Former Liverpool star Danny Murphy has backed Richard Keys‘ furious demand that the FA “do something” about Mikel Arteta ‘s passionate performances on the touchline.
The Arsenal boss frequently leaves his technical career to coach his team and protest decisions made by the referee. That has drawn the ire of Keys, who has launched a number of attacks on the Spaniard for his actions on the touchline.
According to the Laws of the Game, occupants of the technical area must behave in a ‘responsible manner’ and are not allowed to leave its confines. It is a rule that is frequently ignored by Premier League bosses, many of whom spend much of their matches outside the confines of the technical area.
But it is Arteta who has come in for for the strongest criticism from beIN Sports presenter Keys. The broadcaster was left furious again on Sunday when Arsenal travelled to Chelsea, even posting a picture of Arteta outside his technical area.
“Why is this allowed every week @FA_PGMOL? Arteta has been jumping up & down all game – way outside his technical area. Potter is in his & 4th is watching. Do something about this man,” the caption for the picture read.
Keys followed that tweet up by blasting Arteta in his weekly blog post on his website. He branded the Gunners boss the “most irritating coach” in the Premier League as he insisted Arteta could injure someone.
“Someone please have a word with Mikel Arteta. Right now he’s the most irritating coach of the lot. Sit down man – and if you can’t do that – stay in your own technical area. I say this because someone is going to get hurt soon as a result of his antics,” his post read.
“There are good reasons coaches are asked to stay in their technical areas – safety is one issue. Graham Potter is clearly in his area. Arteta is not only out of his – but he’s on the touch line almost in front of the Chelsea bench. Why? And why is the 4th just watching – doing nothing?
“I had a mate text me after I’d pointed this out in a tweet on the day saying ‘agree – let’s see if he’s doing this when they’re sixth in March’. Harsh – because I think they’re in with a shout now. But sit down Arteta.”
Keys’ call for action from the FA has now received the backing of Murphy, who made more than 700 professional appearances. The former Reds midfielder did concede that it was not only Arteta who was causing the problem as he called for much harsher punishments.
“I agree with him. It’s not about Arteta though, it’s all managers. The rules are too lax, the punishments are very rare. As soon as you go out of it, it should be a yellow card, go out of it twice, red. Done,” Murphy told talkSPORT.
“Dead easy, it would stop in about two weeks. The problem is you’re always going to get those people who go ‘we want to see the passion’. There’s a big box there, there’s lots of room for you to be passionate, jump on your staff and your fellow colleagues.
“As soon as you allow the managers or coaches to start running out of the box whether it be to celebrate, whether it be to argue, whether it be to coach, you’re just causing problems for yourself. All the problems you see with managers now on the touchline is when they’re outside of that box.”