The manager of Tottenham Hotspur, Antonio Conte has urged the coach of Arsenal, Mikel Arteta to focus on his team instead of complaining. The Italian tactician made this comment after Tottenham defeated Arsenal 3-0 on Thursday, May 12, 2022.
On the said date, Arsenal visited the Tottenham Hotspur stadium to play their 36th Premier League game of the season which was a must-win for Arsenal to guarantee their place in the top four.
Unfortunately, in the 33rd minute, Rob Holding was sent off for a second booking on the night after dragging back Heung-Min Son. The defender received the red card minutes after Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane gave his team the lead via a spot-kick in the 22nd minute.
Before Referee Paul Tierney gave holding the red card, there was a VAR check which revealed that Son elbowed Holding. But both the center referee and the VAR ignored that aspect of the challenge and still had to send off Holding.
Arsenal found themselves in another terrible situation during the game when Harry Kane doubled Spurs’ lead with a close-range header in the 37th minute to end the first half 2-0 in favor of the hosts.
In the second half, Tottenham Hotspur started like they ended the first half by being in control of the game. Within two minutes after the commencement of the first half, Tottenham Hotspur scored the third goal through the boots of Heung-Min Son in the 47th minute.
Afterward, both teams failed to convert their couple of chances. Hence, the match ended 3-0 in favor of Tottenham Hotspur. The win reduced the gap between 4th placed Arsenal and 5th placed Tottenham to one point with two games to go.
What did Mikel Arteta say after Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur
After the 3-0 lost to Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal’s coach, Mikel Arteta tried to avoid making any reaction against the officiating of the game to avoid being banned by the English FA. Despite that, the Spanish tactician insisted that the referees destroyed the game.
He urged the officials to explain to the media the reason behind the decisions they made during the North London derby.
“If I say what I think I am suspended for six months,” Arteta told Sky Sports. “I don’t know how to lie so I prefer not to say what I think. I cannot say what I think.
“I want the referees to come in front of the camera and explain his decisions. It’s a shame because such a beautiful game was destroyed today.
“I am not unhappy with my players. I am proud of my players. The decision was made. We can’t change it. The referee has to decide in football.”
🗣 "If I say what I think I'll be suspended six months." 😡— Football Daily (@footballdaily) May 12, 2022
Mikel Arteta refuses to give his opinion on the game after Arsenal's 3-0 defeat and asks the referee to speak to the cameras pic.twitter.com/5dlJm5XTiC
Antonio Conte reacts to Arteta’s complaints
On his part, Tottenham’s coach, Antonio Conte acknowledged that Mikel Arteta is a good coach but urged him to do away with complaints.
Conte recalled how Fabinho was not given enough punishment after he fouled Heung-Min Son during the 1-1 draw between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, adding that he didn’t complain after the game.
The Italian tactician also recalled how Arsenal made the FA postpone their Premier League game against Tottenham earlier in the season because a player at the club contracted Covid-19.
“[Arteta] is a really good coach, he can become an important coach in the future. But in six months I have listened to him complain a lot”, Antonio Conte said.
“He’s just started in his job, and I have listened to him complain a lot. I think he has to be focused more on his team, and not complaining. I think he has to be calmer, and try to continue to work because he is very good. But a coach complaining a lot is not good.
“The red card for me was clear. Don’t forget against Liverpool, I said nothing about what happened with Fabinho. If we want to complain, we have the possibility every game to speak about the referee, decisions, and postponed games.
“If you remember, he complained about the [postponed] fixture. At the time I said it was not good to complain, because Arsenal were happy to postpone the game in an incredible way for Covid positives, and they only had one player with Covid. I did not forget this…
“I think for sure [the postponement was a motivation]. It wasn’t a good situation, we were ready to play at that time and to see it postponed in that way made us a bit angry. But we know this is the past, the present is different.
“I have said before I would like to play against Arsenal with all the players available. I think my players were a bit angry for the first game too because we lost 3-1. It was an important target tonight.”
What next for Antonio Conte and Mikel Arteta of Arsenal
After the game against Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday, May 12, 2022, Arsenal are sitting on the 4th spot with 66 points in 36 games. While Spurs are sitting on the 5th spot with 65 points in 36 games.
This means that Arsenal has to win their remaining two games of the season to guarantee a top-four finish. While Tottenham Hotspur must win their remaining two games of the season and pray that Arsenal draws one of their remaining two games to guarantee a top-four finish.
Unfortunately, on paper, coach Mikel Arteta’s side has tougher games to play than coach Antonio Conte’s side. Tottenham has league games against Burnley on May 15 and against Norwich City on May 22. While Arsenal has league games against Newcastle on May 16 and Everton on May 22.