Arteta’s protest against the referee stemmed from the controversial goal by Anthony Gordon, which secured a 1-0 victory for Newcastle against Arsenal at St James’ Park last weekend. The goal underwent three VAR reviews before being deemed valid.
The first check aimed to determine whether the ball had crossed the touchline. VAR also examined potential infringements and offside positions.
“I feel embarrassed, but I have to be the person who comes in here to try to defend the club and ask for their support because it’s embarrassing if this goal is allowed; it’s embarrassing,” stated Mikel Arteta to Sky Sports.
Arsenal subsequently expressed support for Arteta. The North London club called on the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the English Premier League’s referees’ body, to improve.
Arteta and Arsenal’s actions drew criticism from several former players, including Gary Neville, Michael Owen, and Alan Shearer, primarily because there was no definitive evidence that the ball had left the field.
In the broader context, errors by referees and VAR can still occur, but openly attacking the referee is not deemed the right decision. Meanwhile, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hinted at offering support to Arteta.
He believed that it’s not easy to control one’s emotions immediately after a game and answer questions from reporters.
“I have a feeling that in every country, there’s a bit of confusion about many things. But, I don’t know, the emotions after a game are challenging for managers, right after the game, being in the press room, talking about very high emotions,” he said, as reported by Metro.
“It’s hard to handle, for me, I speak for myself. I don’t represent Mikel or other managers, I speak for myself. It’s not easy.”
“Hopefully, we can improve something. They decided we can’t speak to the fourth official, we can’t do anything. The situation is quite similar to last season, not much has changed,” added Arteta’s former boss at Manchester City.