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Mikel Arteta responds to Pep Guardiola following referee comment

Mikel Arteta has responded to Pep Guardiola’s criticism of him after another referee mistake on Sunday

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Mikel Arteta
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Mikel Arteta has responded with a light-hearted approach to Pep Guardiola’s recent comment about his attitude towards referees, as the Gunners gear up to face Luton Town on Tuesday night.

Guardiola, expressing frustration after Manchester City’s draw with Tottenham due to a controversial referee decision, opted not to field questions and made a reference to an unnamed “Mikel Arteta comment.” 

When asked about Guardiola’s remark in his pre-match press conference, Arteta chuckled before diverting the conversation, stating, “Onto the next one please, thank you. I have enough in my garden and on my plate as well so we’ll move on.”

City’s disappointment stemmed from a referee decision involving Erling Haaland’s free-kick, initially played as an advantage but later called back, prompting Guardiola to shift the focus towards Arsenal and his former assistant Arteta.

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When pressed further about the incident, Guardiola curtly avoided elaboration, redirecting attention to the game, stating, “The referee will now whistle after saying play on, after the pass then whistles. So I don’t know… Football is like life, sometimes you don’t get what you deserve.”

Despite Arsenal currently leading the Premier League by two points, Arteta dismissed suggestions of drawing encouragement from City’s recent struggles, emphasising his focus on his team’s performance rather than external circumstances.

“The encouragement comes from watching the team play and how hungry and willing they are. What the others do is something that we cannot control. I don’t look at those things. I have enough looking at my team,” Arteta asserted.

Addressing the notion of mind games, Arteta highlighted the inspiring nature of both teams, acknowledging Luton’s merit under manager Rob Edwards. “They deserve a lot of credit,” he added, acknowledging their efforts and achievements in the footballing arena.

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