Graham Potter made reference to a “contentious” incident involving the Arsenal star but refrained from really naming Bukayo Saka a diver.
After Mikel Arteta went down in Sunday’s match at Stamford Bridge due to a challenge from Marc Cucurella, tensions between Potter and Arteta erupted on the sidelines. Arsenal’s manager bemoaned the decision not to award a free kick, but Potter, the Chelsea manager, thought Saka was taken down far too lightly.
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“I don’t think he is that type of player,” Potter said, “but I think there was one action that was a little bit disputed, let’s say.”
Chelsea, despite their massive buying binge under new owner Todd Boehly, are now 13 points behind champions Arsenal and face serious elimination from the top four.
Blues manager Potter reminded Chelsea supporters that Mikel Arteta received “pelters” before leading Arsenal back to the top and reiterated that it will take time for the results to turn around.
“A lot has transpired in the eight weeks I’ve been here,” Potter stated. We’ve dealt with a lot, and if you look at the Arsenal tale, you can compare where they are now to where they were two or one year ago.
“It’s a little odd, and I’m sure Mikel gets pelted occasionally, but that’s just how it is. That is our work and our life, and we must cope with it.
Arteta was calling for a foul that never materialized
We struggled, but you could tell there was a difference between the two teams in terms of self-assurance, points scored, teamwork, and organization. Right now, our situation is not ideal.
Even though it hurts to admit it, Arsenal was the superior team overall and deserved to win the game. We must use this as inspiration to get better.
“I think it’s safe to conclude that given their working environment and length of collaboration, Arsenal is in the lead. They have more points, greater assurance, a solid structure, and, as I mentioned at the outset with my first response, you have to agree that’s fair.