Arsenal

Mikel Arteta issues brilliant response to Pep Guardiola’s unprompted dig at Arsenal boss

Pep Guardiola took aim at Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta over his attitude to referees after Manchester City were the victims of a howler by Simon Hooper in their thrilling draw with Tottenham Mikel Arteta has laughed off Pep Guardiola’s unprompted jibe about his attitude to referees.

The Manchester City boss was left fuming after referee Simon Hooper dropped a huge howler in stoppage time of his side’s draw with Tottenham on Sunday. But he declined to take questions, insisting he not want to make a ” Mikel Arteta comment.

Arteta has now been asked about Guardiola’s dig as he prepares his Arsenal side to face Luton Town on Tuesday night. But the Spaniard remained coy, laughing as the question was asked at his pre-match press conference before responding: “Onto the next one please, thank you. I have enough in my garden and in my plate as well so we’ll move on.”
City were left furious when Hooper pulled play back for a free-kick on Erling Haaland having initially played advantage as Jack Grealish looked to race through. But Guardiola was keen to turn the focus onto title rivals Arsenal and his protégé Arteta.

“Next question,” he said bluntly when he asked about the incident by Sky Sports. “I will not do a Mikel Arteta comment. The referee will now whistle after saying play on, after the pass then whistles. So I don’t know.

“We created a lot of chances, we were aggressive. Football is like life, sometimes you don’t get what you deserve. Congratulations to Spurs for the point. That is football. Spurs played incredibly well against Aston Villa but lost the game.
We were not able to do it, we have to continue. The support was incredible today. Maybe next time we will be better. How many chances do they create? Not much. On to the next. Go for it.”

Arsenal are now two points clear at the top of the Premier League, having finished as runners-up last season. But Arteta has denied that he takes encouragement from City’s recent poor form, as he prepares to face Rob Edwards’ Hatters.

“Encouragement no. The encouragement comes from watching the team play and how hungry and willing they are. What the others do is something that we cannot control. I don’t look at those things. I have enough looking at my team,” the Arsenal boss added.
If I am good at mind games maybe you don’t notice. I would say it’s an inspiring place. What they’ve done is remarkable. What Rob did, the way they transmit as a team. We are neighbours almost. They deserve a lot of credit.”

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