Gary Neville reckons Arsenal will regret backing Mikel Arteta with ‘dangerous’ VAR statement

'Mikel Arteta has gone to his board and said "you need to back me" and they have fallen for it.'

Gary Neville reckons Arsenal will regret backing Mikel Arteta with ‘dangerous’ VAR statement
Burnley FC v Manchester City - Premier League
Gary Neville says Arsenal’s statement on referee is ‘dangerous’ (Photo: Getty)

Gary Neville has once again blasted Arsenal for their ‘dangerous’ statement backing Mikel Arteta’s strong criticism of Premier League referees.

Arsenal were beaten 1-0 by Newcastle last Saturday, thanks to a controversial Anthony Gordon goal, with Arteta furious that the strike wasn’t disallowed by VAR.

He labelled the decision ’embarrassing’ and ‘disgraceful’, with the Gunners putting out a statement in support of their manager on Sunday.

It said said that the Premier League ‘deserved better’ and that the ‘PGMOL urgently needs to address the standard of officiating’.

It is the second time a top-flight club has put a statement out criticising the referees following Liverpool who did so after a perfectly fine goal was ruled out in their loss at Tottenham.

Neville had already hit out at Arsenal for their statement and did so again while on Sky Sports Monday Night Football, where he said that the club may well regret backing Arteta in the way they have done.

‘I thought the statement was really poor,’ the Manchester United legend said.

Newcastle United v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Mikel Arteta labelled the refereeing for the Newcastle game as ‘disgraceful’ (Photo: Getty)

‘I thought Liverpool had a shocking one go against them here a few weeks ago and we knew it was wrong at the time. They had a lot to feel hard done by, but I thought the day after when Liverpool wrote their statement mentioning sporting integrity and that they were looking at all options and then the suggestion of a replay and to be fair, I thought that was quite dangerous.

‘I think the Arsenal statement is quite dangerous. I think all the clubs have signed up to a new behavioural charter at the start of the season – I’m not saying that referees shouldn’t be put under pressure that Mikel Arteta or other managers shouldn’t feel aggrieved at the end of matches.

‘What I am saying is that the clubs themselves should behave better in these circumstances. I am looking at the Premier League now and the leadership in the Premier League because the reality of it is, they have got to start protecting referees.

Arsenal statement on Mikel Arteta's comments:

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

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.

‘At the start of the season, I was excited by the new transparency, the apologies to managers and the fact that the referees were communicating with the clubs.

‘But in return, what they are getting is significantly undermined by their own clubs, and I think the Premier League and the other clubs have to get this in order who are writing letters.

‘I think this is uncharted territory writing these letters. It feels like Mikel Arteta has gone off on one after Saturday which is fine, he’s emotional and he’s almost gone to his board on the Sunday and said “you need to back me” and they have fallen for it.

‘Arsenal as an institution and a football club are massive with huge history and they should behave better than that. I think they will look back on this in a few years time and think they should have done this differently.’

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