Arteta refuses to blame fan protests over ‘unacceptable’ Arsenal display

Mikel Arteta has claimed fan protests against Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke did not play in the minds of his players in a 1-0 loss to Everton on Friday.

More than a thousand Arsenal supporters have gathered outside the Emirates Stadium to voice their disagreement over Kroenke’s role in the failed European Super League breakaway plan.

Arsenal were one of the 12 founding members of the competition before stepping down on Tuesday, apologizing in an open letter to fans.

Arteta revealed his side arrived early to avoid protests, but they produced a gentle display on the pitch when Bernd Leno’s disastrous goal handed the points to Everton.

It was Arsenal’s first Premier League loss at home to Everton since January 1996, ending a 24-game unbeaten streak against the Toffees at the Emirates or Old Trafford.

“No, no,” Arteta said at a press conference when asked if the defeat could be blamed on the protests.

“We knew it was happening and we knew our fans wanted to express our feelings. We made our preparations with that in mind and that’s no excuse

“We entered the stadium [early]. Obviously, the players know what is going on, they are all connected to social networks. We let them know the reasons why they [the fans] were outside.

“I am desperate to have [the fans] back because we really need it. We have a very young team who must feel the emotion, the security and the confidence when you feel your collaborators really behind you.

Arteta urged the board and Arsenal fans to rebuild their relationship, but did not respond to questions related to the calls to Kroenke.

“Well, I think it’s a relationship that needs to come together from both sides,” Arteta added.

“Some people are probably giving opportunities and others are showing that they want to be closer to them. I talk about my experience, my relationship and their involvement.

“Now the biggest challenge is getting them to the stadium as quickly as possible, and showing that passion, solidarity and unity with the team because the team desperately needs them to be closer to we.”

The Gunners have now lost seven games at home in the Premier League this season – their most home league losses since 1992-93 (also seven).

They have also failed to score in eight Premier League home games this season, twice as many as in the previous four campaigns combined.

Arteta described Arsenal’s home form as “terrible” and “unacceptable” but criticized VAR’s decision to overturn a penalty award earlier in the game.

Arsenal got a kick when Dani Ceballos fell into the box after a slight touch from Richarlison, but VAR felt Nicolas Pepe was in an offside position in the preparation.

“It has grown. Enough is enough. Today I’ve had enough, ”Arteta said of the decision.

“We had a lot that no one explains. It affects a lot of people, our work and especially our football club.

Arteta added in an interview with Sky Sports: “Prohibit a penalty 15 seconds before eight or nine touches [after Nicolas Pepe was offside] – I saw it 10 times and I don’t understand.

“It can be taken as they wish. Zero control. Someone has to explain this.

“We were the best team. We lacked clear chances and an advantage in the final third. They are very well organized but we conceded the goal at the wrong time and when we had the penalty but it was not cheap.

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