Premier League

Arteta responds to Keane's Aubameyang criticism: My players can call me what they want

The former Manchester United midfielder took umbrage to the Spaniard being referred to as his first name by his player

 
3:21pm on Thursday 5th November 2020
By
Martin Macdonald

Mikel Arteta has swept aside criticism from Roy Keane after the former Manchester United captain criticised Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for calling his manager by his first name.

Arsenal defeated Man Utd 1-0 on Sunday, with Aubameyang scoring the goal from the penalty spot.

Afterwards, he spoke to the media and referred to his manager as 'Mikel' which rubbed Keane up the wrong way.

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“They didn’t show him respect when they called him by his name, Mikel,” the Irishman said on Sky Sports.

“He’s the manager, the boss, the gaffer. That’s respect. Not Mikel, he’s not his mate.”

However, Arteta has played down the suggestion that it was a sign of disrespect from his players, saying they are free to call him what they want.

“I was told that Roy mentioned that,” the Arsenal manager said ahead of his side's Europa League clash against Molde on Thursday.

“I give them the choice to call me whatever they feel comfortable with. With some of them obviously I shared a dressing room. There are people at the training ground who call me boss or coach. The French guys call me coach. It depends. It’s not an issue for me.

“I don’t feel disrespected. I understand why he is saying that as a player, but the way I feel with them - and I feel so close with them, with some of them I played with - so for me it is not an issue and it is not the way I would feel respected or disrespected.”

The Gunners are currently ninth in the Premier League table with four wins from their opening seven games.

They do, however, boast the best defensive record in the league, having conceded just seven times so far.

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