Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Leeds United, Mikel Arteta has revealed his family have received threats via social media since he took the top job at the Emirates Stadium.
At a time when there is much scrutiny on social media platforms and how they deal with such behaviour, it will come as no surprise that the 38-year-old has also been on the receiving end of it after an indifferent first year in charge.
Arteta lifted the FA Cup last season after just eight months in charge, but his team have been largely inconsistent since he was appointed as Unai Emery’s successor in December 2019. Now, the Spaniard has revealed that his family have been targeted by hateful messages, like many others in the last few months.
“I’d prefer not to [speak about it] but I think we’re all exposed to that in this industry,” Arteta told reporters, quoted by the Guardian.
“That’s why I’d prefer not to read it because it would affect me personally much more the moment that somebody wants to [harm] my family. Because it happened, the club was aware of it and we tried to do something about it. That’s it.
“I’m not the only person suffering these types of things. When you’re winning, everything is beautiful and you are incredible and you are the best coach, but when you lose it’s completely the opposite. That’s reality. It’s not pleasant when they go personal against me, but I can take it. When family is involved, then it’s a different story.”
The Spaniard also spoke about matter on the field and specifically Thomas Partey’s latest injury niggle, the latest of many setbacks since his mega-money move from Atletico Madrid last summer, revealing the Ghanaian midfielder was feeling the effects of another spell on the sidelines.
“He was devastated, we were all devastated because we know the importance of Thomas and we haven’t had him since we signed him, we haven’t had him in three games consecutively.
“I think he has only played 90 minutes once since he has come back from injury, so it is a big blow for us but he is adapting to the league, he has been very unlucky as well. He is very frustrated because he is a very competitive guy who wants to feel important and be important for the team and at the moment the injuries are restricting a lot of game time for him.”
Kieran Tierney is also unavailable for the game against Leeds and whilst the club reported the Scot was struggling with a ‘strain to the right lower leg’, Arteta revealed he also has a knee problem to contend with.
“We have to see how the knee reacts when he starts to get a bit more load,” Arteta added. “He hasn’t had much [luck] but he is very positive at the moment, he is in good spirits and he is desperate to get back in the team and we will see in the next few days, the moment he starts to train with the team and se how he is feeling and how he reacts.”