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‘I was still surprised’: Thierry Henry reacts to behaviour of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

‘I was still surprised’: Thierry Henry reacts to behaviour of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Thierry Henry acknowledges that shortly after Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Newcastle United, he was ‘surprised’ by Mikel Arteta‘s ongoing focus on the VAR issues from that match. The Arsenal icon comprehends Arteta’s initial frustration as he believed his team was unfairly treated and “robbed” during the game.

Following the controversial decision to validate Anthony Gordon’s goal, Arteta, the former Manchester City coach, strongly criticized the verdict. Additionally, the club released a statement supporting Arteta’s comments, leading Joe Cole to criticize the Arsenal board.

According to Thierry Henry, Arteta should have concluded discussion on the matter there and shifted focus towards upcoming challenges, as stated during his interview with CBS Sports on Paramount+ (08/11/23 at 7:30 pm). Regardless of whether the goal decision was right or wrong, or if the subsequent outburst was warranted.

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Henry anticipates that Arteta might face disciplinary action from the Football Association (FA) in the form of a fine or touchline ban due to his ongoing comments about the incident.

Thierry Henry on Mikel Arteta

“The manager behaved like a manager would behave at the end of the game,” said Henry. “I have been in that situation when you feel like your team got robbed. You don’t look at the opposition.

“At the end of the game, you need to understand when the coach goes to speak to the press, he can’t cool off, at that moment. It’s very difficult for him to not get upset about what happened.

“What I think was a bit annoying for him is what he did say about the Liverpool goal at Tottenham. ‘They are trying to make the best decisions. We need to understand that mistakes happen’. He is talking about the referees. And then when it happens to your team, we can see what he said. It’s something you always do as a coach. You defend your team and you defend your players.

“Where I was still surprised was they still mention it three or four days after the club actually made a statement, whether you like it or you don’t. You could have left it there and say ‘look the club talked. Let’s move on and concentrate on the game against Sevilla’, which as a coach is difficult because you are trying to front for your team. You are trying to make sure to say ‘guys, I am with you. I am going to go out there and talk’. 

“I don’t think it was necessary to reiterate that three to four days after. But as a coach, you are always going to defend your team.”

Arsenal beat Sevilla

The controversial nature of the Anthony Gordon goal shouldn’t overshadow Arsenal’s poor performance, especially considering their elimination from the League Cup by West Ham United.

For a team aspiring to contend for the Premier League title, it was crucial to secure a much-needed victory after experiencing consecutive defeats. This imperative win was achieved with a 2-0 victory over a formidable Sevilla side in the Champions League on Wednesday night. This victory puts them in a position where likely one more win would secure their place in the knockout stages.

Arsenal has managed well in handling various competitions so far. However, the true challenge will emerge after the festive period concludes, entering the final months of the season, which will be the true test for the club.

‘I was still surprised’: Thierry Henry reacts to behaviour of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

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