Mikel Arteta launched an impassioned defence of his Arsenal players after a shock 1-0 win at the home of London rivals Chelsea on Wednesday night.
Jorginho’s first-half error resulted in Emile Smith Rowe’s all-important winner as Thomas Tuchel’s men missed the chance to cement their top-four Premier League spot at Stamford Bridge.
In his pre-match press conference the Spaniard was asked if he was satisfied that all of his players have given their maximum this season, to which he responded: “With the majority of them, yes.”
But despite appearing to question some of his squad’s work rate, Arteta was evidently far from happy with the media’s reporting of those remarks and moved to clarify them following the Premier League clash.
“Nothing is broken. Inside nothing is broken,” Arteta said. “They [the media] will try to put things on me that I never said.
“You can see the spirit of the team from the first minute. You can see that. You can never doubt their efforts and how much they try.
“I said that if I don’t get 120 per cent off each player, it is my fault and my responsibility. And it wasn’t like that in the press, and I am so annoyed with that.
“My players I will defend in front of anybody for the rest of the time that I am here, because they deserve that, because they earn it every single day. I don’t deserve that.
“The players give me everything every single day. I am really happy with a lot of things that we have done tonight.”
He continued: “My players, I will defend them in front of anybody for the rest of the time that I am here because they deserve that because they earn it every single day. They give me everything every single day.
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“Everybody that is here does that because if he doesn’t, I’m not here or the player is not here because the only thing I am going to demand until the last day is that they give me everything that they have. That’s all.
“After, the ability, we can play better, worse, win, lose, but that is unquestionable and non-negotiable, 100 per cent.”
Asked about his team’s display, Arteta added: “I am really happy with a lot of things we have done, right from the first minute, the attitude and the desire to win that we showed.
“We had to dig in – you have to against this team because they are a fantastic team. We did it and we put [in] everything that we had to try to get the best possible result, and we did it.