Mikel Arteta’s Past Comments Supporting Refs Emerge After Manager Slammed VAR

Mikel Arteta’s Past Comments Supporting Refs Emerge After Manager Slammed VAR

Rene Otinga
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
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  • Mikel Arteta’s demands to change refereeing standards come weeks after he backed match officials
  • Arsenal suffered a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle during somewhat controversial circumstances on Sunday
  • Arteta later made scathing comments, describing some of the refereeing decisions as 'embarrassing'

Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta’s U-turn on his opinions towards Premier League refereeing has emerged after his side’s controversial 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United.

The Spaniard was an irate figure after Saturday's English top flight clash as his side lost for the first time this season, thanks to Anthony Gordon’s second-half winner.

In the aftermath of the goal, Arteta was left fuming as he called out the match referee and the VAR official for what he described as 'embarrassing' and a 'disgrace'.

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta looks on during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on November 04, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Photo by James Gill.
Source: Getty Images

After the game, the Gunners coach confirmed the club would be taking the matter forward with the refereeing body, PGMOL.

"There is too much at stake; we put in so many hours. I'm here to represent the football club and to get my team to compete at the highest level... The margins are so small; it's a disgrace, embarrassing," he said, as cited by the Mirror.

Interestingly, Arteta's remarks came just weeks after speaking up in defence of referees.

Arteta U-turns on sympathy for referees

His scathing remarks came just weeks after he was empathetic towards officiating following the debacle that was the Tottenham versus Liverpool game on September 30.

Spurs emerged 2-1 winners over the Reds in a game that, like Arsenal’s clash against Newcastle, also saw some controversial refereeing decisions affect the final scoreline.

At the time, Luis Diaz scored a goal with Liverpool down to 10 men, but his effort was ruled out for offside, leading to mass outrage across the footballing world.

Arteta weighed in on that situation at the time, calling for more understanding towards referees, adding that 'mistakes happen'.

"At some point as well, we need to give support and understand that mistakes happen. We’ve made mistakes as well and if the pressure is so much then it’s very difficult to manage,” he said at the time, as per TalkSport.

Postecoglou defends high-line tactics

Sports Brief also reported on Tottenham boss, Ange Postecoglou’s strong defence of his team’s high-line tactics after succumbing to a 4-1 defeat to Chelsea.

Nicolas Jackson’s hat-trick proved to be decisive as the Blues came from behind after a pivotal moment that saw Christian Romero and Destiny Udogie carded.

Despite the numerical disadvantage after the red cards, Postecoglou's side still maintained a very high line - something pundits dubbed 'tactical suicide'.

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Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and TUKO.co.ke.
Mikel Arteta