What do Arsenal fans think of the club statement about the VAR debacle at Newcastle?

The week that he won his final trophy, Arsene Wenger spoke about Arsenal being in danger of losing the proud values that he had helped continue to promote.

For decades the Gunners had a reputation around the UK of being the ‘classy club’ who always did things the ‘right way’.

I repeat this iconic story because I love what it represents.

Legend has it that Herbert Chapman paid out of his own pocket for the Highbury entrance to be painted marble red.

He wanted all visitors to know that this was a club who did things properly.

In the last couple of days various talking heads within the sport have reminded us of the proud image we have in football, making our official statement out of character.

Was Mikel Arteta over emotional after the Newcastle game? Was tis a sign of the pressure too much for one of the youngest at his job in this division?

Or was it a performance for the cameras?

An act of deflection, taking the spotlight off his team?

An opportunity to create a siege mentality?

Whatever his motives he was entitled to say what he wanted.

As part of their TV contract, broadcasters have access to interview managers directly after a match.

If that’s the time you want to ask questions, you can’t judge someone if their answers have a frustrating tone.

The Spaniard had made his feelings clear.

Now was the time to dust ourselves off and move on from Saturday. Like all sides have had to do more than once since this game was invented.

Where Arsenal let themselves down was by posting the following statement,

“Arsenal Football Club wholeheartedly supports Mikel Arteta’s post-match comments after yet more unacceptable refereeing and VAR errors on Saturday evening.

“We’d also like to acknowledge the huge effort and performance from our players and travelling supporters at St James’ Park.

“The Premier League is the best league in the world with the best players, coaches and supporters, all of whom deserve better. PGMOL urgently needs to address the standard of officiating and focus on action which moves us all on from retrospective analysis, attempted explanations and apologies.

“We support the ongoing efforts of Chief Refereeing Officer, Howard Webb and would welcome working together to achieve the world-class officiating standards our league demands.”

We know that a few years ago Josh Kroenke sat down with Arteta, Edu and BFG to review all areas of the club and form an action plan.

So maybe those in power felt obliged to show they were supporting their manager?

Outside of that I don’t really understand what our club is asking for and would have liked a solution or proposal to be suggested.

My own view is that we are better than that.

Is VAR not being implemented consistently?

I agree.

In 2023 should Technology not tell us if a ball is out of play? Of course, it should.

Is officiating poor in England? Has been for a long time.

Yet in our proud history we have faced more controversial decisions than the weekend!

A Henchoz hand ball in a Cup Final?

Sol Campbell’s red card against Man United?

Rooney’s dive to end the Invincibles streak.

Kovavic not being sent off at the Emirates was more of a disgrace!

Whisper it quietly …. we also benefitted from a few. We don’t go a League season unbeaten if Pires doesn’t cheat to win a penalty Vs Portsmouth.

Either way you get on with it and go again the next week. A ref’s decision part of the drama of it all.

It’s kind of embarrassing that a Spurs manager last night is the one to speak with dignity.

After an evening where he watched two players sent off and a goal disallowed, Ange Postecoglou was still able to calmly remind us all, ‘At some point we got to accept a ref’s decision, that’s how I grew up. This constant erosion of a ref’s authority, this is where the game will end up, they won’t have any authority, we will be in the control of someone miles away in front of a TV screen. You either accept a decision or you don’t ‘.

I’m old enough to recall Mr Wenger’s second Double.

We lost 3-1 at home to Newcastle having led 1-0 when Parlour was harshly sent off.

Then at 1-1, a world class tackle was deemed a foul and we conceded a spot kick.

This led to the famous image of Thierry Henry confronting the officials at full time.

Mr Wenger didn’t shout in his press conference or complain how hard this League is.

He certainly didn’t require David Dein to write a note the next day.

We went to Liverpool days later and again went down to 10 men.

Henry scored a penalty and Ljungberg scored a great goal from a Pires assist to seal a famous win at Anfield that was the turning point in the title race.

