Mikel Arteta believes criticism over his touchline behaviour has been unfair following complaints about his conduct against Newcastle United.

Arteta clashed with Magpies' boss Eddie Howe during a 0-0 draw at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday, as the league leaders dropped points in the Premier League for just the third time this season.

Howe and Arteta were involved in an angry confrontation on the sidelines when referee Andrew Madley chose not to award Arsenal an injury-time penalty, with Arteta calling the decision "scandalous" after the game.

The Arsenal manager came in for criticism following the match for how he acted, and the Gunners were charged by the FA on Friday for failing to control their players in the aftermath of the late incident.

However, Arteta believes some of the commentary about his touchline actions has been unjust, saying he only acts in the best interests of Arsenal.

"I try to do my best for this football club, to defend it, to promote it, and to play with the passion that the game has to be played in," Arteta said. "Every game is special and every manager behaves very differently regarding the circumstances.

"You can't take the context out of a situation. That is not fair. That is me, here and on the pitch, for the good and the bad.

"That is me and I will try all the time to be better and whatever I do, if it is tomorrow, the next day, or the next one, is to make the club stronger and my players better, to play better, and to win.

"But if I have to do something, I will do it, and if I have to change something, believe me I will look in the mirror myself and change it very quickly."

Manchester City took advantage of Arsenal's draw with Newcastle by beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, closing the Gunners' lead at the Premier League summit to five points.

Arteta's men turn their attentions to the FA Cup as they travel to play League One side Oxford United in the third round on Monday.

Arteta revealed Emile Smith Rowe could feature in that match, having not played for Arsenal since early September because of a groin injury.

"First of all we need him fit and at his best." Arteta said. "When we have that we have an incredible player that we have missed a lot in the last few months.

"Emile can play as an attacking midfielder, as a winger and even as a nine, I think he's played there before.

"If he trains tomorrow, hopefully he will be available to give us something in the game."

Arsenal have been charged by the Football Association (FA) with failing to control their players in the aftermath of a late penalty appeal in Tuesday's goalless draw with Newcastle United.

Several Gunners players surrounded referee Andy Madley when he failed to award a spot-kick for an alleged handball by Jacob Murphy in stoppage time, remonstrating with the official in frenzied fashion. 

Mikel Arteta – who also felt Arsenal should have been awarded a penalty for Dan Burn's shirt pull on Gabriel Magalhaes earlier in the match – reacted furiously on the touchline, sparking a brief confrontation with Newcastle boss Eddie Howe.

The conduct of Arteta and his players was criticised in some quarters after the draw and has led the FA to open disciplinary proceedings against the Premier League leaders.

"Arsenal FC has been charged with a breach of FA rule E20.1 following its Premier League match against Newcastle United FC on Tuesday 3 January 2023," a statement from the governing body read.

"It's alleged that Arsenal FC failed to ensure its players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the 95th minute, and the club has until Tuesday 10 January 2023 to respond."

Arteta described Madley's failure to award two penalties to his team as "scandalous" in his post-match interview as Arsenal conceded ground in the title race.

Arsenal's stalemate was followed by a 1-0 win for Manchester City at Chelsea two days later, moving the champions to within five points of the summit. 

Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal should have been awarded two penalties in the goalless draw against Newcastle United, describing the decisions not to point to the spot as "scandalous".

The Gunners dropped points at Emirates Stadium for the first time in the Premier League this season, missing the opportunity to open up a 10-point advantage over Manchester City, who play Chelsea on Thursday.

Arsenal were not short of openings against Eddie Howe's third-placed side, firing 17 attempts at goal, but just four were on target and the leaders were not at their best in the final third.

Gunners boss bemoaned two decisions that did not go the way of his side, with his view that referee Andy Madley should have punished Dan Burn for a shirt pull on Gabriel Magalhaes and given a handball against Jacob Murphy right at the end.

"I'm extremely proud of my players, the way we played, the way we dominated the game, the way we tried and continued [to try], how we dominated the game," he told Sky Sports.

"We were missing in the final third, that is the final part, we had so many situations to finish those better, and then we had two scandalous penalties.

