Here is your afternoon football round up…
Mikel Arteta has revealed that his family have received abuse and death threats on social media. The Arsenal boss said that more needs to be done to protect the players, managers and officials. Speaking in a press conference, Arteta said: “It would affect me a lot more the moment someone wants to touch my family, because it happened, the club was aware of it and tried to do something about it. It’s not going to stop tomorrow, we know that, we want to do something medium or long term.”
His comments came after the Premier League, FA, EFL, WSL, Women’s Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL and Kick it Out all co-signed an open letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, asking for immediate action over abuse and threats targeted at footballers and referees.
🗣 “The incident that occurred a couple of days ago with Mike Dean is completely unacceptable.”
— The Sportsman (@TheSportsman) February 12, 2021
Swansea attacking midfielder Yan Dhanda has said that he is grateful for messages of support from “across the football community” after he received racist messages online. The South Asian footballer became a victim of racial abuse after Swansea’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester City in the FA Cup.
He wrote on Twitter: “How can this STILL be happening in 2021? I’m so proud of who I am and representing Asians. More has to be done!” Speaking to Sky Sports, Dhanda said: “It is so important these matters are dealt with in an appropriate way. Equally, it is so important we continue to educate and highlight success stories from all communities in the game.”
— Yan (@yandhanda) February 10, 2021
Jurgen Klopp will be in charge of his 300th game as Liverpool manager. The Reds will be looking to bounce back from their 4-1 defeat to Manchester City last week. The Liverpool boss said: “We are in it together. There is nothing to worry about, we are not pointing the finger at each other. There is nothing bad to say about the atmosphere but we are not flying. It’s normal if you don’t get results week in, week out, that a few things drop.”
Liverpool will now face a difficult task of playing Leicester City away from home. The Foxes are three points ahead of the Reds, who are now 10 points behind leaders Manchester City.
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has said that his side need to find consistency to be a top-six team. The Villains are currently in ninth place, just five points behind Liverpool who are in fourth spot, guaranteeing them a Champions League place.
“It’s a distraction at the moment,” Dean Smith said. “We are only 21 games in and there is a long way to go. We still haven’t played Everton or Tottenham, so it’s been a strange one. We have be a little bit up and down in terms of performance. I keep saying to the players that if we want to be a top-six team the consistency has to be there week in, week out.”