Football: Many wouldn’t believe him, but Mikel Arteta insists Santi Cazorla wasn’t guilty of simulation in Saturday’s victory over Steve Clarke’s Baggies.
Cazorla appeared to crumple in a heap in the West Brom area without having been touched by his marker Steven Reid, with referee Mike Jones pointing to the spot.
West Brom boss Clarke devoted almost the entirety of his post-match media briefing to the incident and others which he felt had gone against his team.
However Arteta, who scored two penalties to give Arsenal a much-needed win, says people shouldn’t be too quick to judge his team-mate.
“Santi was saying that he felt something,” Arteta revealed. “If there is a little (contact), it is (still) contact. The ref makes decisions, some right and some wrong.
“For me, it is not right to dive. Santi is not a player who dives. He has taken a lot this year because of the way he plays and if he has done it (it is) because he felt something and changed direction, but he is not that type of player.”
Arsenal take on Bradford on Tuesday night in the League Cup quarter-final, with Arsene Wenger expected to rotate his squad.