Saturday, November 27, 2021

Arteta fumes at VAR, left sweating over Saka fitness

Mikel Arteta is adamant that Luka Milivojevic James McArthur should have been sent off during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace after the midfielder volleyed Bukayo Saka’s right calf into 2022 with a wild late swipe just before half time.

The Scot was shown a yellow card for the challenge by referee Mike Dean but VAR opted not to act on the incident despite replays indicating it was reckless play.

The Gunners were forced to remove Saka at the break with Arteta later explaining the winger was in too much pain to continue. While the incident doesn’t excuse Arsenal’s latest lacklustre performance, it’s clear the boss was irked with the situation and confused by VAR’s stance.

“Bukayo could not continue,” he explained in his post-game press conference.

“We had to take him off at half time. I saw the action and I can’t believe how the player continued on the pitch.”

He added: “I don’t get it. With what we were explained at the start of the season and what happened tonight, it doesn’t make any sense.”

Asked whether he feels the use of VAR has improved this season, he went on: “Well, if we want to detect things that we think are really relevant in the game – that can change a full match – then they have to be looked at.

“In that situation, not only is it affecting them, but we have to take the player off because of that action as well. So it’s affecting you in two different ways. It’s not right.

“Make a straight decision, when it’s so clear and so obvious – you know straight away and they have to play with 10 men.”

It remains to be seen whether Saka will be fit for Friday’s match with Aston Villa.

“I don’t know, we will see how it evolves,” said Arteta. “Obviously he couldn’t continue and he’s a boy that’s pretty tough and wants to keep playing, but he could not carry on and we have a quick turnaround for the next game, so we will see how he evolves.”

After the game, strikers past and present expressed their disbelief at the officials failing to act.

Covering the game for Premier League Productions, Ian Wright said: “How they have not given that for violent conduct is beyond me. The ball is there why is he still kicking him? How have they missed that? How can they miss that?”

When it was put to him that the challenge was deemed a high-end yellow card, he said: “Oh, come on man, so, what? Is there low-end red cards then? What’s the difference? It’s a yellow card. It’s ridiculous. Another decision where they have made something up just to let it run on. That’s a sending off.”

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who grabbed Arsenal’s opener on the night, also took to social media to vent. On seeing a replay of the incident, he wrote in French: “How is that not red?! I had not seen it like that from on the field.”

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Johnny 4 Hats

I’m pretty sure it was James McArthur…


The James McArthur who dodged a yellow for a cynical foul not much earlier? And yet Saka was deemed cynical enough to warrant a yellow.
Mike Dean you absolute cuntnoggin.


I’m sure you’re right, he’s just another Paddy McNair, given license to kick anything in an Arsenal shirt by inadequate officiating.

Johnny 4 Hats

I was screaming at the laptop, surely VAR are checking that for a red?! It was a really, really nasty and cynical boot at full strength.

If Xhaka gets a red for a lunge that doesn’t make any contact with the player but a cunt can get away with that, then what is really going on here?

No excuses. Probably wouldn’t have fared any better against 10 men. But this is about player safety. Which is way more important than anything.


It was – since corrected!

Johnny 4 Hats

Ok. Just don’t do it again.


Also pretty sure it’s spelt McUnthur.

Johnny 4 Hats


Woo! I’m throwing rocks rocks tonight!


Hm I am certain it is in fact McCunter, but here we are!


I’m pretty sure that was MMA…


cut the crap, sack the manager. villareal home/away performance should have being the end of arteta at arsenal. Instead we armored him with 150m. I am totally aware that new manager is going to struggle with this team but I’ll rather lose/draw playing wenger way then this shitpile artetaball.

Johnny 4 Hats

I’ve always said top six by Christmas is the deal breaker and I’m sticking to it. But my optimism fades with every performance like this.


Christmas which season?

Johnny 4 Hats

Hehe. Respect for the gallows humour. No one does it like a gooner.




I don’t think a good manager would struggle with this team. Srom 1 to 11 we had better players in the pitch at home last night against CP. The players are not the problem.


Top post, well said, Joy. 👍

Someone else on here finally gets it. Hallelujah.


I was fuming last night. We were so meek until Laca came on. It worries me that I can’t see what the plan is. At one end we do this weird half press that is too easy to beat. At the other, once we beat a press any momentum gets trapped in the midfield pinball machine of doom. We just don’t look like a team with a coherent map to goal. This morning I’m feeling more reflective. I’ve steeled myself for wildly inconsistent performances this year. Playing with youth was always going to be 2 steps forward 1 3/4 steps… Read more »


Was sad watching how much we just reverted back to doughnut ball last night. While we lead at half time it wasn’t a pretty half of football and both our goals were scrappy rebounds and the first resulting off a rather poor cross, but then some really nice one-two play from Pepe and Tomi. They disrupted us too much, Odegaard was poor – don’t like him in midfield (mostly because he’s not really playing in midfield, but he’s also just less influential). When he struggles we seem to struggle.


