Mikel Arteta believes there needs to be a review of the use of VAR at the end of the season in light of a spate inconsistent officiating.
Arsenal have both benefitted and suffered at the hands of subjective decision-making in recent weeks with Matteo Guendouzi escaping punishment for wrapping his hands around Neal Maupay’s neck at Brighton and Eddie Nketiah seeing red for a challenge on Tuesday after a review of the incident on the pitchside monitor.
In the same game, a Jamie Vardy stud-to-face collision with Shkodran Mustafi was deemed accidental and the striker escaped without any punishment.
With offsides decided by rulers, the handball rule operating differently depending on if a player is attacking or defending and VAR failing to rectify Hawk-Eye’s first fail, there’s growing frustration at the lack of accountability.
Asked about the situation ahead of Sunday’s north London derby, Arteta, who was furious with some of the decisions on Tuesday, said a discussion needs to take place.
“Well as I said before, some of them [the decisions] are very complicated,” he said.
“We don’t know how they are judging the situation but I’m sure they have the right intentions.
“At the end of the season, I think that is something that has to go into debate.
“We need to agree on some principles that we’re going to apply, so at least every decision has the same raised level of determination, basically.”
Arteta had already come to the defence of the officials earlier in his press conference asking if he was at all concerned by the appointment of Michael Oliver as the referee for Sunday’s game at White Hart Lane.
Sp*rs are said to be furious that the 35-year-old has been given the game after he made controversial VAR decisions in two of their last three games; first ruling out Harry Kane’s equaliser at Sheffield United for a handball and then last night not giving the England captain a penalty after he was tugged down in the box by Bournemouth’s Josh King.
“I never have any concern about the decision of the referee,” said Arteta.
“Nowadays, everything’s so professional, dedicated and they’re under so much pressure and criticism.
“I know they try their best with the decisions that they have to make.
“They’re getting more and more complicated because of the speed of the game and how quickly they have to react, and the pressure they have with the new VAR system as well.
“We’re here to support them, we need them, they’re a big part of that.
“Now we complain that we don’t have the fans and we realise how important they are, maybe one day we won’t have referees and we’re going to say, ‘Wow, they were crucial for this game to work’. So we have to support them.”