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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta responds to Antonio Conte telling him to stop complaining

Mikel Arteta was angered by the officials during Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat to Spurs (Reuters)

Mikel Arteta has hit back at Antonio Conte’s suggestions that he was complaining after Arsenal’s defeat to Tottenham in the north London derby last week.

Spurs sealed a 3-0 victory at home to their north London rivals on Thursday but Arteta was left angered by the performance of referee Paul Tierney during the game.

Arteta accused the officials of ‘destroying a beautiful game’ and claimed he would be banned by the Football Association if he gave his honest verdict on the decisions.

Conte, meanwhile, criticised Arteta after the match and urged the Arsenal manager to avoid complaining after his team’s defeats.

‘I listened to him complain a lot,’ Conte said of Arteta. ‘I think he has to focus more on his team and not to complain.

‘He has to focus more on his work and be calm. He has to continue to work because he’s very good. But to hear a coach complain all the time is not good.’

But when asked about Conte’s comments, Arteta said: ‘What I have tried to do I think in three years here is not make any complaints.

Antonio Conte urged Mikel Arteta to ‘focus on his team’ after Arsenal’s defeat to Spurs (AFP via Getty)

‘I have no complaint and I didn’t complain on Thursday. I just said I could not give a clear assessment on what I thought about the game. And that’s it.

‘Whatever we do we will try to defend the club in the right way, like we have always tried to do. The other night I tried to do it as well.

‘That was not trying to affect anybody. But I was being clear and honest.

‘I think that is my job and my responsibility when I talk on behalf of the club to express how we feel. And if I cannot do it, I prefer not to.’

Arteta also stressed that Arsenal are in a strong position ahead of their match against Newcastle United on Monday: ‘Absolutely, yes. It is a good place to be.

‘But as I said it is in our hands, we have done a lot in the past few months to be in this position so let’s go for it. We want to be playing in the Champions League.

‘And that’s the end, we’ve come so far, as I said, it’s in our hands and we want to now capitalise on that, and the excitement and the opportunities there, and we will really want to go for it.

‘It’s not pressure, it’s excitement, and this is what we have built over the last few months. And as I said, top four is the target. Now, it’s in our hands, and we want to deliver that.’

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