Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will ‘talk loudly’ about VAR until situation improves

By Sports Desk November 07, 2023

Mikel Arteta has stood by his VAR outburst following Arsenal’s loss at Newcastle on Saturday and insists he will continue to “talk loudly” until he believes the situation improves.

The Gunners lost 1-0 at St James’ Park on Saturday – their first Premier League defeat of the campaign – as Anthony Gordon scored a controversial winner for the hosts.

The second-half goal was checked for three separate VAR offences – the ball going out of play, a foul by Joelinton on Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes and a potential offside – but survived them all to ultimately earn Newcastle the three points.

Speaking after the defeat, Arteta said it was “embarrassing” and a “disgrace” that the goal stood – while Arsenal issued a statement on Sunday in support of their manager’s forthright views.

Asked on Tuesday if he would have done anything differently, the Spaniard replied: “It is my duty to stand in front of you, to stand in front of the cameras, and give a very clear and honest assessment of what happened in the game.

“And this is what I did, reflect very openly on how I felt that the team played and how the game was conditioned by this results with the decisions that were made. It is the duty.

“My duty is to be defending my players, supporting my players, supporting my club, defending my people in the best possibly way and this is what I am going to time after time.

“I do it, not the way I feel, (but) with the evidence and being as clear as possible. And I always do it, when we play real I need to say it, when we have lost, to take my responsibility, the first one is me to do it. It is the way that I am and I have to defend my club.”

Arteta suggested it is the duty of managers to discuss VAR and the issues it is currently presenting within the game.

“If you guys and everyone watching football are there, we have to give our opinion in an honest way and clear,” he added.

“Don’t talk about other things. Be very clear and respectful, but clear and honest and value what we have.

“Errors are part of evolution. The trajectory is never going to be like this (gestures straight up), there are always going to bumps in the road and these things are necessary to improve the game in the right way.

“But we have to talk loudly. If you have a problem and you put it in your draw, the problem is in the draw and it’s going to stink at some point. If you have a problem, let’s talk about it, try to improve it. That’s what we are trying to do. Nothing else.”

Arsenal’s statement claimed “yet more unacceptable refereeing and VAR errors” occurred during the loss at Newcastle as the club “wholeheartedly supports” Arteta’s comments, stating players, coaches and supporters “deserve better”.

The statement has been criticised in some quarters with Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville labelling it “dangerous”.

Arteta, though, believes it does not legitimise those who abuse referees for perceived poor decision-making against the club.

“No, the support we have given to everybody is not going to change. I will be in meetings trying to reinforce that,” he said.

“This is not the topic. Everyone wants the same thing, but we have to understand that we (managers) have to be there.

“We have a duty to express how we feel with all the evidence we have and the history of what happened.

“We have to stand for our people, our values and who we are. When the club has done it, it’s been in very specific moments for the right reasons.

“It shows the unity and understanding that is within the club to position ourselves in a really clear and honest way. That’s our duty as a club.”

Arteta was speaking ahead of Arsenal’s Champions League clash against Sevilla, where victory on Wednesday night could see his side qualify for the knockout stages with two Group B games to go.

“The moment you have a chance in football to put it to bed, do it,” he said of wrapping up qualification early.

“We have to do a lot of things right tomorrow to earn the right to win it and against a really good team with enormous experience in this competition.

“We have to prove it tomorrow in front of our people how excited we are to play that game and what it means for us.”

Related items

  • Super League could cause clubs to disappear, warns Shakhtar CEO Super League could cause clubs to disappear, warns Shakhtar CEO

    Plans to found a European Super League are "purely about money" and the breakaway competition would cause smaller clubs to disappear if it ever came into being.

    That is the view of Shakhtar Donetsk chief executive Serhiy Palkin, who believes the vast majority of European clubs are united in their support for UEFA.

    The threat of a Super League has never fully gone away despite fierce fan and media opposition causing the competition's attempted 2021 launch to fail in spectacular fashion.

    Real Madrid and Barcelona remain committed to the project, and in late 2022, A22 Sports Management was enlisted to oversee its revival, with a plan for a three-tier competition featuring promotion and relegation with no permanent members made public last year. 

    Those plans were met with widespread criticism, with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin saying the proposal was "even more closed" than the initial Super League format, given a tier-one founder would be guaranteed three years in the competition regardless of their results. 

    Last December, the European Court of Justice ruled UEFA cannot stop breakaway competitions by threatening to sanction clubs, but Palkin feels there is no real desire for change.

    "For me, it's difficult to discuss. When this news was issued about A22 winning in court, we had already issued our statement, we are supporting UEFA," he told Stats Perform.

    "Almost 90 per cent of clubs did the same statement on their websites. We have a special group on WhatsApp, everybody supports UEFA. I don't understand this Super League. 

    "I don't understand what kind of essence they have. I don't understand why we need to change something, when under the umbrella of UEFA, we have very well-structured competitions. 

    "If you look from 10 years ago to today, they developed a lot of things in a good way and they are always raising the amount of money that we receive. 

    "They are increasing the number of games, they are increasing the number of competitions with the Conference League.

    "They involved a lot of clubs. It's not all clubs, but the number of clubs involved in European competitions is increasing significantly. 

