MIKEL ARTETA went on the pitch with all the shots aimed at Arsenal’s critics and vowed to defend his club ‘with teeth and with nails.’
The Emirates boss is furious by the outburst he made after North London derby postponed on Sunday.
And he insists the club did everything according to the books when they postponed the match despite recording only one positive Covid case.
Angry Spurs released a statement criticizing that decision and hinted that Arsenal had exploited a loophole in Premier League regulations.
But Arteta countered: “We will not allow anyone to ruin our name or try to lie about things that haven’t happened yet.
“We will absolutely defend our club with our teeth and nails in a really strong way because we know we did the right thing.
“We don’t have the players needed for a squad to play in a Premier League game. That is 100% guaranteed.
“Anyone who says we’re trying to do something we haven’t done is a lie. And when someone lies, you don’t really feel offended.
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“We were killed playing the first three games of the season without a lot of players.
“People say ‘don’t be naive. If you have that many, don’t play with your kids’.
“We played Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup with ten players absent and now we have postponed a game for all the right reasons and we get these reactions. It’s a no-win situation.”
Speaking ahead of the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Liverpool at the Emirates tonight, Arteta insists he is still struggling to name a team.
And he suggests that not every club is as transparent as Arsenal when it comes to name-calling matches.
“When a team comes to us and says they can’t play, we never openly question it,” he said.
“You have to expect people to follow the rules, be honest and try to maintain the integrity of the competition.
“I agree that there needs to be more regulation, but you have to do it from the start.
“Asking someone to change when you want transparency mid-season is difficult and a bit manipulative.
“If the game is only for Covid then we are playing a different game with different rules.
“So are we checking every day, twice a day, PCR or lateral flow? What are we trying to achieve?
“Because there is no way we can have all of our players have full MRIs every day because then no one will be playing football.
“On Sunday we didn’t have 11 players and we did all the right things.
“You have to show personal proof, all the MRIs, all the Covid cases that you have. You have to put it all on the table, explain and answer more questions.
“That is why we ask the Premier League, the FA and the governing bodies to conduct due diligence, postponement of a match is a lot.
“We struggled all week with the numbers. Hopefully we can bring some players back for the Liverpool game but they won’t be in the best shape because they haven’t trained for a long time.”
https://www.thesun.ie/sport/football/8234139/arteta-arsenal-tottenham-postponing-north-london-derby/ Fiery Arteta vows to ‘defend Arsenal with teeth and nails’ after Tottenham beat club for north London derby postponement