Mikel Arteta Offers Interesting Response on VAR Controversy After West Ham Defeat

Mikel Arteta Offers Interesting Response on VAR Controversy After West Ham Defeat

Rene Otinga
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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  • Arsenal suffered a shock 2-0 defeat to West Ham on Thursday
  • The game was marred with controversy over Tomas Soucek’s opener
  • Defeat meant Arsenal missed the chance to go top of the table

Mikel Arteta made an interesting admission after his team's surprise defeat to West Ham in the Premier League.

Goals from Tomas Soucek and former Arsenal man Konstantinos Mavropanos were enough to give the Hammers a third successive win to take them above Manchester United to sixth on the log.

There was controversy over West Ham’s opening goal as the ball appeared to have gone out of play before Jarrod Bowen cut it back for Soucek to score. After a lengthy VAR review, the goal was allowed to stand.

Arsenal suffered a 2-0 defeat to West Ham
Mikel Arteta says his side needs 'to improve' after West ham defeat. Photo: Marc Atkins.
Source: Getty Images

The game was put beyond doubt 10 minutes after the break by former Arsenal centre-back Mavropanos, who rose highest to head in from a corner.

West Ham could have gone 3-0 up late on but Said Benrahma’s penalty after Declan Rice’s mistake in the box was saved by David Raya.

Mikel Arteta’s take

Interestingly, after the game, Mikel Arteta refused to blame the VAR technology for his side’s defeat, conceding that the team needed to improve.

"We want to be at the top and today we are very, very disappointed. We had so much dominance in the game. We are in a really good position. Today is a disappointing night. We have to pick ourselves up for a big game against Fulham." Arteta told BBC.

Asked about West Ham’s opener, the Arsenal boss did not dwell on VAR talk, saying:

"It is what it is. The technology we have at the moment is not clear enough if the ball is out.”

The result leaves Arsenal in third place on the log, two points behind league leaders Liverpool, according to the Premier League official website.

Manchester City, who have a game in hand, could leapfrog the Gunners if they win their next match against Sheffield United on Saturday, December 30.

Arsenal will hope to bounce back to winning ways when they take on Fulham in another London derby on Sunday, December 31.

Zinchenko criticized by fans

Sports Brief also reported on the criticism Oleksandr Zinchenko received after Arsenal’s defeat to West Ham.

The versatile Ukrainian's string of nightmarish performances appears not to be ending any moment from now as he experienced another sub-standard display, this time against the Hammers.

After another no-show in the first stanza of Arsenal's home tie against David Moyes' charges, fans slammed Zinchenko's performance.

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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.