Ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League tie against Dundalk tomorrow evening, Mikel Arteta was questioned on the ‘reputation’ Hector Bellerin has earned after a number of foul throw-ins this season.
Bellerin was pulled up on this directly by referee Martin Atkinson in the side’s 2-0 defeat against rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, in a moment that marked the full-backs fifth infringement of the season.
That moment can be seen here, it has established the Spain international as the player with the most foul throws in Europe’s top five leagues.
Arteta was asked whether he would ‘discuss’ the matter with Bellerin, but the former Arsenal captain turned boss admitted that the judgements were ‘really, really harsh’.
In a surprise twist, Arteta added that the Gunners have ‘sent the images’ of Bellerin’s apparent infringements to the Premier League, in an action taken that could clear the full-back’s name.
Here's what Mikel Arteta has had to say on Hector Bellerin being punished for foul throws recently after a call against the ace in Arsenal's defeat to rivals Spurs… pic.twitter.com/jDAfwlnzob
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) December 9, 2020
“I think it was really, really harsh. We sent the images to the Premier League because there have been many, many incidents, much worse than that – and it was never the case (foul throws given).”
“But we will keep working and making sure that we do the action properly of course.”
Arteta didn’t acknowledge the part of the brilliant question which asked whether the north London outfit would now consider appointing a throw-ins coach, like Premier League champions Liverpool.
If it’s found that Bellerin has been wrongfully punished, he’s owed an apology by the officials, league and some of the critics that have slammed him for it as of late, including club legend Tony Adams.