"They're two penalties, it's very simple. I'm talking about what I've seen and it's two scandalous penalties.

"When you cannot win, you do not lose. We kept a clean sheet, we had a really good performance, and we go again.

"I wanted to win the game but we drew it and we should have done certain things better, especially in the final third, and we should have had two penalties to win the game."

Arsenal are likely to shuffle their squad for Monday's FA Cup third round clash against Oxford United, before what could be a north London derby against Tottenham on January 15.

Mikel Arteta will not stop anyone at Arsenal from dreaming about Premier League glory, but the Spaniard wants the Gunners to remain realistic ahead of Tuesday's huge meeting with Newcastle United.

Arsenal will move 10 points clear of Manchester City at the Premier League summit if they beat the Magpies at the Emirates Stadium, after the champions were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton on Saturday.

With the Gunners unbeaten in their past 10 league games (W9 D1), belief is beginning to build among supporters that a first title triumph since the 2003-04 season could be on the horizon.

Asked whether he needed to play down talk of the title, Arteta said: "It's not about stopping anybody. It's about being realistic about where we are. 

"The way we are performing, obviously it's impressive and we are really happy with that.

"But we also have to set the bars and objectives in the short term for what we want to improve and see what is making us win so many football matches."

Saturday's thrilling 4-2 victory at Brighton and Hove Albion was celebrated in joyous fashion by the Gunners' players, and Arteta has no qualms about the team enjoying their fine run of form. 

"It's great," Arteta said. "When I see those interactions, I see the enjoyment and I see joy and happiness because they were really excited after a big win for us.

"But they are also moderate and understanding as well. We still have a lot of things that we have to improve as a team."

While Arsenal are the only Premier League team with a 100 per cent winning record at home this season (7/7), Newcastle begin 2023 in third place after losing just once all campaign, and Arteta expects a tough test.

"They're a very good team, really well coached," Arteta said. "I think what that Eddie [Howe] has done in that short period of time, when you look at the numbers, is incredible. 

"Big credit to him and the coaching staff. They have created, I believe, a momentum around the team that they play the same way against any opponent.

"It's going to be another big test but we play at home in front of our crowd and we are looking forward to it."

Arsenal have won their past 11 home games against Newcastle in all competitions – only against Stoke City (an ongoing run since 1983) have they ever won more consecutive home matches (16).

Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal showed they are becoming "more mature" in a "big win" at Brighton and Hove Albion that put them seven points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Draws for Manchester City and Newcastle United against Everton and Leeds United respectively earlier on New Year's Eve gave the Gunners a chance to increase their lead at the summit.

They grabbed it with both hands at the Amex Stadium, Bukayo Saka setting them on their way with a goal after only 66 seconds.

Inspirational captain Martin Odegaard doubled Arsenal's lead and Eddie Nketiah added a third goal, with Gabriel Martinelli getting in on the act either side of strikes from Seagulls duo Kaoru Mitoma and Evan Ferguson.

Mitoma looked to have set up a tense finale when he found the back of the net for a second time, but a VAR check showed he had strayed offside.

Arsenal are sitting pretty after five consecutive top-flight wins and Arteta thinks they are growing with every victory.

The Gunners head coach said: "The team is getting more mature and that was a big test today."

Arteta added: "It's a big win, I'm really happy. It's a really tough place to come. They are a really good side, they are extremely well coached and they made it tough for us. We made it tough for them as well.

"I think we were excellent, especially in attacking phases when we had the space, and the way they defend they makes it very open and we made the most out of it.

"We had moments that we discussed before where we were going to suffer and defend deeper. There were moments where we should have done better and we put ourselves in trouble, but that's the learning part and every game is a huge test."

The Spaniard knows there is plenty of work to do in the London club's quest to be crowned champions for the first time since 2004 as they turn their attention to face third-placed Newcastle at home on Tuesday.

Arteta said: "It's still a long run to go. My excitement comes from going into the dressing room when the players are talking about what they should have done better today.

"That means that they know that we can still play better and be better, and against Newcastle we have to be better."

