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Mikel Arteta fires back at scathing Arsenal attack by Rwanda president

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Mikel Arteta has responded to scathing criticism from the president of Rwanda after he slammed Arsenal‘s ‘mediocre’ performance in their 2-0 defeat by Brentford.

Rwanda are one of Arsenal’s sponsors, with the ‘Visit Rwanda’ logo printed on the left sleeve of their shirts. But president Paul Kagame was left frustrated by their start to the season and took to social media to make his feelings clear in three separate tweets.

Following the defeat, he wrote: ‘What?? It’s football, it’s a loss of Arsenal at/to Brentford. Brentford deserved to win and they did. The game itself aside Arsenal and the fans don’t deserve to kind of get used to this….NO !!! I say this as one of the big fans of Arsenal. The change has taken to long to come!

Mikel Arteta has responded to criticism from the president of RwandaPaul Kagame slammed the Gunners' performance against Brentford

‘It’s been a struggle of about decade(s) – ups & downs – more downs until this point. Can’t we have a plan that really works?? One part to look at is how we deal in the market- players we buy to execute the plan. The touch & go mentality does not bring change.

‘We just must NOT excuse or Accept mediocrity. A team has to be built with purpose to win win win. So that when we lose….it was not to be expected! I am sure we all know on whose shoulders the heaviest burden rests. I hope they know too or even accept it!!!’ [sic]

Arteta was asked about Kagame’s comments, Arteta simply responded: ‘I agree that Arsenal should not accept mediocrity. I totally agree with that.’

In three tweets, Kagame ranted about Arsenal and said fans did not deserve mediocrity

The Gunners boss was asked to clarify his comments about critics who he said are trying to ‘bury’ him, but he refused to go into specific detail.

He said: ‘I’m talking about the lack of clarity in the messages and using moments to try to come and using some very disrespectful ways to describe certain things. That’s what I’m saying. Nothing new.

‘It’s not about pointing, it’s about expressing the feelings that are so obvious in moments like this.’

Arteta said he agreed with Kagame's comments that Arsenal should not accept medocrity

Kagame, who has enjoyed support from Western donors for restoring Rwanda to stability after a 1994 genocide, is also accused by rights groups of being an autocrat and quashing political opposition to extend his 21-year presidency.

A first-half strike from Sergi Canos and an early second-half goal from Christian Norgaard condemned Arsenal to an opening day defeat by the newly-promoted Brentford.

Arteta’s side face Chelsea at the Emirates on Sunday but will not be able to call on new signing Martin Odegaard, who completed a £30million move from Real Madrid on Friday.


About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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