Mikel Arteta slammed the video assistant referee as Arsenal succumbed to their first Premier League defeat of the season at Newcastle on Saturday.
An Anthony Gordon goal separated the two sides, although the strike could’ve been disallowed for three different reasons. After Stuart Atwell awarded the goal onfield, VAR then checked to see whether the ball had gone out of play in the build-up, whether Joelinton had fouled Gabriel, and if Gordon was in an offside position when tapping home from close range.
Following the lengthiest of checks, Newcastle’s winner stood – much to the dismay of the Arsenal boss.
Mikel Arteta slams ’embarrassing’ VAR in Newcastle defeat
It’s fair to say Arteta wasn’t exactly a happy man when speaking to reporters post-match, as he labelled the officiating “embarrassing” and a “disgrace”.
“I have to be here now to say it is not acceptable,” Arteta told Sky Sports (via the BBC).
“We didn’t deserve to lose the match. We lose the match because of the clear and obvious decisions. It’s embarrassing. A disgrace. That’s what it is – a disgrace.
“You cannot imagine the amount of messages I got saying this cannot continue. I am wasting my time. We are wasting our time. I don’t want to be in the hands of people.”
The Spaniard then told BBC Sport: “It’s embarrassing what happened – how this goal stands, in the Premier League – this league we say is the best in the world. I’ve been 20 years in this country and now I feel ashamed. It’s a disgrace and there’s too much at stake here. We are trying to do incredible things and be at the highest level each week.
“The outcome is nowhere near the level this league needs to have. It’s not good enough. I feel embarrassed to be part of this.”
With Arsenal hoping to usurp Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table, Arteta is well aware that any slip-up is a major blow. After City thumped Bournemouth on Saturday, the Cityzens have now opened up a three-point advantage over the Gunners.
Arsenal certainly didn’t do enough to win at St. James’ Park, but as Arteta points out, they shouldn’t have lost either. You might even argue that an even worse refereeing oversight was the decision not to send Bruno Guimaraes off!
Still, Arteta has plenty to ponder regarding his side’s work in the final third. Arsenal must improve on the chance creation front if they’re to compete with City for the title.