    "The most important thing for me is the involvement of clubs in European competitions and the financial support of these competitions. All the numbers are just increasing."

    Palkin believes only the very richest clubs stand to benefit from the Super League, warning smaller sides might struggle to stay afloat if the plans ever come to fruition. 

    "We don't have just 25 clubs in Europe. We need to pay attention to the whole of football. The most important thing is to spread football over the whole of Europe," he added. 

    "Otherwise, don't go to stadiums, just switch on the TV and see the top, top clubs playing between each other, and that's it. Then they become much, much richer, and others disappear. 

    "For them [smaller clubs], receiving these bonuses from UEFA is critical from a financial point of view. 

    "I support football, the game itself, and we need to promote this idea. This Super League, it's not about the game, it's just about money. It's purely about money."

  • Shaw again on target as Manchester City beat Everton to go top of WSL Shaw again on target as Manchester City beat Everton to go top of WSL

    Manchester City defeated Everton 2-1 to climb to the top of the Women’s Super League table.

    City picked up where they left off in their first match since defeating Chelsea last month, with goals from Khadija Shaw (15th) and Lauren Hemp (55th) taking them three points clear of Emma Hayes’ side, who play Leicester on Sunday.

    It is now 12 victories in a row in all competitions for Gareth Taylor’s City, who were pegged back by a fine strike from Hanna Bennison in the 60th minute but deserved the three points.

    City, who have won all 16 of their league games against the Merseyside team, were behind Chelsea only on goals scored at the top of the table heading into the clash at the Joie Stadium. They were well fired up for this game and dominated from beginning to end against Brian Sorensen's team.

    City enjoyed the majority of early possession but had a hard time getting time and space in dangerous areas. After a few tame efforts, Everton made it easy for the home team when Justine Vanhaevermaet crumbled under pressure and played a short pass inside the box that went directly to Shaw, who suddenly had an abundance of time and space to smash in the opener.

    The goal gave the in-form hosts a massive boost as they looked even more dangerous from then on, with Chloe Kelly and Lauren Hemp sending dangerous balls into the box that Shaw was unable to connect with. By half-time, 1-0 seemed a low score considering City had 13 shots throughout the first 45 minutes.

    Everton, meanwhile, were gifted one chance late in the half when goalkeeper Khiara Keating played the ball straight to Rikke Madsen, but her weak shot was straight back at the youngster.

    After Shaw missed a great opportunity by heading over the bar, it was Hemp who doubled City's lead, combining with Coombs in the middle of the pitch before driving forward and sending a long-range effort rolling into the bottom corner.

    Everton were not down and out, though, as City suddenly looked flustered at the back and gave the ball away, resulting in Hanna Bennison smashing in a beauty of a goal from outside the box. Both teams pushed on for another goal, but neither could find a way past their opponents' goalkeeper.

  • Kylian Mbappe heads for stands after half-time exit in draw with Monaco Kylian Mbappe heads for stands after half-time exit in draw with Monaco

    Kylian Mbappe was substituted at half-time as runaway Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain were held to a goalless draw at his former club Monaco.

    France star Mbappe, who is set leave PSG in the summer, waved to home supporters at Stade Louis II as he emerged from the tunnel to take a seat in the stands for the second period.

    The 25-year-old forward had little impact on the opening 45 minutes and it was unclear whether his premature departure was due to an injury.

    He was pictured grimacing and holding his right leg at one stage.

    Mbappe was also withdrawn by head coach Luis Enrique 25 minutes from time in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Rennes.

    PSG were indebted to a string of first-half saves from goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in securing a stalemate which extends their lead over second-placed Brest to 12 points.

    Monaco, who also hit the crossbar through Wissam Ben Yedder in the second half, remain third, a point behind Brest.

    Yet the major talking point centred on PSG captain Mbappe, who opted against sitting alongside team-mates after being replaced by Randal Kolo Muani.

    The reigning French champions arrived in the principality seeking to return to winning ways having required a last-gasp Goncalo Ramos penalty to salvage a point at home to Rennes five days ago.

    Enrique’s side were second best for much of the opening period.

    Impressive Italy international Donnarumma repelled former Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun early on before producing two fine saves to deny ex-Liverpool man Takumi Minamino.

    PSG also survived a major scare in the 25th minute when the hosts had the ball in the net. Monaco captain Ben Yedder coolly rounded Donnarumma and rolled home after the lively Balogun caused problems for the visitors’ defence, only to be flagged offside.

    Marco Asensio, who limped off injured before the break, had PSG’s best chance of the first half but he directed his effort too close to Monaco keeper Radoslaw Majecki.

    Following the headline-grabbing scenes of Mbappe walking around the stadium’s running track to take up position among the crowd, PSG actually looked a greater threat.

    However, they narrowly escaped just before the hour mark when Ben Yedder cracked the woodwork with a sizzling volley.

    Poland international Majecki was busier in the second period and produced a strong save to deny PSG midfielder Vitinha.

    Despite applying sustained late pressure, the away team could not snatch victory as they switch focus to their Champions League last-16 second leg at Real Sociedad amid question marks over Mbappe.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.