Mikel Arteta insists he has no plans to convince his players to stop celebrating, suggesting that passion is fundamental to football.
Last weekend’s win over Bournemouth sparked jubilant scenes in the Emirates Stadium and across the world, as Reiss Nelson scored a last-second winning goal with the last chance of the game.
A number of members of the Arsenal playing squad and staff raced onto the pitch to share in the moment with the players, leading to referee Chris Kavanagh making a note of the celebrations in his post-match report.
That led to an FA investigation, but fortunately, the association decided against punishing Arsenal on this occasion.
It certainly wouldn’t have been a good look if they had, given the celebrations had been shared far and wide on social media in a heartwarming promotion of the game itself.
You’re not going to create any new football fans if the first thing they learn about your sport is that celebrations are punished.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s match against Fulham, Mikel Arteta denied he had any plans to stop his players from celebrating.
“None,” Arteta said. “If you win in football you celebrate. [If] you want passion and emotion there is nothing better than scoring goals and winning football matches. So if not, you go to church. For sure, I won’t be telling the players not to celebrate on Sunday.”
Arsenal need to win first, which may not be easy with their three first-choice strikers all absent.
On that front, Charles Watts of Goal has claimed it’s possible Leandro Trossard or Gabriel Jesus may yet make the squad against Fulham. At the very least, it seems Kieran Tierney and Martin Odegaard are set to make their comebacks.
Even if Arsenal had their best players available, Fulham are having a great season and will be playing at home in front of their own supporters. It’s going to be a tricky fixture either way.