Thursday, May 26

Mikel Arteta gives blunt response to Antonio Conte criticism

Mikel Arteta said he only has eyes for Arsenal’s clash with Newcastle after receiving criticism from Tottenham manager Antonio Conte in midweek.

Arteta saw his Gunners side lose in comical fashion as Cedric gave away a penalty and Rob Holding was sent off in the 3-0 north London derby defeat, with refereeing decisions upsetting the Spaniard.

His complaints were picked up by Conte, who encouraged his rival to pack the moaning in, but Arteta had little response to the criticism ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Newcastle on Monday night.

Asked for his own retort, he said: “Yes – I am fully focused on beating Newcastle.

“I’m only looking forward, as I said afterwards [at Tottenham]. That game was lost and we were disappointed but now we have a huge game to play against Newcastle. We have fully focused all our energy on that.

In this episode of The Chronicles of a Gooner, part of the 90min Podcast Network, Harry Symeou reacts to Tottenham 3-0 Arsenal in the Premier League.

“We started the game extremely well, then we conceded that first goal after that [penalty] decision. After that, we got into a situation that is difficult to judge or assess, but I was really proud of the players.

“Losing like that is always painful. But you also learn a lot, probably more than with any win. So it’s good to go through those moments sometimes. Hopefully, that helps us on Monday.”

Arsenal remain in control of their Champions League destiny despite the defeat to Spurs, holding a one-point advantage with two games to go.

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However, that lead could turn into a deficit should Tottenham beat Burnley on Sunday, leaving the Gunners needing a win at a Newcastle side that has won six of its last seven league games at St James’ Park.

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