Arsenal told what to expect from ‘bandwagon’ statement released after Newcastle United defeat

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Arsenal released a club statement criticising the standard of officiating following their 1-0 loss to Newcaste United.

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has questioned why Arsenal released a club statement in the aftermath of their 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United on Saturday evening.

Anthony Gordon’s 64th-minute strike separated the two teams at St James’ Park but the goal was subject to controversy following three different VAR checks into one.

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The first check was to see if Joe Willock had kept the ball in play in the build up, the second was to whether Joelinton had fouled Gabriel and the third was an offside check on Gordon.

AFP via Getty Images

It was a review that lasted five minutes before those at Stockley Park stuck with Stuart Attwell’s on-field decision.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta branded the decision an “absolute disgrace” and “embarrassing”. The following day, the Gunners issued a statement complaining to PGMOL about the standard of officiating.

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

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“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.”

The statement was criticised by many, including Sky Sports pundit and former Liverpool defender Carragher, who insisted the goal was correct to stand.

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“I don’t really agree with [the statement],” said Carragher. “You know, this happened a few weeks ago with Liverpool and I think it was a different set of circumstances in some ways, but I didn’t really agree with what Liverpool put out at the time.

“I covered the game [at St James’ Park] last night and on the back of Mikel Arteta’s interview I said I loved it. And the reason I said that was because far too often, managers before and after games just speak in cliches, they don’t tell us how they really feel.

“I love the fact that Mikel Arteta was passionate, he was really honest, he was emotional and it was great TV, that’s why I loved it.

“I didn’t actually agree with what he said, in terms of not being happy about VAR.

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“There were three checks of it and then the goal gets given BUT I’m still scratching my head to think about what exactly is Arsenal and Mikel Arteta unhappy about, with that goal, what part of it?

“You can go and say, we are the Premier League, the money we have in the league, should we have camera angles that cover every single piece of pitch if you like. Yes, I get that, that can be an argument, can we improve that, so it makes it easier for the officials.

“But this is not another one to jump on the bandwagon with VAR and just batter people at Stockley Park and the officials, because that is not right.

“Nothing was conclusive after the goal was given on-field, so it had to be a goal.”

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