Mikel Arteta wants Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah to put together a consistent run to help Premier League leaders Arsenal cope with Gabriel Jesus' absence.

The trio all scored in Arsenal's 3-1 win over West Ham on Boxing Day, and the Gunners are now certain to end 2022 at the top of the table after building a five-point lead over Manchester City.

Jesus was ruled out for three months after suffering a knee injury during the World Cup, in what could prove a blow to their title hopes.

Ahead of Saturday's trip to Brighton and Hove Albion, Arteta demanded that Martinelli, Saka and Nketiah keep the standards high.

"It's just one game. They have to show the consistency and the capacity to do that every three days," Arteta said in a press conference.

"That's what we need from the players. Obviously we had a big blow with Gabi, and not having him had a big impact on the team.

"We always said Eddie had the quality and he just needed the opportunities to show that.

"We are really happy with where we are, but as I always said, there are a lot of things we can still do better and improve."

Meanwhile, Arteta expects to have another attacking option available soon, revealing Emile Smith Rowe is closing in on a return from the groin injury he suffered in September.

"He's made some big steps in the last week or so, he took part in a few training sessions lately and is looking good," Arteta said.

"We are really keen to have him back soon."

The Gunners are locked in negotiations with Shakhtar Donetsk over a deal for Mykhaylo Mudryk, having reportedly had a £57million (€64.4m) bid for the winger rejected.

Shakhtar director Carlo Nicolini said the Ukrainian team expect to receive a fee closer to £100m (€113.2m) for the 21-year-old, who has been touted as a future Ballon d'Or candidate by Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi, his former coach.

However, Arteta was reluctant to discuss the potential transfer, saying: "I can't talk about players that aren't at Arsenal."

Mikel Arteta believes it was the "right moment" for Arsene Wenger to make his long-awaited return to Arsenal on Boxing Day.

The legendary Gunners manager was in attendance for the 3-1 victory over West Ham, where the north London side returned to Premier League action in style to clinch a fourth consecutive league win.

Wenger's return to Emirates Stadium was significant as it was his first trip to the club since leaving in 2018, which brought an end to a 22-year tenure.

While he endured a frosty reception from the fans in the latter stages of his spell at the club, Wenger was serenaded by the Arsenal faithful during the comeback victory, where second-half goals from Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah clinched all three points.

Though it has taken time for Wenger to return to his former hunting ground, Arteta believes Monday's match came at the ideal time.

"Winning, my mood is going to be much better talking to him and to be around the team," he told reporters.

"He picked the right moment, a really special day because Boxing Day is a beautiful day to play football and I thought today the levels were what he deserved and hopefully he'll like.

"The players didn't know [about it]. We wanted to keep it quiet and allow that space for Arsene. Stan and Josh [Kroenke] are here as well and it was a really special day.

"Thank you so much to him for coming. Hopefully walking through the building he's going to feel everything that everybody thinks of him, the legacy he left here.

"He is very, very attached to this football club. Thank you to him for everything he did at the club.

"Hopefully he's going to leave here and be willing to spend more time with us and be more around us because he's such a big influence for me personally in my career, the way I see the game, but as well for this football club."

Arsenal round off 2022 with a trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, then begin the new year three days later at home against Newcastle United.

Mikel Arteta and Bukayo Saka were overjoyed after Eddie Nketiah made a promising start to his spell deputising for the injured Gabriel Jesus in Arsenal's 3-1 win over West Ham.

The Premier League leaders returned to top-flight action on Boxing Day following the World Cup, aiming to pick up where they left off prior to the tournament.

Many had written off their title chances as a result of Jesus sustaining a knee injury in Qatar that will rule him out for three months.

But Monday's win will ensure they are seven points clear at the summit at least until Manchester City play Leeds United on Wednesday.

Nketiah more than played his part in the victory, scoring Arsenal's third goal as they came from behind in the second half.

Saka, who netted the Gunners' equaliser, was thrilled for his fellow Arsenal youth product after silencing the doubters.