That’s how you respond to adversity.

Time to move on. We were on the end of a dodgy decision. Happened before, will happen again.

That’s football. We will also benefit from some bad calls.

Let’s respond against Sevilla and Burnley this week.

What did you guys think of the statement?

Let me know in the comments.


Tags club statement Newcastle VAR


  1. I think we need to stop acting like there is a conspiracy against us….enough victim mentality on this planet without us adding to it.

    VAR is poor for everyone, we aren’t special!

    1. Agree this victim mentality is do divert attention from the failure to score 2 goals despite of having one of the most expensive squads. Just another politician trying to camouflage his failures by playing victim card. Did PGMOL advise him to hire flops like Kai, Viera or sick notes like GabJ, Partey or retain the services of Nelson, Eddie and Elneny. As per the Wenger legacy, our season is virtually over in the EFL, and EPL, no chance in UCL, hoping for a miracle in the FA.
      A 0-0 would have us drop 2 points so what is all this fuss? Beating a pathethic injury raven Sheffield does not transform us to the Barcas or Bayerns of football. Hiring the right players does. David and Eddie Howe has shown Mikel how to get the job done. Finally for all the effort and TLC, Kai will never be 1/2 the player Joe Willock is. Fact!

      1. The bigger point is that VAR has cost Arsenal a total of 9 points in 10 matches. That is the bigger picture. It’s not just small mediocre mistakes it has been in 50% of the matches this year. Also, that is no excuse for our failures to put the ball in the back of the net either. But its one thing to play 11 vs 11 and another to play against 5 officiating crew as well.

        1. That is entirely the point.If VAR is going to be better than the “human error”of the ref and his assistants, then let’s have it. If it isn’t – and it Isn’t! – then let’s go back to where we were before.

          1. VAR came to the same conclusion as the Ref at Newcastle, but if that same incident happened at a time before VAR was introduced, I believe most people in football would have blasted the Ref big time and used it as a classic example on why VAR should be introduced

            1. Somebody said -when VAR was being considered -“be very careful what you wish for”. Ain’t that the truth!

              1. On retrospect, maybe we needed the introduction of VAR so that people can witness its deficiencies and make a more informed decision on whether to continue with it.

                Well at least at Newcastle, VAR certainly didn’t affect the result because the Ref would have given the goal anyway, even without VAR

  2. I think the club is selling itself short. In 10 matches that Arsenal have played this season in the premier league the officiating crew including VAR have failed to make the right call, or failed to make the call that warranted a penalty, a red card, goal disallowed and or allowed. That is a mistake in 50% of the matches played thus far. I don’t know how anyone can accept this period.

      1. Yeah Admin, we’ve got a upcoming series of relatively easy football games to rebuild the confidence of the players

    1. Yea, we lost just a game, And even though painful it’s time to move on and prepare for other games. Even if Refree association apologises it won’t add up to our points. VAR has its benefits and disadvantages Epl won’t change it’s rule any time soon. Money on..

        1. Gai don’t be too sure. Liverpool are doing very well. If Arsenal can remain close in top 4 till when our players become fit again,there is hope. City players are no machine after winning treble last year injury will set in at some point .City lost 3 important players and lost 3 games back to back. They are not unbeatable after all.

  3. VAR was implemented to fix mistakes by officials. Not to prove just how bad the officiating can be. There are soooooo many ways to prevent these mistakes. They have touchline cams get them! But you can’t fix a two-handed shove on a defender as a no foul, that just blatant ignorance on the VAR

  4. I would have understood if it were a cup final. However, the best we could have hoped for was a point. Arteta’s emotional outburst over a point suggests that he is feeling the pressure. David Raya’s comments only exacerbated the situation. If he had performed to the required standards, the VAR controversy would have been a non-issue.

