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05th Nov 2023

Every word of Mikel Arteta’s furious VAR rant after Arsenal’s defeat at Newcastle United

Ryan Grace

“This is nowhere near the level to describe this as the best league in the world.”

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta certainly didn’t pull any punches after their 1-0 defeat to Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday.

The Gunners boss was animated as ever throughout the match, as Anthony Gordon’s winner for Newcastle brought Arsenal’s unbeaten run in the Premier League to an end.

Gordon’s goal was the subject of three VAR checks (ball out of play, foul in the build-up, and offside) which lasted over four minutes.

The 41-year-old felt hard done by after the goal eventually stood, and used his post-match interview to deliver some home truths about the state of English football…

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta during Arsenal’s Premier League loss to Newcastle United. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta doesn’t hold back

So here it is, Mikel Arteta’s mouthwatering post-match rant in full…

The big talking point is the goal. Your views on it?

“We have to talk about the result because you have to talk about how the hell this goal stand ups and it’s incredible,” said the Arsenal boss. “I feel embarrassed but I have to be the one now coming here to try to defend the club and please ask for help, because it’s an absolute disgrace that this goal is allowed; it’s an absolute disgrace.”


“Because it’s not a goal for many reasons; it’s not a goal, for more than one reason at least,” Arteta replied. “It’s not a goal and it’s too much at stake here. We put in so much effort, it’s so difficult to compete at this level, and it’s an absolute disgrace.

“Again, I feel embarrassed having more than 20 years in this country, and this is nowhere near the level to describe this as the best league in the world. I am sorry.”

There were three checks.

“That makes it even worse,” added Arteta, bemused by the VAR process. “It makes it even worse that you have, even worse, it makes it even worse. You just need to see one image, says, if you need, and you have any doubt you look at the second one, and if this is a goal, okay, that’s fine.”

They’re saying they haven’t got camera angles to prove one way or the other

“I don’t care. It’s too late. Whatever they say, it’s too late. I don’t want to be in the hands of people.”

Did you think it was a foul for the goal, or an offside?

“This is really the question guys? It’s simple it’s not a goal. Simple.”

Which one of the reasons?

“Because for a goal to be allowed, there are certain things prior to that, that the ball hitting one metre from the goal, that are not allowed in football. In football, in here, in China, in Japan, in Spain, in Italy and in Portugal, they are not allowed. That’s what happens.”

An apology from PGMOL?

“Okay, I have to stand here now and explain, we lose three points today. Guys, you know what that means? It’s too hard, this league, it’s too hard, it’s too much at stake, it’s embarrassing.”

Mikel Arteta during Arsenal’s Premier League loss to Newcastle United. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Eddie Howe sees it differently

Rather unsurprisingly, Newcastle boss Eddie Howe was a bit more measured in his post-match reaction.

“It looked a good goal to me,” he said. “We’re in the dark, we’re stood by the side of the pitch seeing VAR on the screen but with no pictures. With every VAR check that was going on we thought one would cost us in the end.”

Former Manchester United defender and pundit Gary Neville was at the game.

He agrees that Gordon’s goal should have stood saying the ball out was “inconclusive at best” and that the “onfield decision should stand”

At the time of writing there’s been no reaction of statement from the PGMOL.