Asked about Arsenal spreading the goals around the team, Saka told Prime Video: "That's definitely important. 

"Obviously Gabby [Jesus] is going to be a big miss, but you could see I'm so happy for Eddie.

"I feel like we all believed in him, that's all he needs, us to just keep supporting him. He got his goal and that will give him a lot of confidence, so we just need to keep encouraging him.

"Of course, then we've got me, Gabby [Gabriel Martinelli], Granit [Xhaka], Martin [Odegaard], even the centre-backs are chipping in on the goals, so everyone is going to be so important."

Nketiah's goal was greeted by jubilant celebrations, with the delight in Saka's voice after the game very much present in those scenes.

Arteta was just as elated and hopes this goal on what was his first Premier League start of the season helps Nketiah kick on.

"I just gave him a big hug because he deserved that, he totally earned it with the way he played," Arteta added.

"It was a very typical Eddie Nketiah goal. He showed his strength, quality and timing, the composure of the finish. For me, it was an outstanding performance from him.

"You could feel in the last few games he'd been trying but didn't score, even in friendlies, but he has the capacity to do that. We see it every day in training, and that will give him confidence.

"He showed it last year, at the end of last season when we played him more consistently... when you look at his numbers, they are really, really good. I am really pleased to see what he's done today."

But while Jesus will seemingly be missing from the pitch until at least February, Saka credited the Brazilian for having a strong off-field influence.

The same has been said of Oleksandr Zinchenko, who also joined Arsenal from Manchester City in pre-season, and Arteta is adamant the pair have brought more than just quality on the pitch.

"They've been in probably the most successful team the Premier League has seen for many, many years," he said.

"They have the belief in their team-mates and what we are doing, that we are able to play to those standards, and these guys have brought this confidence to the team."

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta's faith in Eddie Nketiah is growing "every single day" as the striker prepares for what could be a lengthy spell leading the line.

The Premier League leaders return to action against West Ham on Boxing Day without Gabriel Jesus, who suffered a knee injury during Brazil's World Cup campaign and has undergone surgery – with reports he could face three months out.

Nketiah now stands as the only senior recognised striker within Arteta's ranks, with speculation that the Gunners could look to add recruits in the January window to increase their depth in this area.

A strong finish to last season saw Nketiah score five goals in seven Premier League matches, earning himself a new contract in the process, but he is yet to score in the league this season – though his 12 appearances have all been as a substitute.

A record of three goals in 19 appearances in all competitions leaves plenty of room for improvement, but Arteta is confident he can fill the void left by Jesus' injury.

"I have more faith in him every single day, because we see every day what he brings to the team, how he is as a human, how he's developing as a player," Arteta said in the pre-match press conference.

"We already got some great response last year when we needed him. He plays really well with the team. He's ready – that's why he signed that contract.

"He's a key player in our squad and he's going to have chances to play."

Having fallen shy of a return to Champions League football last term, Arsenal have come out of the blocks flying this season to lead the Premier League and have lost just one of 14 matches to hold a five-point lead ahead of the restart.

Arteta has made it clear there is still work to do, though, adding: "The hardest thing to do is to win, and then to win again, and then to win again. There's a lot still to do there, for sure."

Arsenal travel to Brighton and Hove Albion after the London derby against West Ham to finish 2022, then begin the new year at home to Newcastle United.

Arsenal are looking for a player to take them to the "next level" in the January transfer window after losing Gabriel Jesus to injury, says manager Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners entered the World Cup break five points clear of champions Manchester City at the Premier League summit, leading some to tip them as contenders for a first top-flight title since 2004.

Striker Jesus has played a key role for Arsenal this season, but he underwent surgery earlier this month after suffering a knee injury during Brazil's World Cup campaign.

With reports suggesting Jesus could be absent for three months, Arteta is targeting reinforcements – though he will only move for the ideal player. 

"I never gave a date on Jesus – it will take some time, for sure. He's gone through surgery," Arteta said at a press conference to preview Monday's meeting with West Ham.

"We have to be active, we're looking to strengthen the team. This squad does not have the luxury of not maximising every transfer window. 