  5. The reason for VAR introduction was to reduce if not eliminate controversies of the past.

    If you were made to believe this and the system, albeit the ppl operating it, has contributed to it having the opposite affect then one need to voice your concern. Whether that voice has a frustrating tone or not is irrelevant. Especially if the incompetence of officials costs you tons in money or a title (remember the Brentford game last term) then anger can be vindicated. Give Ange 2 or 3 more seasons in the EPL and im sure he will change his tune, ceteris paribus.

    It could be said if if Henry did not confront the official as in the article we could have been robbed again the next time out. As the saying goes “Nice guys finnish last” or something like that.

    ‘Whatever his motive!!!’ Doesnt he make it obvious? I mean its clear as daylight that both he and the club wants 1. FAIRPLAY, 2. ACCOUNTABILITY and 3 TRANSPARENCY from VAR. These are values embedded into the club as with Wenger also If thats not clear then ppl are reading too much between the lines or worst try to drive a campaign aimed to oust Arteta.

    Claiming that Arteta was under pressure or trying to deflect focus makes me lean towards the latter given the teams sits 3 points behind City and top their ECL group currently.

    THERE IS A THRESHOLD WHEN THE RUMBLINGS AND PRESSURE IN YOUR STOMACH OR UNDERGROUND WILL RESULT IN A FULL BLOWN ERUPTION. I believe we are speedily moving to that point. For now its only rumblings but fans/managers/owners are becoming angry & frustrated.

  6. In Dans fascinating piece, which I really enjoyed reading- btw DAN, whatever anyone of us thinks of him and his articles, at least, and unlike many other writers articles, Dans pieces do SAY SOMETHING OF IMPORT. And I WELCOME THAT.

    Nothing in the above means I either support or reject all DANS articles completely, as that would be daft and biased and I am neither. In THIS piece I find much to both agree and differ with.

    But my REAL POINT IS THIS; Dan quoted the immensely mature and wise Postecoglou saying ” At some point we got to accept the refs decision, thats how I grew up. This constant erosion of a refs authority, this is where the game will end up, they wont have any authority. We will be in the control of someone miles away in front of a TV screen. You either accept a refs decision or you dont!”
    HURRAY for a worldly wise mind, for the ability to see what is happening and what was bound to happen from the first moment the abomination of VAR started undermining and eroding the refs authority.


    And still we have the short sighted deniers who refuse to see the immense harm VAR has done to our game. Has done to our previous historical ability to accept the refs decisions, even though we moaned about decisions (as almost all humans are programmed to do about anything we dont like or approve of).
    In short, VAR has completely emasculated refs authority and many refs are now so terrified of being over ruled by the process of calilng him to review an incident on that bl…dy screen, that many of them would rather completely abdicate responsibility to VAR, INSTEAD OF COING THE JOB THEY ARE PAID TO DO, thus adding to the farce it was always going to be and which it IS.

    The only true solution lies ahead of us, when EITHER WE TOTALLY ABANDON VAR- I pray that happens- OR we wait til ALL VAR decIsions are made without further human intervention and a sort of far higher level of artificial intelligence process takes over VAR which would ensure the right final decision ALL THE TIME.

    Such a process, without another human would also NOT undermine refs authority,because while we DO have VAR, all it really means is that we have not one ref, but another and a human one too, which greatly undermines the VITAL refs authority, which we, fools that we were, so readily abdicated to useless, farcical, game ruining, VA bl.. dy R!

  7. Classy reputations don’t win trophies. Wenger was as aggressive on the touch line just as Arteta is. Ferguson was militant and the FA feared him. Why would any Arsenal fan want to see it become the ‘soft-under the belly’, bullied, toy of the premier league that always wilts and collapses under pressure? The Invisibles team that won trophies was made up of warriors, not toy-boys. The club shouldnt set a bad precedence of giving away points to appease referees that are scared to offend the opposition. In short, Arsenal needs to fight corruption wherever it rears it’s head in football.

  8. Football is an emotional game and so it should be, we should not apologize for passion. In the cold light of the following day it’s easy to say we overacted but I don’t think we did. However, I do not want us to be seen as bad losers either. Refereeing and VAR has a long way to go and their persistent blunders have consequences, period. The best league in the world deserves better than the amateurish refereeing performances we see every weekend.

