Mikel Arteta takes on national newspaper reporter in heated debate over referees abuse campaign
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Mikel Arteta has gone back and forth with a national newspaper reporter after seeing his picture used in a campaign to stop abuse towards referees.
The Arsenal manager was charged for comments he made following a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United earlier this month.
Anthony Gordon's second-half winner was surrounded by controversy after being allowed to stand despite three separate VAR checks.
A seething Arteta called the decision to award a goal 'embarrassing' and 'an absolute disgrace' in his post-match press conference.
Earlier this week, the Daily Mail set up a 'Stop Abusing Referees' campaign. The publication claims it's a way to 'support' officials and 'spotlight bad behaviour' and called out Arteta for 'shameful antics' this season.
He was asked about the campaign during his pre-match press conference for Saturday evening's trip to Brentford. Arteta revealed he's seen the campaign and how prominently he's featured.
Despite that, the Spaniard is refusing to change his ways and even took his inclusion as a positive.
He said: "I saw the article, I saw the campaign and I saw my picture but I took it as a compliment.
"Because I’ve been here 20 years and I have supported the league, the players, the referees and I have promoted the game always in the best possible manner.
"And I expect that if we want to continue to do that, you have to give your opinion you know?
"And I have given hundreds of opinions but if you want to isolate one moment to talk about something that I believe and use it in a different way, I don’t think that’s fair.
"We live the game you know with emotion. I react when a player scores a goal, yeah? I react when a player gives the ball away, yeah?
"I react to the physio when he wants to fly on the pitch to give treatment and I’m saying no! We are constantly reacting, this is the game. We live in a game that is passionate you know and we play to win and it has to happen and you have to react.
"If not, I sit down here in the theatre, be on mute and let’s see if this league and this game is that interesting. It won’t. That’s what makes it special, in a very respectful way? Yes, for sure."
Arteta's previously been criticised for his touchline antics by polarising beIN SPORTS anchor Richard Keys.
The reporter in the presser then appeared to take issue with Arteta's comments, asking if the 41-year-old was trying to claim changing your behaviour is 'impossible'.
Arteta replied: "No, it isn’t but we have to say what does that mean? What does that mean to improve it?"
The reporter then fired back with a remark of: "Show more respect?"
With tensions escalating, Arteta furiously responded: "How?! It’s like an onion, we’re talking really superficial.
"We have to go to the bottom of it, what do we expect from each other?
"This is good behaviour, this is going to help, we do it.
"If they tell me these three things are going to help, believe me I will try my best to help, for sure.
"But we have to be detailed, don’t talk globally about one situation one day, three months later because you know we have to go through the history of what we all say how we all behave because I can behave really good now because of three years ago."