Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta blames VAR, not protests, for Everton defeat: ‘I’ve had enough’

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Simon Collings
·2-min read
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 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta blamed VAR and not supporters’ protests for Arsenal’s loss to Everton.

The Gunners slumped to a 1-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium after Bernd Leno’s own-goal in the 76th minute handed the Toffees all three points.

The result capped off a miserable day for Arsenal, with fans protesting against owner Stan Kroenke outside the ground before kick-off.

Arteta, however, says the protests had no impact on his players’ performance and instead took aim at VAR.

The Spaniard was unhappy as Arsenal had a penalty decision overturned because of a marginal offside call in the build-up, with Nicolas Pepe deemed to be just off.

Everton’s goal was also an exceptionally tight call, but Richarlison was deemed to have been just onside.

Asked if he was upset with VAR, Arteta said: “Obviously, it is because this has been building up and enough is enough and today I have had enough.

“We have had many of them that no-one explains and when they do explain they say sorry, it was a mistake but unfortunately it is affecting a lot of people and it is affecting our job and most importantly our football club.”

Arteta said he wasn’t for stopping the use of VAR, but added he’d like referees to explain their decisions in public.

“I really like that we can make use of the technology. It is just we need consistency, clarity and we want to see the faces and response,” he said.

“So we are always here in front of the media, trying to explain the reasons why we do something or we do the other thing - and I think that has to be clear and explained.”

While Arteta was upset with VAR, he was not annoyed at supporters’ protesting before the game.

Asked if it had an impact, he said: “No, we knew that was happening and that our fans wanted to express their feelings and we made preparations with that in mind and it is not an excuse.

“We lost the game because when we had to define the game in the crucial moments, we had no clear chances and then we concede an own goal and when we earned the right to score, with the decisions that was taken away.”

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