  9. I know there’s different people in charge now, but I can’t recall Wenger getting this level of support following one of his outbursts against referees, even from his best mate Dein. So I’m equally surprised and pleased, and suspect that there may be something big going on at board level that prompted the clubs statement.

  10. The eeasib the spud manager was so calm and collected, was the fact tgar he couldn’t argue with any of the decisions – they we’re all clear cut and, in actual fact, his team should have been diwb to ten men much earlier if VAR and the referee has dine their job properly once again.

    I think it’s such a bad idea to let managers comment so quickly after a game, when passion is running so high.

    MA has every right to voice his opinion and ww all know the decision to allow the goal was wrong.

    It has nothing to do with our tradition, or Arsene Wenger and as long as Mikel Arteta shows the passion that the fans have, I’m with him all the way.

  11. I for one am glad that Arteta spoke up about the poor standards show, especially when VAR is concerned. Webb apologising after the fact is pointless and actually proves Arteta’s point even more. More managers need to speak up when the VAR is wrong, it is a flawed system and it seems no one can agree who is right. I am also glad the club came out and backed him as it shows that it is not just a manager ranting because he is frustrated after the game.

    MA should however also be addressing the real issues in the squad that seems to now be weaker with Kai and Raya in it. Just wish he weren’t so stubborn.

  12. Arteta is 100% right. The more these bizarre decisions are not challenged, the more lackadaisical and error strewn the game will get. The PGMOL are incompetent…..and get away with it. The fantasy that football cannot be corrupted is just an unrealistic fantasy…..MONEY!!!!!!!! We need an overseeing system that weeds out the incompetent or corrupt. Last season, remember, against Brentford, VAR “forgot” to draw the lines, actually their job description. With two more points we may well have won the league. A “BILLION” pound business resting on the decisions of people like Mike Dean, who even admitted he was corrupt. The Newcastle goal, FACTUALLY, was not a goal. Football is the easiest game to be corrupt in. Surely it should be ‘policed’ by the incorruptible.

    1. Bravo Sean,
      I am 100% with you. Bloody idiots refs screwing and robbing our club and we must stay silenced-
      screw that. We must fight these corrupt idiots .
      I like Arteta how defend our club against these stupid or corrupt refs.

  13. I agree with MA , its about time they looked in the mirror.
    Any other big organisation who made so many mistakes would have heads rolling.
    Not only for us but the rest of the teams who’ve been ripped off , L’pool , Wolves and maybe every other team.
    Just cause it’s happened us all doesn’t mean we let it slide.

  14. You have to call out the errors and poor performance, especially when they have the ability to replay and watch in slow motion.

    I’m glad to see them called out, the PGMOL as well, hopefully other managers will step up and make similar comments as well.

    VAR is harming the game currently, and should be immediately fixed or scrapped.

  15. I agree, it’s just a single league game where we were not playing well offensively to be honest. It might have been better to focus more on the upcoming games. I was pleased with the defensive game and the reaction to crowd pressure from the players, I just hope they don’t hide behind poor refereeing for their own incompetent attacking play on display. MA has every right to complain about the decisions, but the club releasing a statement seems like an overreaction and rightly cause of ridicule and banter.

  16. Some are blaming the PGMOL and they are indeed culpable But it is the actual FATAL (to footballs enjoyment) decision to even first introduce VAR – which I warned against back then and constantly ever since – that is the real villain of the piece. VAR massively UNDERMINES AND IN MANY CASES EMASCULATES THE MATCH REF AND HAS BEEN AN UNMITIGATED DISASTER .

    But, the reality is that, as most fans, even of our club, have consistently said they would rather have it than not and however MISTAKEN I believe they all are, it is here to stay.

    All together now…. GROAN!

    I ALWAYS groan at the existence of easily rectified stupidity, which however does not get rectified, as most are too dull witted and “blind” to see the harm it does, week in, week out, game after game, after game. etc etc etc!!!

