Mikel Arteta launched into an extraordinary defence of his Arsenal team after his side defeated Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
The Arsenal manager took issue at having been misquoted in the press this week, and stated that he has never had doubts about his players’ commitment.
The Gunners responded to the club’s elimination from the Europa League to Villareal last week with one of the most impressive performances of Arteta’s tenure against Chelsea, as Arsenal secured their first win at Stamford Bridge since 2011.
But when speaking to Sky Sports after the match, the Spaniard appeared furious with how the mood in the Arsenal camp had been portrayed in the media following the Villareal defeat.
“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.”
Arsenal spent large periods of the match at Stamford Bridge without the ball but defended resolutely in claiming their first Premier League double over their London rivals since 2003.
“We had to dig in,” Arteta said. “We did it. I know the chemistry we have, not only with the players but all the coaching staff and the board.
“They [the media] cannot touch that. And if they try to touch it, it can be with opinions, but not with something that I never said. I am not taking that, and it’s the first time I have to make my point.”