Mikel Arteta was enraged following Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Newcastle United on Saturday evening. The Spaniard had just witnessed his team lose for the first game this season in the Premier League, and VAR was once again a key discussion topic.
Anthony Gordon’s 64th-minute strike ultimately decided the game, although there were various disputes surrounding the goal’s awarding, including the ball seemingly going out of play, a foul on Gabriel, and a probable offside.
Arteta reacted angrily to the decision at his post-match press conference. “We have to talk about the result because you have to talk about how the hell this goal stand ups and it’s incredible,” he went on to say. “I feel embarrassed but I have to be the one now coming here to try to defend the club and please ask for help, because it’s an absolute disgrace that this goal is allowed; it’s an absolute disgrace.”
In a statement posted on the club’s website on Sunday, Arsenal praised their boss and urged the PGMOL to do more to avoid such blunders. “Arsenal Football Club wholeheartedly supports Mikel Arteta’s post-match comments after yet more unacceptable refereeing and VAR errors on Saturday evening,” the statement said. “We’d also like to thank our players and traveling supporters for their tremendous effort and performance at St James’ Park.”
“The Premier League is the best league in the world, with the best players, coaches, and fans who all deserve better.” PGMOL must address the standard of officiating immediately and focus on action that pushes us all forward from retroactive analysis, attempted explanations, and apologies. We applaud Chief Refereeing Officer Howard Webb’s continuous efforts and look forward to working with him to reach the world-class officiating standards that our league requires.”
VAR (Video Assistant Referees) has divided views since its debut in the Premier League at the start of the 2019-2020 season. Some managers have spoken out publicly about it, with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp doing so in December 2020.