Mikel Arteta has expressed his displeasure with Tottenham’s Europa League scheduling change while also stating that Arsenal will make no excuses in the North London Derby on March 14.
Spurs’ first leg against Dinamo Zagreb, which was scheduled to take place three days before the derby, was originally scheduled to take place in Croatia but was moved to London by UEFA. Meanwhile, the Gunners will head to Greece to face Olympiacos.
Arteta deemed the move to be unjust because it allows Tottenham to relax at home while his team must travel back from European duty.
“Unfortunately, nothing is going to change,” says the Arteta.
“We can lift our voices, and we can do so because we want two teams competing under the same conditions. However, the decision has been taken, and that is the end of it. I don’t want to make any excuses for going into that game by saying, “Oh, they have an advantage.” So, no, I’m probably going to use that to our benefit. That’s all there is to it.”
Clubs from the same city are not allowed to host Europa League matches on the same day, according to UEFA rules. Both Arsenal and Tottenham would have been in London at the same time to complete their respective ties if both teams had been away in their first legs. To avoid this, the fixture move divides them up.