Angry man says angry things after football match that made everyone angry – it really shouldn’t have garnered as many headlines as it did but this is the world we live in.
Asked for his reaction to Granit Xhaka’s spiky interview after Monday’s defeat to Newcastle – one in which the midfielder inferred some Arsenal players lacked balls for the big occasion – manager Mikel Arteta was never going to pour fuel on the flames.
“What we do in the dressing room, we don’t comment on it,” he said ahead of Sunday’s final game of the season.
“The moment you allow a person to be in front of a microphone is to express what their feelings are and Granit is someone who does it in front of the microphone, in front of your eyes and in your face. So there’s nothing different.”
The Spaniard also wouldn’t be drawn on who exactly was the subject of Granit’s ire.
“Well, you’ll have to ask the question to him exactly what he meant or who he was pointing at.
“The comments are clear, and then it’s down to OK, who it’s directed to, if it is somebody [else], or himself.”
Reaction to Xhaka’s two-minute tirade was, much like the reaction to the man in general, typically marmite.
While some were happy to see a player speak so frankly about a disastrous performance others took mortal offence to the Switzerland international’s tone.
Arteta sat on the fence about whether or not the interview had overstepped the mark.
“I prefer today not to comment too much on that, but when you allow people to speak in front of the media, you have to allow them to say what they feel, and knowing Granit, that’s what he felt.”