    IT WILL PROGRESSIVELY GET WORSE STILL. You have been warned , you blinkered fans who still want it here.

    1. I agree, what I’d like to see instead is a technological solution that automated some of these decisions. Why can’t goal line technology be used all around the pitch? Does it cost that much that Prem clubs can’t afford it? How about getting a sponsor for it and name it after them e.g. Sky Pitch Line Technology or Nike Pitch Li…. BT, EE, anyone who bids highest. For offsides there is technology that can map the whole pitch and everyone on it to within a fraction of a millimeter, it’s used for surveying, this is what it says on its website: ‘LiDAR surveying is a fast and effective way to capture 3D data. Using laser pulses to calculate distances, capture precise measurements and measure ranges is growing in popularity. This simple way to collect data is accurate, quick, and flexible.’
      Does that not sound like you could accurately scan the pitch and know if someone is offside automatically by a machine and eliminate that dodgy human element who seem to not grasp how to use a mouse! Yesterday I was watching the VAR attempting a decision in the Spurs game and they where zooming in and out for about a minute and a half, I’ve seen 3 year olds with better grasp of zooming in and do what the need to do, the first time round. The point is, we don’t need the humans, just the ref to blow the whistle because his wrist band flashed up Corner, Offside, Throw, Foul, Dangerous play etc.

      So if it can be done and the money being splashed around in football could EASILY afford it, I just end up wondering why?? When you stop to think about it for a second we can afford to spend £65M on a player but we can’t afford to extend the goal line technology around the pitch! For me this stinks and I hope I’m being paranoid and it’s not been corrupted but on the other hand, money corrupts humans and there is BIG money around football, then I remember; Blatter, Qatar, Juventus, Barca paying the ref committee millions for years, and I’m sure there’s others.

      The quicker we take the human decision maker out of the refereeing decisions, the farer it will be, you can’t argue with a machine making a decision with exact measurements!

      1. Well said Andy.

        Clearly you know far more than I do about modern technology, but even I havel ong known that automated tech without ANY HUMAN INVOLVEMENT AT ALL, is vital if we are to continue using a form of VAR(whatever it would then be renamed).
        Finally, ANY normal intelligent fan could and OUGHT to have seen from the start the disaster it was bound to be, as I DID , and come out massively against it.

        Right now, this moment, there is a debate on Sky sports with two well respected journos, John Cross and Jason Burt, who say it ought to be scrapped or at least paused.

  17. I don’t see what warranted this article. Was it to get our opinions on our Club’s reaction? If that was the case, I fully agree with the Club’s sentiments because all those cited incidents either directly cost us points or demoralised our players which resulted in loss of points. Why should any gooner feel bad about a statement which aims to correct injustice against our club? I don’t see any wrong in airing out your grievances. Perhaps this will lead to improved refereeing in games which will be good for football. Someone once said that injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. Let us, therefore, resolve to expunge injustice from games by speaking out against injustice anywhere. A journey of a thousand miles begins as just one step.

  18. After the invincible era, Arsenal has been a soft team, this has been our number one problem since invincible….. Any team that wants to win against Arsenal only have one job, hit them hard, tackle them even elbow them, and none of the managers from Wenger to Unai to Arteta has noticed or even try to fix that. We need strong players in our team.

    Dortmund had been underperforming this season yet they won against Newcastle away from home and is still leading them at home at the time of this comment

    1. Nothing to do with Dortmund being equally physical, They are on their way down where they truly belong. What makes it a lot interesting is their managers unapologetic response to his rather non sportman approach against us when quizzed about the manner at which they won the game yesterday.

      1. You suggest we let teams bully us always and expect sympathy from people? Take a good look at our team, we only have three strong players in Saliba, Rice and Tomiyasu, others are so paper light that enable teams bully us. Somethings need to change

  19. No concerns with a manager speaking his / her mind after a game as long as it’s not simply a cover up to divert from a poor performance. Any bias or costly officiating error should be pointed out and it’s then up to the FA to improve the standards. However I’m certain that shortly after, Arteta would have told his players that it’s all spilt milk and to move on.

