
Ahead of kick-off, Gunners’ manager recognized the issue at stake but refused to offer too many thoughts on matters out of his control, focusing fully on matters on the pitch.
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Before the game, Arteta said:
“We hear them, we know what they think, but our responsibility, our role, our commitment, should be on trying to play the best possible way to try and win the match, That’s it.”
“It doesn’t help when you have your own fans trying to stand out on a matchday and singing loud and clear that they’re not happy with something.
“But our job again is to win the football match and when that happens, everything is better. That’s our way to contribute in the best possible and positive way.”
Arsenal went on to suffer a 1-0 defeat at Emirates, in which Arteta refused to acknowledge that the protest played a part. He however took VAR to blame saying:
“We were the better team but there are certain decisions that we can’t control.
“To disallow a penalty 15 seconds before – [we had] eight or nine touches [after Pepe was offside] – I saw it 10 times and I don’t get it.
“It can be taken the way they want. Zero control. Somebody has to explain that.
“We were the better team. We lacked some clear-cut chances and the edge in the final third.
“They are very well organised but we conceded the goal in the wrong moment and when we had the penalty but it wasn’t given.”
“Errors are part of football, we conceded an own goal that defined the game at the end. We didn’t create enough against a team that is well organised, we lacked clarity in the final third.
“We need to go through the disappointment and focus our energy, the semi-final is more than crucial for us. I don’t want to use any excuses, I understand the protests.”
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