Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta breaks silence after avoiding FA ban over VAR comments

Mikel Arteta’s VAR rant examined

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says he wants to draw a line under the comments he made in the aftermath of the Gunners’ 1-0 Premier League defeat to Newcastle in November. The Spaniard was enraged after VAR failed to rule out Anthony Gordon’s winning goal, but avoided an FA ban after an independent commission concluded it wasn’t his intention to insult the match officials.

“I think it was a really good, well run process,” Arteta said ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League showdown with Brighton on Sunday. “It gave the opportunity for both of us to say how we felt. I think we have to draw a line now and look at how we can be more constructive.

“I felt a lot of sympathy to be fair as I explained the pressure we feel as managers and how important details are. The reality was that 14 managers lost their jobs and we depend on results. When the outcome is that important we depend on it. I think it was a really good process.”

He added: “I defended my opinion. I’m fully supportive of how we have to improve the game. We have the duty to do that. It’s good to discuss things in an open way.”

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Gordon’s goal was reviewed by VAR for a potential offside and a potential push on Arsenal defender Gabriel. And the technology also checked whether the ball had gone out of play in the lead-up to the strike. But the goal was allowed to stand as Arsenal were defeated for the first time since the campaign got underway.

In the aftermath of the match, Arteta said: “It is embarrassing, it’s an absolute disgrace, that’s what it is – a disgrace. There’s so much at stake, we’ve put in so many hours to compete at the highest level and you cannot imagine the amount of messages we’ve had saying this cannot continue. It’s not acceptable, there’s too much at stake. I don’t want to be in the hands of these people. I don’t know how to feel. I’m wasting my time, we are wasting our time.”

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Arteta later argued that the word “disgrace” is similar to the Spanish word “desgracia”, which relates to misfortune or bad luck. And the FA appeared to agree as a statement from the governing body, which was released on Thursday, read: “An independent Regulatory Commission has found the charge against Mikel Arteta for an alleged breach of FA Rule E3.1 to be not proven.

“The manager was charged following various comments in media interviews after Arsenal ’s Premier League game against Newcastle United on Saturday 4 November. It was alleged that his comments constituted misconduct in that they were insulting towards match officials and/or detrimental to the game and/or brought the game into disrepute.”

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