Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insists rival managers are behind him as he reiterated his views on referees and VAR following his outburst at the weekend. Anthony Gordon scored the only goal of the game at St James’ Park on Saturday as the Gunners lost 1-0 to Newcastle in the Premier League. And Arteta was furious that Gordon’s goal was allowed to stand despite VAR checking three separate issues.
In the lead-up to the goal, Joe Willock was adjudged to have kept the ball in play by the corner flag before crossing the ball towards Joelinton. The Brazil international then appeared to shove Arsenal defender Gabriel in the back as he rose above his compatriot to head the ball down to Gordon. And the English winger turned the ball in, with VAR ruling he was not in an offside position.
Arteta called the decision to allow the goal to stand “embarrassing” and “a disgrace” after the final whistle. Arsenal then released a statement on Sunday to back up their manager. And Arteta says it’s not just his employers who are in support of him.
“When we are in those [manager] meetings, when we are all together, we all share the same feeling, that’s for sure,” the Spaniard said ahead of his side’s Champions League clash with Sevilla on Wednesday.
“Errors are part of evolution. The trajectory is never going to be like this (gestures straight up). There are always going to be 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 drawer, the problem is in the drawer 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 guys.”
The FA have sent a letter to Arteta and Arsenal to ask for their observations on the post-match comments and the club statement. The governing body could take action over “prolonged or particularly unreasonable” remarks, which could result in a punishment.
Arteta was joined by Arsenal’s sporting director Edu and club director Tim Lewis for his pre-match press conference in a public show of unity. And discussing the club statement, Arteta added: “It was great from my point of view, I didn’t expect it. I said it’s my duty to stand in front of you guys and give what I think and then the club has got many options, and they decided to do that one.
“I really appreciate it. I think the players did, everybody at the club did. It showed again that we are one and ready for anything that comes across to fight it in the best possible way.”