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Arsenal have released a statement backing manager Mikel Arteta after he criticized the standards of England’s refereeing following his side’s 1-0 defeat to Newcastle on Saturday.
The statement said the club supported their manager after ‘further unacceptable refereeing and VAR errors’.
It goes on to suggest that fans, players and managers ‘deserve better’ from PGMOL.
Arteta was left fuming after the final whistle at St.James’ Park when Anthony Gordon’s decisive goal was allowed to stand, while Bruno Guimaraes dodged punishment for an alleged elbow on Jorginho.
Gordon’s decisive strike went through three separate VAR checks before being allowed to stand, with referee Stuart Attwell and VAR official Andy Madley ruling that Joe Willock had kept the ball in play, Joelinton had not fouled Gabriel and that the goalscorer onside laundry.
Arsenal have released a statement in support of Mikel Arteta following his comments about the English referee after yesterday’s defeat to Newcastle
Arteta claimed the decision to award the goal made him ‘sick’ in his post-match interviews
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Arteta said: ‘How on earth did this goal stand? It’s unbelievable. I am ashamed. It is an absolute shame that this is allowed. It is not a goal for many reasons.
“It’s so hard to compete at this level. This is nowhere near the (referee) level to describe this as the best competition in the world. I feel sick to be a part of this.”
Arteta added in his post-match interview with Sky Sports: ‘The question is: it’s not a goal, it’s simple. Before a goal there are certainly things that are not allowed in football.
‘I have to stand here and explain that we lost three points. There’s too much at stake. It’s humiliating.
‘It’s unbelievable how the players fought against this team, it makes me sick. I feel sick to be a part of this.”
Arsenal were unable to overturn the 1-0 deficit as they suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season and lost ground in the title race.
Arteta’s comments have contributed to the increasing attention paid to VAR this season.
The most controversial VAR decision of the season came when a Luis Diaz goal was wrongly disallowed during Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat to Tottenham in September.
Wolves manager Gary O’Neil has spoken out in recent weeks about his criticism of VAR.
O’Neil condemned his side for ‘another terrible decision’ after Wolves’ 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United on Saturday.
The defeat capped a difficult week for Arsenal, who were beaten 3-1 by West Ham in the Carabao Cup in midweek.
Arteta had complained about the absence of VAR in that match, claiming West Ham’s opening goal should have been disallowed due to a foul on Aaron Ramsdale.
“If there is VAR, there is certainly no goal,” Arteta said after the defeat to West Ham. ‘I understand that it is difficult for the referees because of the angle and the number of people there.’
Officials had to review three separate incidents before deciding to award Gordon’s goal
The Arsenal statement released on Sunday read: ‘Arsenal Football Club wholeheartedly supports Mikel Arteta’s post-match comments following further unacceptable refereeing and VAR errors on Saturday evening.
‘We would also like to recognize the tremendous commitment and achievements of our players and traveling supporters at St James’ Park.
‘The Premier League is the best league in the world with the best players, coaches and supporters, who all deserve better. PGMOL must urgently address the standard of conduct and focus on action that distracts us all from retrospective analysis, attempts at explanations and excuses.
“We support the continued efforts of Chief Referee Howard Webb and would like to work together to achieve the world-class refereeing standards that our competition requires.”