Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has, on Friday, provided his take on the notion that his side have been unfairly targeted by officials over the early months of 2022.
The subject of refereeing decisions has of course taken its place front and center when it comes to ongoings on the red half of north London of late.
This comes amid an alarming stretch of disciplinary issues on the part of Arteta’s squad.
Since the turn of the year, the Gunners have seen players sent for early baths in no fewer than four of their six fixtures.
The most recent, meanwhile, sent many of an Arsenal persuasion into full-blown meltdown, after a pair of yellow cards were brandished in the direction of Gabriel Martinelli for separate incidents during the same sequence of play:
Just like that, Arsenal are down to 10-men!
Gabriel Martinelli picks up two yellow cards in quick succession and Michael Oliver gives him his marching orders 🟥 pic.twitter.com/poGmbN41sl
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 10, 2022
Speaking in a press conference ahead of his side’s upcoming Premier League meeting with Brentford, it therefore came as little surprise when Mikel Arteta, earlier today, was drawn on the subject of his side’s recent disciplinary woes, and whether a stigma has been attached to his players on the part of the division’s officials.
After confirming his intention to hold talks with PGMOL, referees governing body for the English top-flight, though, Arsenal’s boss was keen to dismiss any such notion, insisting that the Gunners ‘can’t try to blame the refs’:
“I don’t want to say anything like that.
“I just said that there has been various reasons and very different ones in the way that we’ve got those red cards, but somehow we have to stop it because it’s going to harm performances and results for sure and that has to be our aim and our focus and we can’t try to blame the refs.
“We have to believe that the referees are going to do what they have to do, and we have to do believe that we’re going to do what we have to do. That’s it.”
Arteta says he is yet to have talks with PGMOL, but dismisses fears over a red-card stigma being attached to Arsenal. https://t.co/lNwWHpoek1
— Simon Collings (@sr_collings) February 18, 2022
As alluded to above, Arsenal’s next outing will see the capital giants make the trip across London to the Community Stadium on Saturday afternoon, for a clash with Brentford.
The matchup marks a crucial one amid the efforts of Arteta’s troops to secure a top-4 berth in the Premier League, on the back of recent slip-ups on the part of West Ham and north London rivals Tottenham.
The Gunners head into the weekend’s action sitting four points off the current Champions League pace, but, crucially, in possession of a hefty three games in hand on Manchester United.
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