"It has to be the right player. We need a player that will have an impact and take us to the next level.

"We know where we are in terms of the squad and numbers. We'll be extremely cautious about what we want to do in the window."

Arteta also revealed he had face-to-face contact with the club's hierarchy during the World Cup break, in order to plan for what will likely be a congested second half of the season.

"We are always connected, and that relationship is getting stronger and stronger. It's a very special relationship right now," he said.

"The ambition is there so it's very positive to spend time together. It was spare time, so it was useful to do it in that period.

"We've done our work but the second part of the season will be very different. Matches will come very fast with big congested periods so we have to have a fit, healthy squad to maintain the level that we want.

"There are new coaches and new owners around, so the window will be interesting and we have to be active on it too."

Arsenal will embrace the opportunity of their title charge under Mikel Arteta, but the Spaniard has warned them to be prepared for an "unprecedented" Premier League challenge.

The Gunners sit five points clear at the top of the table, having won all but two of their top-flight games this season, to emerge as unlikely contenders.

But with the campaign having been split into two halves to accommodate a mid-season World Cup, Arsenal will return to action against West Ham on Boxing Day with the pressure on to pick up where they left off.

Arteta feels his side can thrive as they look to keep their title tilt on track, but acknowledges they are taking a step into the unknown after the Premier League break.

"We have all the red lights and alarms," he told Sky Sports. "What is coming in the second part of the season is something unprecedented, and we need to be ready for it.

"[But] there is excitement. We should be excited. We should be embracing the opportunity that we have ahead of us, understanding we have to do much better.

"I want the team to play a certain way, and the more consistent we are on that, the more we are going to win. We have the confidence we are on the right path."

Arsenal's main rivals this season remain reigning champions Manchester City, who have been breathing down their necks for much of the campaign.

Arteta was Pep Guardiola's assistant before he joined the Gunners, and he acknowledges the debt he owes his countryman, while stressing he cannot be expected to deliver identical results.

"He was my idol," he added. "He was the one to try to emulate. When you have a person that is so determined, so clear, so focused and has such strong beliefs, you just die for him.

"That's the secret of it. It's great to get some things from other managers or even to copy, but you cannot copy and paste. It doesn't work, unfortunately."

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal's transfer plans for the new year have not changed despite their injury woes, after Reiss Nelson became the latest player to sustain a knock.

The winger was forced off in a 2-0 friendly loss to Juventus on Saturday with an apparent hamstring problem, as teams step up their return to action following the World Cup break.

With Gabriel Jesus set to be sidelined after undergoing surgery for an injury suffered on Brazil duty in Qatar, the number of options available for Arteta are narrowing.

But the Spaniard says his plans have not been altered ahead of the January transfer window, adding that he intends to wait on a further prognosis for Nelson.

"We don't know the extent of the injury," Arteta said. "The fact he had to leave the pitch straight away is not good news, especially someone who really powerful and fast like Reiss.

"Let's see what will happen. We know what we have to do and that doesn't change the plans."

Nelson's injury is a blow to a Gunners side already missing Jesus, limiting their pool of wide forwards as they prepare to restart their Premier League season.

Eddie Nketiah is likely to be offered his first sustained minutes in the Premier League since the end of last season, having been restricted to a role from the bench this campaign.

"Eddie is always ready," Arteta said. "He knows [the injuries to others] opens up a big opportunity for him right now and he needs to grab it.

"But the way he trains every day and the mentality he has, he gives us no reason to believe that he won't be super ready to perform."

Arsenal sit five points clear at the summit in their hunt for a first-top flight title since 2003-04 season, during the Invincibles era under Arsene Wenger.

Mikel Arteta revealed Arsenal have been "very active" looking at potential January signings as the Premier League leaders strive to maintain their title charge.

The Gunners are five points clear of second-placed Manchester City after winning 12 of their 14 games before the season halted for the World Cup.

Arsenal may need to strengthen in attack after Gabriel Jesus underwent surgery on the knee he injured while on duty with Brazil in Qatar.

