Ian Wright disagrees with Gary Neville as Arsenal argument rumbles on

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will ‘talk loudly’ about VAR until situation improves

Ian Wright disagrees with Gary Neville over Arsenal’s decision to support Mikel Arteta following his post-match VAR outburst after the Gunners’ controversial 1-0 loss to Newcastle last weekend. Arteta lambasted VAR officials for allowing Anthony Gordon’s 64th minute winner to stand – a decision he later described as “embarrassing” and a “disgrace”.

Gordon’s goal was allowed to stand despite three separate VAR checks for the ball going out of play, a possible offside against the scorer, and a potential push by Joelinton on Gabriel Magalhaes in the Arsenal box. Arteta was left infuriated by the call and insisted he would “talk loudly” about the situation until it improves.

Arsenal backed their head coach in a statement released the next day in which they affirmed the game involved “unacceptable refereeing and VAR errors”. Neville described Arsenal’s statement as “dangerous” and insisted that they should behave better in these circumstances”.

He was also equally critical of Liverpool’s statement following their controversial loss to Tottenham earlier in the season despite the PGMOL coming out and apologising for the “serious human error” that led to Luis Diaz’s goal being wrongfully chalked off.

But Wright wholeheartedly disagrees with Neville’s take. During a recent appearance on the Stick to Football podcast on The Overlap he was asked whether he was proud of his former club’s response. To which, the Arsenal legend replied: “Yeah, I’m pleased that Jurgen Klopp did too because of the gravity of the mistake.

“I still feel Mikel was well within his rights. I’m happy with them [Arsenal] backing their manager because we’re seeing mistakes on a scale now that, something has to be said. Why shouldn’t the club back him if what Mikel said was fine? Why can’t we critique them?

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“Everybody is complicit with aspects of the way that referees are, they have their own shows, they’re on co-commentary, they’re in it and they’re a part of the entertainment now for the clicks!”

However, Neville refused to back down. “My point is that, this is Arsenal Football Club. An institution, one of the founding Premier League clubs – they’re partly responsible for the rules that are in place – you can’t just turn on your own, publicly,” he said.

“It’s the Premier League referees. The managers can [critique referees], the coaches can, the players can, the fans can, the pundits can, but can the clubs come out – like Arsenal and Liverpool – and question sporting integrity, mention replays and looking at their options? To me, that is really dangerous.”

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