Albert Stuivenberg addresses AirPods nickname and reveals his 'indirect line' to Arteta during Arsenal's loss to City

ARSENAL assistant manager Albert Stuivenberg has revealed he had an 'indirect line' with boss Mikel Arteta during the 2-1 defeat against Manchester City.

The Dutchman, 51, was in charge for the clash against the Citizens at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon after Arteta tested positive for coronavirus.

And the Gunners were unlucky not to beat Pep Guardiola's side in North London as Riyad Mahrez scored a controversial penalty, before Rodri poked home at the death.

Stuivenberg – nicknamed 'AirPod Albert' for his use of wearing the Apple wireless headphones on the sidelines – failed to wear them against City.

Instead, young Spanish coach Carlos Cuesta was spotted wearing the AirPods at the Emirates to maintain contact with Arteta.

Cuesta was pictured speaking to Stuivenberg on the touchline while having the headphones in his ears.

And Stuivenberg has discussed his moniker in his post-match press conference, where he revealed that he remained in touch with Arteta.

Asked if he himself was in direct contact with the former Arsenal captain, he said: "No, during the game there was no direct line with Mikel, we are always in contact with each other.

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"I do believe I’m famous for the AirPods, so normally I’m in that situation that we’re always in contact with somebody from upstairs, or, in this case, from further away.

"This was the same for the Norwich game, people not involved in the stadium and we have contact there.

"Not a direct line, but an indirect line with Mikel and in between of course, at half-time, before the game and after the game Mikel has been in touch because he needs to be involved.

"In that case and we don’t do anything different, only Mikel physically is not here, that’s the only difference."

Stuivenberg then commented on the three key incidents from the game which all went in City's favour.

Martin Odegaard was denied a blatant spot-kick in the first half, before Bernardo Silva was awarded a penalty, with Gabriel then sent off in the 59th minute.

The ex-Genk manager remarked: "Well, I’m upset that we didn’t end up with three points in this game.

"That’s the most frustrating part, but at the same time we are very proud about the performance of the players. Of course, there are some moments in the game that I think decided the game.

"You had the first moment with Odegaard in the first half which I think is a clear penalty, but at least a moment for the referee to check, and then it happened in the second half for their penalty which is not really consistent.

"Then of course the sending off was an important moment after that, but to be fair, we still had a very good performance against a very strong team in how we defended with ten players.

"To end up in the last moment with zero points is very frustrating."

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