Michael Owen has slammed Arsenal for backing Mikel Arteta’s rant at the officials following the Gunners 1-0 defeat against Newcastle United on Saturday.
Arsenal were beaten by a second-half Anthony Gordon goal which left Arteta incensed. The controversial strike left question marks over whether the ball had left the field of play in the build-up, a potential foul on Gabriel from Joelinton and a possible offside against Gordon.
Following a VAR check, all three infringements were deemed fine and the goal was given. However, Arteta hit out at the goal and called the decision ‘embarrassing’, he added: “It’s an absolute disgrace that this goal is allowed to stand. It’s more than one reason. It is a disgrace. It is not a goal, simple. I feel sick to be part of this."
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In the wake of Arteta’s comments, Arsenal released an official statement backing their gaffer’s outburst, reading: “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.”
What do you make of Michael Owen’s comments? Let us know in the comments section.
Taking to Twitter, the former Newcastle striker turned pundit Owen hit out at the club’s backing, calling it 'classless', he wrote: “The Newcastle vs Arsenal game yesterday was a brilliant watch. Two top teams going at it. The only (in his words) ‘embarrassing’ and ‘disgraceful’ thing about it was Arteta’s behaviour.
“A common occurrence that damages the game more than any incorrect decision. For his club to now release a statement moaning about the standard of officiating is poor and sadly for a team of Arsenals standing, totally classless.”
The aftermath of the game has also been marred by sickening racist abuse that was sent to Newcastle’s Joe Willock and Bruno Guimaraes on social media. Both Newcastle and Arsenal as well as Kick It Out have all come out to condemn the abuse.
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