  20. Not very classy and better ways for our club to act. I dont see, that it will have any effect on anything for the better. If it was meant to garner support from other teams, pundits and fans. I think it failed. Arsenal and other clubs talk often to the various bodies involved. Thats where it needs to be discussed. Nobody likes losing, but we all hate bad losers. It smacks of bad lossers. We should concentrate on what we did wrong, endeavour to put it right and concentrate on our problems in that game and move on.

    1. 100% agree

      I’ve tried to make a simple point three times over the past couple of days but the post never appears. Basically: why don’t they make a stink about bad decisions in games they win? Surely if they were serious, they’d do it then as well? But then of course it’s not a big deal, a few words at most, maybe.

        1. Well it is possible to win games when the ref has made a mistake that went against us – it’s happened before.
          I know you’re kidding, but it would show that the complaints are based on principle if they complained about decisions in both directions, rather than just ones that went against us. Not sure any of this is based on principle, though.

  21. I am from the school of controlling what you can control and NEVER leaving the game in the hands of officials, VAR or not.

    Controlling what we could have controlled vs Newcastle would have been David Raya cutting out a cross that you would expect a back-up keeper in the 5th division to gobble up.

    VAR is the LEAST of the club’s worries right now. Instead of wasting time re-legislating bad officiating decisions, the club would be better served by holding inquests into the thought process behind some of the curious transfer decisions they’ve been making.

    This is all just a deflection tactic. Is there an overall problem with VAR? Yes, absolutely. The best way to remedy that is to do everything you can to keep the refs from being able to decide your fate. Arsenal failed to do that, and that’s why the club didn’t come out of St. James Park with any points, not VAR.

    1. I totally agree with you emcc. Another angle to this is repeated mistakes of Raya and White in particular. Why would a keeper who came to improve another becomes worst? In all Ramdales frailties, he would have stopped that cross. White some times is naive on the pitch. Let us stop sentiments and selfish interest and focus on club interest. Let the coach manage his players well and play those that will give us results. These favouritisms are killing the club.

  22. The referee awarded the Newcastle goal and VAR, after checking 3 separate issues, confirmed the referee’s decision. So what’s the problem?
    Would we all be ‘up in arms’ if the goal had been at the other end of the pitch? I think not.
    Sometimes we have to see the whole event with a clear mind, not one seen whilst wearing Red blinkers.

  23. In cricket,tennis,horse racing,greyhound racing etc technology has been used without mistakes being made for years,explanations are clear in cricket and tennis so how come football particularly in England is such a shambles ?
    That is the question that needs to be asked,Arteta is totally right but Howard (I’m sorry) Webb and his gang of incompetent officials seem to hold some sort of power over the teams,managers,clubs that allows them a im sorry,the person involved will not be used for two weeks and that’s it.
    Of course Arteta is correct and I’m proud as a caring football supporter that he stood up to the injustice currently dominating our game !!!

    1. Probably one reason could be. It takes as long as it takes in those sports, that would not happen in football. Plus there is only black and white, no grey areas.

      1. Sir, you don’t expect us to swallow whatever have been thrown at us without complaining, do you? You are fine with it that’s cool but you can’t control how others feel about it, neither can you stop others from expressing themselves

  24. I support Arteta on this one. And I support the club too. This error is one too many. If not the comments by Arteta, am sure by now, the FA reeled out their usual apologies. The club is big enough to say No to some dubious treatments not just to the club, but to the entire process. After all, some one must bell the cat. Let them come with their witch hunting charges.
    On the flip side however, our recruitment team should please look on players that are technically and tactically great, physically and fearless. We definitely, missed Xhaka. You need a player that carries a fear factor with him in a team for matches of this nature. Till today, we still sing praises of the invisibles. That team was full of great players who were physical and fearless.

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