Sunday, October 1, 2023

Gary Neville slams Mikel Arteta after Arsenal-Newcastle match

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Gary Neville has responded to Mikel Arteta’s claims that his side were scandalously denied two penalties by suggesting it would have in fact been a scandal had Arsenal been awarded a penalty for a handball at the death.

Arteta appeared frustrated on the touchline for much of the evening as Newcastle successfully frustrated his side throughout, denying them the chance to stretch their lead at the top of the Premier League to 10 points as they held the hosts to a 0-0 stalemate.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Arteta was open about his frustrations – laying bare to the reporter his grievances over the decisions he felt his team were denied.

‘Extremely proud of my players,’ he said. ‘The way we played, dominated the game, tried and continued to control the game.

‘We needed that spark in the final third. We had so many situations. And when had two scandalous penalties.

‘There were two penalties. It’s very simple. I’m talking about what I’ve seen. It was two scandalous penalties I’m so proud of the work we have done.

‘I think we lacked an extra touch or movement to finish these chances in this game.’

However, asked to provide his two cents on the handball, Neville went completely the other way to the Arsenal manager and suggested that he would be ‘furious’ had it have been given against his side.

‘I thought it would have been scandalous if it had been given,’ he said.

‘If Arteta had lost a game via that he would be fuming. You cannot have your arms by your side when you slide in.

‘That is not penalty – you go in like that to block a cross, that is not penalty in a million years. He would have been livid had that been given against Ben White, [Takehiro] Tomiyasu or Oleksandr Zinchenko.’

Arteta’s remonstrating for a penalty at the death appeared to annoy Newcastle’s bench, with Eddie Howe even wading in to tell the Spaniard what he thought about his perceived attempts to influence the officials.

Neville said of Howe’s actions: ‘The handball one at the end, Howe was right to respond on that one.’

Paul Merson, working alongside Neville, agreed. ‘I can’t make a case for it [being a penalty],’ he said. ‘I am disappointed if that’s given against me. I think the Burn tug is more of a penalty for me.’

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