Mikel Arteta says he stands by his VAR outburst following Arsenal’s defeat at Newcastle, pledging to “talk loudly” until he believes the situation has improved.
The Gunners lost 1-0 at St James’ Park on Saturday – their first Premier League defeat of the season – as Anthony Gordon scored a controversial winner for the hosts.
The second-half goal was checked for three separate VAR offences but survived them all to ultimately earn Newcastle the three points.
Defeat left Arsenal fourth in the table, three points behind leaders Manchester City.
Speaking after the match, Arteta said it was a “disgrace” that the goal was allowed to stand, while the club issued a statement in support of their manager’s forthright views.
Asked on Tuesday if he would have done anything differently, the Spaniard said it was his duty to give “a very clear and honest assessment of what happened in the game”.
“My duty is to be defending my players, supporting my players, supporting my club, defending my people in the best possible way and this is what I am going to do time after time,” he said.
“I do it, not the way I feel, (but) with the evidence and being as clear as possible.”
The Spaniard, speaking on the eve of his side’s home match against Sevilla in the Champions League, suggested it was the duty of managers to discuss the issues around the use of VAR.
“Errors are part of evolution,” he said. “The trajectory is never going to be (always upwards), there are always going to be bumps in the road and these things are necessary to improve the game in the right way.
“But we have to talk loudly. If you have a problem and you put it in your drawer, the problem is in the drawer and it’s going to stink at some point.
“If you have a problem, let’s talk about it, try to improve it. That’s what we are trying to do. Nothing else.”
VAR was in the spotlight again during Monday’s incident-packed 4-1 win for Chelsea against nine-man Tottenham in the Premier League, with multiple decisions referred to the video referee.
Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou lamented that the technology had diminished the authority of referees and said lengthy VAR pauses would become the norm.
“You can’t tell me referees are in control of games,” he said. “They’re not. Control is outside of that, but that’s where the game’s going. You have to accept it and try and deal with it.”