Arsenal boss hits out at bullying claims: ‘It’s borderline slander!’ | Football


The Swedish coach is fuming with Gareth Taylor’s comments (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall has hit back at Manchester City manager Gareth Taylor for accusing him of ‘bullying’ the fourth official and says his comments were ‘borderline slanderous’.

The two coaches butted heads on the sidelines during Sunday’s 2-1 victory for the Gunners in the Women’s Super League and were involved in several heated exchanges.

Afterwards, Taylor claimed he was ‘protecting’ fourth official Melissa Burgin and accused his rival of ‘bullying’ the referees – even doubling down on his complaint on Tuesday.

Eidevall had already completed his media duties before Taylor made his comments and had been unable to respond, but he has now slammed the City manager’s remarks and defended his behaviour.

Ahead of facing Bristol City on Thursday, Eidevall said: ‘I was really disappointed with the comments. There is no truth in them. The wording that Gareth used afterwards is borderline slander.

‘Either he is not very good with the truth or he is not very good with the language. Either way, I don’t think it’s acceptable.’

Asked if he spoke with the officials after the game or has spoken with Taylor since his comments, Eidevall continued: ‘Not after the game, I didn’t speak with the officials. During the game I think we had professional dialogue.

Arsenal women's boss Jonas Eidevall

Eidevall has defended his conduct during Sunday’s game (Picture: Getty)

‘I’ve not spoken to Gareth. I don’t think his comments are acceptable and I would expect him to reach out with an apology but I’m not sure if that’s going to happen.’

Probed on whether he would make an official complaint, the Swede replied: ‘No, I have no intention in going into any legal processes about that. I have no intention of that getting more of my energy than needed.

‘I do really think it is unacceptable to say things about a fellow colleague that are not true.

‘Anyone who was at the game and could see my behaviour can also see there is not a single percentage of truth in that. I think that is quite sad, to be honest. That’s why I think it is unacceptable.’

On whether he has ever crossed a line with officials, he added: ‘I don’t think I’ve ever had any behaviour that would come close to the words that Gareth Taylor used after the game.

‘Have I been passionate on the sidelines? Have I at times lost my temper at the sidelines and lost control of my emotions? Absolutely, I’ve done that.

‘I think any football manager in the job for 20 years, like I have been, has all been in that position. I think the person who hasn’t been there is not telling the truth.’

MORE : Manchester City manager Gareth Taylor accuses Arsenal rival Jonas Eidevall of ‘bullying’ the officials

MORE : Mikel Arteta insists Arsenal won’t back down over toxic VAR outburst and calls on fellow managers to help stop ‘stink’

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