Excellently put.


This “coach” has a 33% win rate at the Emirates. Get rid of him. There is no process, this kind of nonsense is only spewed when you have no real targets and are just aimlessly going nowhere.

Crash Fistfight

I agree, but this is the wrong article for that.


Give him a high end yellow card mate….

Heavy Gunner

The Mike Dean Syndrome,- always make sure you`re the centre of controversy. Some people thrive on that kind of acknowledgement.

Johnny 4 Hats

I’m amazed he used to slaughter chickens because he’s terrible at spotting a foul.

Haha. Hahahaha. Ha.



I enjoyed how much you enjoyed your own joke 😁😂

Johnny 4 Hats

Someone has to…


Did he?

I wonder if that counts as mass murder, seeing as he’s a cock.

Johnny 4 Hats

He only got paid a poultry sum…

A Different George

He was way down the pecking order.


The sad pecker had to live on mere scratchings.


No he’s not… a cock can sometimes be useful.


Yep. The 3 downvotes are certianly for congratulating your own joke. Like when I give myself a high five after making sweet annual love to the wife.

Johnny 4 Hats

I do not need to hear about your backdoor adventures.


You misread.

Annual sex makes your year while anal sex makes your hole weak.


I find it very difficult to hear from people who keep defending Arteta when I see the relative comparison to the coaches of Brentford, Brighton and Crystal Palace. I see so many people here claiming it is the squad but do those teams really have better squads?


They really don’t. I don’t think our midfield or attacking line is worse or even at the same level as those teams. They do, however, have a clear idea on how they’re going to play. And I don’t think Arsenal have that.


To be fair most of the players in those teams have been together for a couple of seasons, we have a lot of very young players who are new to the league and each other. These games are going to happen, the players need confidence, they need us to stay with them. We need to keep supporting and stop this lurching from one extreme to the other.


…..and in the next breath, you’re slagging off Thomas Partey.


i don’t really think so, crustal place completely changed the way they play, Brentford had to sell their best players. I think the players need guidance rather than abuse for not doing what arteta knows when nobody knows what he wants. This club need more positivity not a negative manager who promise to kill players who don’t agree with him.

Crash Fistfight

I hope Saka is OK. This reminded me of when Abou Diaby kicked the back of Samir Nasri’s leg in training and Nasri ended up with a fractured leg.

YOLO Toure

Was it Diaby that once kicked that nobhead Chelsea captain in the face as well?


He’s got consistently proper taste, at least.


Like the article says, we were utter bollocks but I have to say the refereeing was even worse. I try to be objective, so for a little while, I thought maybe my bias was getting to me or I was running mad, watching that decisions. The commentators were not bothered at all by it. Pundits said its a dark yellow. Like bro, thats a DARK red. 100%. Apparently, he could see the ball all the way, but at no point does he see Saka to pull out of the volley. Then McUnthur acts like Saka is overreacting. Our player does… Read more »


Yeah, wave play on but you still go back and book the player when there’s a break in play, he’s a poor referee, always has been always will be.


Some referees wave play on when there’s not really an advantage, it just means they can then bottle out of making a decision on a booking.

Jeremy DG

Just another case of cheating isn’t it? Zero explanation or accountability for an incredible decision which makes no sense to anyone. A decision which would have hugely impacted the game. For anyone screaming about Arteta making excuses, take a day off. It’s one thing to criticise his style of play (quite rightly) but it’s completely possible to look at this situation in isolation and understand his frustration that our best player got taken out early in the game by a tackle which in any other universe would have been a straight red for reckless play. And this likely impacted the… Read more »


A shame the excuses – and people who are constantly looking for them – can’t take a day off.

Jeremy DG

I pity you. Always looking for an excuse to be angry at the thing you allegedly love. Try to view things in isolation from time to time and people won’t question your intelligence



Reality equates negativity. Home truths equates anger. And I’m also, apparently the proverbial broken watch.

If I’m so ‘angry’ about ‘everyone’ and ‘everything’ why are people queuing up on here to post replies to me slagging off the people that have my respect (Ozil, Wenger, the Invincibles)…? Shouldn’t I be angry about those people too if I’m always looking to be angry…..?

And while we’re on the subject of anger and your advice about people questioning my intelligence, that’s fucking rich coming from someone who threw his toys out of the cot wishing relegation on the team last season….


