Arsenal's Mikel Arteta holds his tongue to avoid Newcastle United suspension
Mikel Arteta ‘cant’ wait’ to see his Arsenal team face Newcastle United at St James’s Park on Monday evening (8pm kick-off).
The Gunners will be keen to put a disappointing 3-0 North London derby defeat to Tottenham Hotspur behind them as they look to beat their rivals to a top four spot and a place in next season’s Champions League.
Thursday’s match saw Rob Holding sent off and therefore suspended for the Newcastle match. Defender Gabriel was also forced off with a hamstring issue as Arteta now faces a defensive selection crisis for the trip to Tyneside.
The Arsenal boss was pressed on what he thought of Holding’s red card, which was awarded following a second yellow card for a challenge on Heung-Min Son.
But his focus switched straight to Monday night’s match against Eddie Howe’s side.
“I cannot do it,” Arteta said. “I just want to say that I am really proud of my players but obviously we didn’t get the result that we wanted.
“I can’t wait to play on Monday. I want to be on the touchline on Monday night.
“No [I can’t talk], because I will be suspended. You can ask the referee if he wants to come and give an assessment of the match.
“I can [talk] but I have two options, I can lie to you, which I don’t do, or if not I will be suspended and I really want to be on the touchline against Newcastle.”
He added: “[The Spurs] game is now history. We have to play on Monday and we have to start to win the game now.
"We have to manage the frustration and I know how they were feeling about a few things. I didn’t want that frustration to take over us, because then we were going to lose more players.”
With two games remaining in the Premier League, Arsenal sit just a point ahead of Spurs in the final Champions League spot. After Newcastle, Arteta faces his relegation-threatened former club Everton on the final day at the Emirates Stadium.
But with Spurs playing Burnley on Sunday, Arsenal could find themselves out of the top four come kick-off on Monday evening.