EPL

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta calls for patience with VAR despite recent criticism

By Sports Desk December 01, 2023

Mikel Arteta has called for patience with VAR and wants to see the technology remain in the Premier League despite the Arsenal boss facing a Football Association charge following recent criticism of the system.

After last month’s 1-0 loss at Newcastle, Arteta labelled the decision to award Anthony Gordon’s matchwinner “embarrassing” and a “disgrace” while Arsenal followed up his comments with an official statement backing his take.

Arteta has since been charged by the FA and will find out if he faces any punishment for his comments next week.

Arsenal, who sit top of the Premier League after a late win at Brentford last weekend, host Wolves on Saturday – themselves having been stung by controversial VAR calls this season.

Having already been told of incorrect decisions going against his side this term, Wolves boss Gary O’Neil turned on VAR after their 3-2 loss at Fulham on Monday.

Fulham were awarded two penalties which O’Neil was not happy with and he asked “what is the point” of VAR – but Arteta has urged tolerance despite his own misgivings over the technology.

“I think we can improve it and we are trying to do that,” Arteta said.

“All those things that are happening I think are probably necessary to improve it and we have to take it that way. It has been a big change.

“Technology is taking a huge responsibility in games and it needs time. If we use it the right way, we are listening to people, we are open, we are humble and we are trying to be constructive, I think we will get to a really, really good place.”

Arteta also revealed that recent VAR issues have been leading conversations between managers, with Newcastle boss Eddie Howe the latest to be left fuming following a late penalty award in their Champions League draw at Paris St Germain.

“I have sympathy with all my colleagues because I know how beautiful and how challenging the job is,” added the Spaniard.

“Those moments in front of the camera are not easy ones. You see that in many, many situations already this season as well as last season. We’re here to make the game better and make clubs better. We all need to win to do that.

“It’s a topic that comes up for sure. We talk about many things but that’s one of those as well because at the end it has a huge impact on results and our job depends on that.”

Having thrashed Lens 6-0 on Wednesday to seal their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, Arteta is expecting an altogether different challenge as Arsenal look to move four points clear at the top of the Premier League with victory over Wolves.

“It will be different, it won’t be the same. We cannot expect the same,” he said.

“This team is going to be different to last season and hopefully very different to the season next. That’s part of the evolution. Leaving some of the things in the past to the new things. That has a transition. We want to still be competitive and win matches and I think the team is competing really well.

“They have a lot of quality over there. It’s not a coincidence what they’re doing. They perform really well against the top sides and that says a lot about the coaching staff, what Gary is doing, the way they have prepared and how they control opponents.”

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    The winners of the two playoffs will receive trophies named in honour of Cole and Boyd, who represented Jamaica at the highest level on the national and international arena. 

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    Competition Director Haron Martin said the training sessions have been going well and the players are in high spirits as they look forward to Sunday’s games.

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    “We are also upbeat about the tournament, and we anticipate that the players will get the kind of exposure that they deserve,” he added.

    An All-Prep team will square off against an All-Primary team; while at the Under14 level; the teams will consist of schools north grouped and south grouped of Kingston combined together. They will compete against each other for trophy bragging rights.

    According to Tournament Director, Leighton Davis, the competition will showcase the best youth talents that will prove to be an exciting and entertaining showpiece for the spectators.

    “This tournament is to highlight and reward players who have done well throughout the season. These types of games will help players develop and improve because they are playing against the best of the best,” Davis said.

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    “It’s hard to play for Liverpool. There’s always a lot of pressure,” Endo added.

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