'A line' - Newcastle United boss responds as Mikel Arteta escapes FA punishment for Arsenal rant

Eddie Howe, Manager of Newcastle United, embraces Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, prior to the Premier League match on November 4. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)Eddie Howe, Manager of Newcastle United, embraces Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, prior to the Premier League match on November 4. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Eddie Howe, Manager of Newcastle United, embraces Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, prior to the Premier League match on November 4. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Mikel Arteta avoided FA punishment for comments made after Arsenal's 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has escaped FA punishment over his strong comments about the standard of refereeing following his side's 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United on November 4.

Arteta described the decision to allow Anthony Gordon's winner to stand as "embarrassing and a disgrace". VAR made three checks, the first whether Joe Willock had kept the ball in play then if Joelinton had fouled Gabriel, and finally whether Gordon was offside.

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The Spaniard was charged with breaking Rule E3.1, which includes bringing the game into disrepute, but has been cleared of wrongdoing by the Regulatory Commission.

Eddie Howe, Manager of Newcastle United, embraces Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, prior to the Premier League match on November 4. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)Eddie Howe, Manager of Newcastle United, embraces Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, prior to the Premier League match on November 4. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Eddie Howe, Manager of Newcastle United, embraces Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, prior to the Premier League match on November 4. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

A statement read: "An independent Regulatory Commission has found the charge against Mikel Arteta for an alleged breach of FA Rule E3.1 to be not proven.  "The manager was charged following various comments in media interviews after Arsenal’s Premier League game against Newcastle United on Saturday 4 November.  "It was alleged that his comments constituted misconduct in that they were insulting towards match officials and/or detrimental to the game and/or brought the game into disrepute."

The news of Arteta escaping punishment sparked a debate among Newcastle and Arsenal fans on social media with the latter largely left surprised but the outcome.

Meanwhile, Newcastle boss Eddie Howe, speaking ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash at home to Fulham, was asked if he "felt emboldened to be more critical of referees" after the Arteta outcome.

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Howe replied: “I don’t think it’s my job to critique referees. I think that’s someone else's job. It’s my job to critique my team.

"I don’t want to make a habit of talking about referees, I don’t think it should be about them. It should be about the players playing the game.”

Howe knows the line managers can't cross when it comes to discussing referees, which has sometimes prevented him from revealing his honest opinion on their decisions.

The 46-year-old added: “I think it’s difficult when you’re asked questions immediately after because you want to give your honest opinion but you’re well aware that there is a line you can’t cross so you’re very rarely giving your honest opinion.

"That’s probably the best way to put it."

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