Souness sends Arteta "careful" Arsenal warning as he rubbishes Klopp comparison

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Souness sends Arteta "careful" Arsenal warning as he rubbishes Klopp comparison
Souness sends Arteta "careful" Arsenal warning as he rubbishes Klopp comparison

Graeme Souness has warned Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta to be "careful" after his touchline outburst.

Arteta was heavily criticised for his outlandish protests towards fourth official Jarred Gillett during the Gunners' frustrating 0-0 draw at home to Newcastle United on Tuesday. The Spaniard claimed that his side, who sit top of the Premier League table by five points, should've been awarded two penalties, hitting out at the "scandalous" decisions which referee Andy Madley made post-match.

But Souness, who got caught up in his fair share of touchline malice during his days as a manager, thinks that Arteta must deal with the pressure at Arsenal in a better way. The three-time European Cup winner also doesn't believe that you can compare Arteta's antics to when Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp kicks up a fuss on the sidelines.

"The point I make about Arteta is that he just has to be careful," Souness wrote in his column for the Mail. "This is new territory for him and he has to find a way of coping with the increased levels of expectation. It is different with Jurgen Klopp. His reaction towards officials this season is borne more out of frustration.

"Monday's 3-1 defeat at Brentford has left Liverpool 16 points off the top. I never would have believed that approaching the halfway stage. I thought this group of players had the belief they were good enough and it would only be a matter of time before they got their act together. It is a bit more worrying right now. It does not appear to be a blip, and Jurgen will be feeling that."

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Arteta has been the subject of widespread criticism for his behaviour, particularly given he's been known to have lost his cool with officials in the past. Back in April, when the Gunners squandered their Champions League spot to North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, the Arsenal gaffer alleged that he'd be banned for "six months" if he gave his honest opinion of the referee's performance.

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Souness sends Arteta "careful" Arsenal warning as he rubbishes Klopp comparisonMikel Arteta tore into the officials during Arsenal's 0-0 draw with Newcastle (Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, it was more of the same, as he fumed: "We had so many situations to finish them better and then we had two scandalous penalties. It is not about which one was stronger, we had two penalties. I am not talking about the referee, I am talking about what I saw and that was two scandalous penalties."

Fortunately for Arteta, he'll have the opportunity to voice his displeasure directly to new PGMOL boss Howard Webb in person soon enough. The former Premier League referee is set to embark on a tour of all 20 clubs in a bid to improve the relationship between coaches, players and officials.

Webb is also keen to boost the standard of officiating in the English top flight as well as how people perceive role of VAR, with both coming under major criticism. He explained in December: "I hope we get to the point where we are able to share some of the audio. Even if people don't necessarily agree with the final decision, people can understand the process and the rationale and be much more accepting of the decision."

Nathan Ridley

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