Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta making ‘conscious effort’ to tone down touchline antics
'I don't want to get sent off!'
The 41-year-old is an incredibly animated presence in the technical area during games and has courted criticism for arguing and berating officials – even getting booked a few minutes into the Community Shield at the start of the season.
The Premier League are trying to clamp down on managers remonstrating with officials but Arteta is still adapting to the new rules, though he has acknowledged that he may need to tone things down.
Speaking ahead of facing Sheffield United on Saturday, the Spaniard said: ‘I think I am changing. If you think differently, let me know.
‘But I have made a conscious effort. Basically I don’t want to get sent off.
‘Sometimes when I look at myself and I’m so agitated I think it can sometimes give an image that is not the best, mainly for the club.
‘Sometimes it’s difficult with certain decisions when you are in the heat [of the moment], because you are representing the club and you want to defend them.
‘That’s what drives me. It’s to defend the players to defend the club. Nothing else.
‘It’s not about me. You are there to be on it and make sure that we are the best we can be and the most competitive we possibly can be. That’s the drive, nothing else.
‘What I don’t allow is that behaviour changes the focus. Then I cannot look at the game or make divisions with clarity.
‘What I demand of the players, I don’t like them during the game like they are on a sunbed. I like them to feel every single ball, I demand them to do that. But with emotional behaviour that they have to control for sure.’
Pep Guardiola and Marco Silva have already served touchline bans after picking up three yellow cards and Arteta feels it is unfair that managers are dealt with in harsher fashion than players.
He added: ‘We are always “playing” as managers, so I don’t know why we get three yellows and the players can have five.
‘We are there every minute of every game. Some players are on the bench, sometimes they are injured, but we are always there and we can only have three yellows. It’s not fair, no?’
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