‘It’s not fair’ - Mikel Arteta defends Arsenal players that ignored club mascot before West Ham match

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Arsenal mascot West Ham
Mikel Arteta says criticism of Arsenal players that supposedly ignored the club’s mascot ahead of a Premier League game at West Ham is “not fair”.
  • Gunners under the microscope
  • Antics at London Stadium questioned
  • Coach feels criticism is unfair

WHAT HAPPENED? The Gunners released a video on the back of a 2-2 draw at the London Stadium that showed an eight-year-old fan greeting the Premier League leaders as they headed to the dressing room. While most stopped to sign her shirt, none interacted with the young supporter at the time and have faced accusations of being “entitled, overpaid and rude”. Arteta is not having that, with the Spaniard eager to point out that the girl’s father has since come out and praised the efforts of Arsenal to deliver a special day for his daughter.

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WHAT THEY SAID: Arteta has said of the reaction to the antics of his squad: “First of all it comes from Arsenal TV and when you speak about connection and what we have built with our supporters, it's for what we do every single day. You speak to [her] parents and they had the most amazing day. So you've just seen a fragment of a picture - what happened before that and afterwards, nobody saw and I think it's not fair.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pressed further on whether he is concerned about how his players are viewed in public after coming in for criticism, Arteta added: “I don't think they're perceived like that. At all.”


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WHAT NEXT? Arsenal have seen their lead at the top of the Premier League table cut to just four points, but they can put an early marker down this weekend – with Manchester City hot on their heels – when facing rock-bottom Southampton at Emirates Stadium on Friday.