• Premier League

Arteta hails Suarez response

ESPN staff
November 1, 2013
Rodgers: Suarez was never leaving

Arsenal's Mikel Arteta says the response from Liverpool striker Luis Suarez since being handed a 10-match suspension for biting has been admirable.

Suarez has scored six goals in his opening four league games since returning from the ban and, as the Gunners prepare for a top-of-the-table clash with the Reds, Arteta revealed his respect for the Uruguayan.

"He is a tremendous player," Arteta told the Daily Mirror. "And he has shown a lot of character to get back after getting really criticised and on the front pages a lot. He has gone on to produce some great performances and his goal-scoring record is amazing.

"It was very difficult for him because he had a lot of people against him and he was under massive pressure.

"Last summer when everyone thought he was leaving, he still came back and put in some great performances.

"I like players like this. When they are on the floor and everyone is on them they stand up and prove themselves and I admire that."

Arteta also explained that every player endures a moment of madness as the intensity of battle rages on. However, the Spanish midfielder insists it is a person's response to those difficult moments which matter most.

"I've seen a lot of things in my career. Not only in the matches but on the training ground against your own team-mates. Everyone can lose it," he said.

"I lost it once against Morten Gamst Pedersen. I poked his eye. Afterwards, I was like, 'What are you doing? This is stupid!' but you get upset, you get frustrated and you do some stuff. It's not right.

"He accepted it, he apologised and I think he did everything he had to do to try to learn from it in order to not do it again. Sometimes you do silly things in life.

"Even with my kids, I've made mistakes. What you want to do is learn and not make them again," he explained.

Arteta also revealed the remarkable story behind a scar on his chest after having a life-saving heart operation.

"I had a big issue with my heart when I was a baby and at the age of two I had to have an operation to repair a lot of things," he is quoted as saying in The Sun.

"The clean blood wasn't circulating properly so my heart wasn't getting the right supply.

"I think I was the first person in Spain to undergo that particular operation and the doctors said there was no chance that I could do any sports activity after that."

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