Has Mikel Arteta's touchline antics crossed the line?

Has Arteta crossed the line with his touchline antics? CHRIS SUTTON believes the Spaniard’s behaviour makes him come across as a clown… but MATT GATWARD insists the Arsenal boss has breathed life into this young side

  • Mikel Arteta did not hide frustration with the referees in clash with Newcastle
  • The Spaniard was left furious when his side were not awarded two penalties
  • His touchline antics have led to a debate whether its passion or over the top
  • Here, Chris Sutton and Matt Gatward debate the Arsenal boss’ touchline antics 

Mikel Arteta’s touchline antics have once again come into question after he was left furious during Arsenal’s goalless draw with Newcastle on Tuesday night. 

Arteta was incensed by his side not being awarded two ‘scandalous’ penalties during their 0-0 draw at the Emirates. One of Arteta’s most vocal critics in Richard Keys continues to fan the flames over his behaviour while others have rushed to the Spaniard’s defence.

So, have Arteta’s antics crossed the line? Sportsmail experts CHRIS SUTTON and MATT GATWARD give their opinion.

Mikel Arteta was livid with the referees during Arsenal’s goalless draw with Newcastle

There is a fine line between being passionate and a clown, and Mikel Arteta was the latter on Tuesday.

It can be entertaining but it can be embarrassing, too. Should Arsenal have been awarded a penalty for Dan Burn’s pull on Gabriel? Absolutely. Should they have had one for Jacob Murphy’s handball? Absolutely not.

Yet Arteta lost all control in stoppage time. I took my daughter to see Matilda The Musical on Wednesday and Miss Trunchbull did her best impression of Arteta, stomping, screaming, growling and gesticulating.

There’s a fine line between being passionate and a clown, and Arteta was the latter on Tuesday

Thank God the fourth official Jarred Gillett didn’t have pigtails or he’d have been getting swung around in circles. I can understand getting caught up in the heat of the moment. It happens. You’re angry. You vent. But Arteta was at it all game, protesting against every decision.

Newcastle’s Eddie Howe comes across as a mild-mannered man but he was within his rights to tell his counterpart to zip it. Arteta went over the top in his behaviour and Arsenal’s players responded by surrounding the referee to claim Murphy handled the ball late on.

They probably thought, ‘Well, if the boss is getting up in the fourth official’s grill, why shouldn’t we?’

This could all come back to bite Arsenal. Arteta is risking being suspended from the sideline when his team need him most. Arsenal’s next five fixtures are Tottenham, Manchester United, Everton, Brentford and Manchester City.

Arteta lost all control in stoppage time and was protesting every decision in the game

If Arteta is this wound up by a 0-0 draw with Newcastle — which is no disaster by the way, given the form they’re in — how will he behave in those matches? How will his players behave if they see their manager acting like this?

Maybe Arsenal will look to use the ‘us against the world’ mentality to their advantage, if Arteta and Co truly feel that the Premier League’s referees are consciously going against them.

But it’s not a good look when your manager is acting like a clown.

NO – Fiery Spaniard has breathed spirit and belief into this team

Matt Gatward, Deputy Sports Editor

Arsene Wenger used to have his manic touchline moments when he was not fiddling with his coat zip, squaring up to Jose Mourinho and Alan Pardew to name but two. Pep Guardiola is not afraid of a spot of dramatics either.

In October last year, Guardiola wound up a frenzied Anfield crowd with gesticulations after a Phil Foden disallowed goal. David Moyes booted a ball at a ball boy in anger last year during a Europa League match.

So when Mikel Arteta says he has taken a little bit of every boss he has ever worked with into his management style, it is clear he has included a dollop of their passion and spirit. And what is wrong with that?

Fans love a bit of zeal from their manager — and there was zeal aplenty in his touchline antics at the Emirates on Tuesday night in the goalless draw with Newcastle. It shows the manager cares like the supporters do. It brings the stadium to its feet, it adds to the drama, the fire, the occasion. If you want a quiet night, go to the cinema.

Yes, Arteta has a habit of storming beyond the confines of the ‘technical area’ (it is entirely possible he might upend an opposition winger one of these days) but that is hardly crime of the century.

Fans love a bit of zeal from their manager — and there was zeal aplenty in his touchline antics

He has breathed fire and belief into Arsenal after years of apathy that morphed into bitterness

It is not as if he is screaming into the linesman’s ear, is it Jurgen? Klopp was rightly given a touchline ban for that abhorrent act against Manchester City this season, for which he apologised — but what has Arteta really done wrong?

Yes, he remonstrated with the fourth official when he was denied a late penalty on Tuesday. But show me a manager who has not. He had cross words with the Toon boss Eddie Howe during the tense final few minutes. Again, show me a boss who is all sweetness and light on match day and I will show you a loser.

Arteta got close to the line — both physically and metaphorically — but he did not cross it. No, instead the Spaniard has breathed fire, passion and belief into Arsenal after years of ennui and apathy that morphed into bitterness. 

I am sure Gunners fans would take that from a manager any day. No right-minded supporter would not. And given that his touchline fervour really annoys the noxious Richard Keys, crack on Mikel, I say.

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