Arsenal have released a statement backing Mikel Arteta’s criticism of yesterday’s officiating at St James’ Park.
The Spaniard was left incensed by the decision to allow Newcastle’s winning goal in the 1-0 defeat despite VAR checking for three separate offences in the build-up.
It was decided that there wasn’t comprehensive evidence to rule out Anthony Gordon’s close-range finish even though there were question marks over whether the ball had gone out of play and further decisions to make regarding a possible foul by Joelinton on Gabriel and an offside.
In his post-game press conference, Arteta said VAR’s decision to award the goal was both “a disgrace” and “embarrassing”. He also pointed out the potential long-term damage to Arsenal’s title challenge and called for an improvement in refereeing standards.
In all likelihood, the manager will be hit by a big fine from the authorities. Pre-empting such action, the club pounced to his defence while offering an olive branch to the PGMOL.
“ Arsenal Football Club wholeheartedly supports Mikel Arteta’s post-match comments after yet more unacceptable refereeing and VAR errors on Saturday evening.
“We’d also like to acknowledge the huge effort and performance from our players and travelling supporters at St James’ Park.
“The Premier League is the best league in the world with the best players, coaches and supporters, all of whom deserve better. PGMOL urgently needs to address the standard of officiating and focus on action which moves us all on from retrospective analysis, attempted explanations and apologies.
“We support the ongoing efforts of Chief Refereeing Officer, Howard Webb and would welcome working together to achieve the world-class officiating standards our league demands.”