Mikel Arteta claims he is being singled out for punishment and that the rules on managers leaving their technical areas are not being applied consistently across the Premier League.
The Arsenal boss is banned from the touchline for the league leaders’ trip to in-form Aston Villa on Saturday evening, after receiving his third yellow card of the season for leaving the technical area to celebrate Declan Rice’s 97th-minute winner at Luton on Tuesday.
But Arteta says he is not the only culprit. ‘We are allowed to celebrate but we have a boundary,’ he said. ‘Maybe we have to extend it. We just need a very strong rope, or we don’t move. But it means we don’t move — all of us.’
Asked if other managers were getting away with similar infringements, he replied: ‘That’s why I said “we”.’
Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi ran right across the pitch after his team’s win at Nottingham Forest two weeks ago, but was not punished.
Arteta could face another touchline ban as he awaits the outcome of an FA charge for calling the match officials a ‘disgrace’ following Arsenal’s 1-0 win at Newcastle on November 4.
Reflecting on his celebration at Luton, he said: ‘If I was given the opportunity to celebrate, no I wouldn’t stop.
‘I would like to be with my players because we work closely every single day to win the games and when you get those moments in sport, you should be able to do that.
‘I don’t know how to stop it. It was a really emotional moment with everybody bouncing around and you lose sense of where you are and the space you have to be in.
‘It was unfortunate as now I cannot be next to my team on the touchline.’
Unai Emery, Arteta’s predecessor at Arsenal and his direct rival on Saturday, says Villa supporters can dare to dream of a specialRead on m.allfootballapp.com