Arsenal have been fined £40,000 by the Football Association for failing to control their players during the heated final to a goalless draw against Newcastle.
Mikel Arteta and his players came under fire after reacting angrily to referee Andrew Madley’s decision not to award them a stoppage-time penalty. Arteta clashed with Magpies manager Eddie Howe on the touchline before describing the officiating as “outrageous” in his post-game interviews.
Newcastle legend Alan Shearer later called Arteta “disrespectful”, while former Blackburn striker Chris Sutton said the Spaniard behaved like a “clown”. Arsenal were accused of failing to control their players and that hearing has now led to a hefty fine from the FA.
The FA said that Arsenal had “admitted that they failed to ensure that their players conducted themselves in an orderly manner during the 95th minute” of the match. Arteta has avoided any specific sanction for his performance.
Speaking ahead of the verdict, Arteta tried to fend off waves of criticism from the likes of Shearer and Sutton. “I am not part of that debate,” Arteta said. “Of course, they can have their opinions. I try to do my best for this football club, defend it, promote it and play with the passion that is necessary to play.
“Each game is special and each coach behaves very differently depending on the circumstances. And you can’t take the context out of a situation. That is not fair. That’s me, here and on the pitch, for better and for worse.”
Asked if he was willing to change his behavior, Arteta replied: “That’s me and I’ll try to be better all the time and whatever I do, whether it’s tomorrow, the day after or the day after, is to make the club stronger and my players better, to play better and to win.
“But if I have to do something, I’ll do it, and if I have to change something, trust me, I’ll look in the mirror and change it very quickly.”
Antonio Conte has tried to increase the pressure on Arsenal and Arteta by heading into Sunday’s north London derby.
Asked if he was worried that Arsenal would try to intimidate the officials this weekend, Conte replied: “No, but I think also in a big game like this, respect is always at the top, okay?
“You have to show respect in every situation and above all also with the referee because I know very well the difficulty of being a referee, of making decisions.
“I think intimidating [the referee] or creating a bad atmosphere is not fair. I don’t like this. I hate people who try to do it. Don’t forget that we are always talking about a football game.” .”