The Gunners boss was incensed that Anthony Gordon’s winning goal at St. James’ Park was allowed to stand following a four-minute review of three separate offences in the build-up.
Arteta branded the decision a “disgrace”, claiming that the ball had rolled out of play prior to Joe Willock’s cross in what was one of a number of reasons he felt the goal should have been chalked off for.
“It’s embarrassing. That’s how I feel and that’s how everybody feels in that [dressing] room. You cannot imagine the amount of messages we’ve got saying this cannot continue,” the Arsenal manager told Sky Sports after the contest.
“I feel sick. That’s how I feel. I feel sick to be part of this. It is not good enough and we cannot accept that.”
It is a swift change of stance from the Spaniard, who appeared to be far more understanding about the mistakes of officials when it came to Liverpool’s controversial defeat at Tottenham back in September.
Luis Diaz was denied a legitimate goal due to an unprecedented VAR communication error which caused referee Simon Hooper to believe the on-field decision of offside was the correct one.
When asked for his thoughts on the incident in the aftermath, Arteta was far more relaxed about the situation that didn’t involve his team, saying: “[The officials] are trying to make the best decisions. We need to understand that mistakes happen.”
Mikel Arteta when Liverpool are denied a legitimate goal:
“We need to understand that mistakes happen.”
Mikel Arteta when it’s his team getting a decision against them:
“It’s embarrassing, it’s a disgrace. That’s what it is, a disgrace.”
— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) November 5, 2023
It comes after Vincent Kompany provided similarly contrasting comments last month, when he likened VAR decisions to visiting a “casino.”
The Burnley manager was unhappy about his side’s late equaliser being ruled out after a five-minute check, but the Belgian was more dismissive when he was quizzed about the Diaz mistake.
Kompany described such errors as “human” and simply said “we all make mistakes”, rather than joining Liverpool in a push for improvements that would have benefitted the entire league.
The Reds released an official statement following the Diaz error, highlighting the “sporting integrity being undermined” and that pressure later saw the VAR audio released publically in a bid to improve transparency.
Sadly, the tribal nature of football has meant that opposing Premier League managers weren’t as keen to strive for positive change, and that has backfired quicker on some than they would have hoped!