So you don’t think it was a red card foul? (Since you dismiss it as an ‘excuse’).
And you don’t think Saka staying on and/or Palace going down to 10 would perhaps have affected the result?

I understand your passion, and your anger… but try to maintain some rationality.


Premier League and Referees hate us. Maybe it is the ESL involvement, maybe it is the Kroenke’s.

But for sure there is/are some agenda(s) against Arsenal.

Would another buyer owning the club reset this situation?

You can’t imagine that previously it was anything near this level of consistency.

Players harming players and it goes unpunished. Even retrospectively. Just sends the wrong message.

Nostalgic Gooner

No, the EPL doesn’t hate us. We just watch more Arsenal matches and play close attention to decisions relating to Arsenal. Other fans feel the same about their teams, VAR and referees. Everyone complains about decisions. We should focus on what we can control ie. how we play football, and not what we can’t control (VAR and refs).

A Different George

You’re exactly right–and specifically Mike Dean is hated by fans around the league for his incompetence and showing-off. By the way, Chelsea fans hate Anthony Taylor–you know the official who twice sent off a Chelsea player in an FA Cup final (once with a second yellow for diving!). I watched those games and thought he did a good job. And I did not think about his officiating as Arsenal lifted the Cup both times.

A Different George

To see how universal the feeling about Mike Dean is, take a look at this:

Reidar Strand Hagen

I think a much more reasonable interpretation is that the EPL is heavily biased towards some teams, and against others.


We need to encourage the better referees to make their own breakaway organisation.

Then we should have a choice over who referees us.

The existing referees association just exists to protect its own referees and not in any way encourage meaningful two way dialogue over what makes things better for everyone.


So what action will be taken agianst these clearly biasad refs? Nothing is my guess.

Mike Dean shouldn’t be able to ever take part in any game that involves or affects Arsenal since his celebration of the Spurs goal against us. But he’s still here doing damage after countless of errors and always searching for a minute in the spotlight. I can’t stand that clown.

Jeremy DG

At this point I think we can safely assume most of these are no longer ‘errors’ but calculated decisions which are designed to impact Arsenal negatively. Otherwise known as cheating. There comes a point of time where repetitive actions mean there is no longer coincidence.

Jeremy DG

As much as I know it pains people to accept the game is bent.


Feels like it’s only a matter of time before someone gets a career threatening injury, and the referring body will be forced to reassess again. I get “letting the game flow” but this is now beyond the pale now. How anyone could argue that wasn’t a straight red is beyond me.


The career threatening injury followed by the “he’s not that kind of player” shite that always follows it too..


Does anyone else think Sambi was fouled before their second goal?

Funsho Patrick

Who else has noticed that playing bukayo on the right is our principal attacking outlet? Pepe kills all the transitions, can’t keep the ball as well…I also doubt that we can play premier League teams with only Thomas partey as the holding player even at home! We quickly cede the midfield…. Odegaard?? The jury is still out on him.. doesn’t offer the control we expect.. isn’t he supposed to be the reincarnation of Luka modric or riquelme? Ben White backed off! Not sure William Saliba would be much worse than him…we should have gotten Yves bissouma who’s premier League ready… Read more »


Mike Dean is a bent referee and should be investigated.


Dean’s a cunt…given. but why on earth Arteta decided its a great idea to have 4 players from Africa in Elneny, Auba, Pepe and Partey befuddles anyone. AFCON will take its toll. with if Saka is knocked and Pepe gone, substantial losses Xhaka gone a big loss but then Partey andElneny, are we planning to cycle glass heels Jack into squad? talk about poor planning and panic I’ve said before we stupidly buy in mediocre/good but then to reinfoce but inexplicably then counter it by releasing good players. 1) Wasting 50m on white which could have gone to bring in… Read more »

A Different George

Just one point to consider–Bellerin’s departure was quite clearly his decision, not the club’s. And you can’t “put out” Cedric if no one wants him.


At very least if the club has ANY ambition, thyey should be getting rid of Edu, replace him now with one of Campos (Lille) or Overmaars.

And I’d think seriously about replacing Arteta too.

Brian McKay

The reason it was not red is simple – Mike Dean. He’s never been a friend of Arsenal’s, as shown by him booking Saka earlier for pretty much the same foul he decided not to book McArthur for.

Dave Roberts

We used to always run the ball down the wings, then cross to strikers who don’t head the ball well. But now Arteta has changed the tactics to always play the ball up the middle. I couldn’t count how many times Tierney had the ball with a chance to run the sideline, yet every time he passed the ball inside. We need balance between the two approaches. Better still, Arteta should borrow from Arsene and let the attackers improvise more.


Not to be a dick but P-EA said ‘how’s that not a red? I’ve never seen that before on a football pitch’

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