Press conference

Arteta on the referee, defeat and Newcastle

Mikel Arteta was clearly disappointed and frustrated after witnessing a damaging defeat to Tottenham on Thursday night.

After the game he faced the media, and discussed the big issues of the match, as well as looking forward to our remaining last two fixtures.

Here’s what he said…

on the referee...

I cannot do it. I just want to say that I am really proud of my players but obviously we didn't get the result that we wanted. I can't wait to play on Monday.

on the red card...

I want to be on the touchline on Monday night. No [I can't talk] because I will be suspended. You can ask the referee if he wants to come and give an assessment of the match. I can do it but I have two options, I can lie to you, which I don't do, or if not I will be suspended and I really want to be on the touchline against Newcastle.

on if it was a red card...

I prefer not to [speak about the incident].

on what went wrong...

That we lost the game. Obviously, we wanted to play the game and we were so excited to play a game and you've seen the team, how it started, the way we were playing and this beautiful occasion was destroyed and unfortunately, we could not enjoy the game that we wanted to play.

on the race for top four...

We can't wait now to play on Monday. This is how I feel.

on not handling the occasion...

No. I didn't see any of that.

on if the players should remember we’re still in fourth…

Absolutely, [it’s important that] the disappointment doesn’t take over, more than the great opportunity and the beautiful two games that we have added of us and this is where our energy is going to be now.

on how Rob Holding is feeling…

I haven’t spoken to him personally, but you can imagine obviously having to leave the pitch so early in a huge match like this is very tough.

on Gabriel’s injury…

I don’t know. Gabi is normally not a player who wants to or asks to come off the pitch, he felt something and hopefully it’s not much, because having Rob out and Ben with no training sessions, obviously we are really short in that position.

on if Gabriel’s injury is hamstring-related…

It’s a muscular problem, and we’ll have to assess him.

on if he changed the system tonight…

We didn’t play a back four in certain moments, today we played a black five in many moments.

on if we will appeal Holding’s red card…

I don’t know, I will speak to the club and let’s see how we feel about it and what options we have. We always defend our club in the best possible way, so we will look at the options that we have.

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