Arteta revealed the club are exploring their options, including players that have caught his eye during the World Cup.

"We are looking, and we are very active looking at the possibilities," he said after his side overcame Milan on penalties in a friendly in Dubai. "If we can find the players that can strengthen the team, we will try.

"There are a few [from the World Cup] for sure. A few national teams, what some of the national teams are doing is very interesting, and it shows where the game is and how the game is evolving. Any individual player, I will keep it to myself."

The Spaniard was pleased to welcome back Ben White after the England defender's premature exit from England's World Cup camp. 

The 25-year-old returned home on November 30 "for personal reasons" without playing in the Three Lions' three group matches, with reports suggesting he departed after a falling out with assistant manager Steve Holland.

"[We are] very pleased [to have White back]. Everybody has been giving him a lot of support and love," Arteta added. 

"We know the reasons he had to leave the camp. We are delighted to have him back, and he looked in really good shape. We can't control [speculation]. I know who Ben is, what he needs, what his character is and how happy we all are to have him at the club."

Arsenal resume their title tilt with a home clash against West Ham on December 26, having won all six top-flight games at Emirates Stadium this term.

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal will "look at the options" with Gabriel Jesus reportedly sidelined for three months after undergoing surgery on his knee.

The Brazil forward was ruled out for the remainder of the World Cup after sustaining the injury during the Selecao's Group G clash with Cameroon.

According to unconfirmed reports in Brazil, Jesus will be absent for three months, while Premier League leaders Arsenal on Tuesday confirmed he has started his rehabilitation programme.

The 25-year-old has played a key role in the Gunners' impressive start to the season, which sees them five points clear at the summit after 14 games.

Jesus' tally of five goals is only bettered for Arsenal by Martin Odegaard (six), while only Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (nine) and team-mate Bukayo Saka (six) have registered more assists in the English top flight than his five.

With the January transfer window approaching, Arteta revealed the club are exploring possibilities on how to deal with the setback in the most constructive manner.

"What it affects is who we are as a team because he gives us so much," the Spaniard said. "So what we can do after that, when we know the timescale [of his recovery] and when we can have him back, we will look at the options and try to make the right decision.

"I feel like my squad is really good. Unfortunately, we've had injuries, and we will try to see what we can do to be strong. We have players, we have a lot of accompanying players.

"[The question is] do we have the players that can give us the performances and the consistency that we need to maintain and improve from where we are?"

Arsenal resume their title tilt with a home clash against West Ham on December 26, having won six from six at Emirates Stadium in the league this term. 

Mykhaylo Mudryk says he follows Arsenal closely amid speculation over a potential move to the Gunners from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Mudryk's sparkling form this season has seen him register 16 goal involvements in as many appearances and attract interest from some of Europe's elite clubs, with the 21-year-old closely linked to Arsenal.

The Ukraine international says he has kept up to date with the Gunners' impressive form, which sees them holding a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League heading into the World Cup break.

"I check on them on 'MyScore' and know when they’re playing I can check on them," Mudryk told Vlada Sedan's YouTube channel. "I also watch them too.

"They are a very dynamic side, in general not just in controlling possession but also in scoring goals."

However, Mudryk would want assurances over his playing time from Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, adding: "I would first want to know from the head coach that even if I wasn’t a guaranteed starter, that I’d receive a chance.

"Essentially I need to hear directly from the manager what he envisages my role in his side to be.

"From a purely hypothetical perspective if there was the option of being a bench player for Real Madrid or a starter for Arsenal, I’d probably choose Arsenal.

"But it’s a tough question and involves a lot of factors in my answer. The team’s style of play will play a role. It’s very important to me."

Mudryk was reportedly close to a move away from Shakhtar in the last transfer window, but ended up staying with the 13-time Ukrainian Premier League champions.

While he was disappointed a move never materialised, Mudryk acknowledged that the delay in a move away may actually end up benefitting him, saying: "I spoke with two or three head coaches either directly or via a translator. They were Nice, Bayer Leverkusen and Brentford.

"When it didn’t work out I was a bit upset but as we can see now God’s plan is better than my dreams."

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