Mikel Arteta: Arsenal boss says it’s his duty to defend the club after VAR controversy

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says it his “duty” to defend the club after he criticised the officiating in last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Newcastle.

He said the decision to allow Anthony Gordon’s winner at St James’ Park was “embarrassing” and a “disgrace”.

Arsenal backed Arteta’s comments in a club statement, which was called “dangerous” by pundit Gary Neville.

“It is my duty to stand in front of you and give a clear and honest assessment,” Arteta said on Tuesday.

“My duty is to defend my players and my club in best possible way. It is what I intend to do time after time.

“I always do it and will take my responsibility to do it. It’s the way I am. I have to defend my club.”

Three areas around Gordon’s goal were checked by Saturday’s video assistant referee (VAR) on three counts – to see if the ball went out of play in the build-up, if there was a foul and if there was an offside – with all coming back in Newcastle’s favour.

Arsenal said the refereeing was “unacceptable”, adding players, coaches and supporters all “deserve better”.

“We have a duty to express how we feel on the evidence we have. We have to stand for our people, our values and who we are,” Arteta added on Tuesday.

“The club statement shows the unity and the understanding in the club in a clear and honest way. That’s our duty as a club.

“It is nothing special, nothing different. I would do it again and the club would do it again until this is right.”

The defeat at Newcastle ended Arsenal’s unbeaten Premier League start, leaving them fourth and three points off leaders Manchester City.

The Gunners host Sevilla in Champions League Group B on Wednesday (20:00 GMT).

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Source: BBC News

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