Arsenal fans have leapt to the defence of manager Mikel Arteta following his war of words with Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte.
The Gunners are due to take on Aston Villa at lunchtime on Saturday after facing Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool on Wednesday night, a quick turnaround that left Arteta extremely unhappy. Speaking about the scheduling after the 2-0 loss to the Reds, the Spaniard said: Thank you so much to the Premier League for doing that.”
“It is always it’s BT, it’s Sky, it is this, it’s that. But the one that is affected is Arsenal and the only thing that I care [about] and we care [about] is Arsenal. And for Arsenal it is not fair.”
The former Manchester City assistant coach doubled down on his comments ahead of the trip to Villa Park, adding: “I heard some comments about when you are in Europe, that is nothing new, that is nothing new to me, but I am not talking about Europe, I am talking about the Premier League and how we schedule the games in the Premier League.
“The first thing is to protect the players and we have mentioned that many times, please can we avoid the Wednesday night and the Saturday morning and travelling?”
However, Spurs boss Conte admitted he had little sympathy for Arteta’s criticism, bringing up Arsenal’s decision to postpone January’s north London derby when quizzed on the matter. “Arteta should remember the postponed game”, he said. “Tottenham-Arsenal. I don’t forget this.
“And it’s not right to speak about fair or unfair.” The Lillywhites publicly expressed their frustrations with the Premier League’s decision to postpone the game before the rules on suspensions eventually were changed.
Now, Arsenal supporters have dug up an old Tweet from Chelsea, who Conte used to manage, with the fans pointing out that the Italian had been left frustrated at the league’s decision to make the Blues play the early kick-off on Saturday following a Wednesday night fixture.