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Arsenal stance on VAR vote explained as Mikel Arteta mystery answer finally makes sense

Arsenal are in support of VAR technology staying in the Premier League
-Credit: (Image: Julian Finney/Getty Images)


Premier League clubs have voted in favour of keeping VAR, with Wolves the only side out of the league's 20 voting against the technology. The West Midlands Club triggered the vote on the use of VAR after a formal submission in May however yesterday it was decided that the system would be kept with Arsenal backing the technology.

football.london have since been told by sources that Arsenal, despite their involvement in controversies over the years with the system, remain in support of it when it is indeed used in the best way. Mikel Arteta had been asked about the vote weeks prior to it taking place.

“I haven’t been part of those meetings, so I want to have a meeting with the club next week and understand why these points are coming across and what happened in the last few weeks to get to this position,” he said ahead of the final game of the season. “Then we will decide what our position is as a club and see what happens.

“First of all, I want to understand because I haven’t been part of those meetings, so they will explain to us what happened, the points being discussed, the reasons why and the general feeling. From there we will make our own decision.”

It is clear now those meetings concluded with a feeling that the club should support the continuation of the technology. Arsenal have indeed had their issues with it when Arteta was left fuming following a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle after video failed to provide enough evidence to suggest the ball had gone out of play in the build-up to the Newcastle United goal which also contained a potential foul by Joelinton on Gabriel Magalhaes.

Arsenal received an apology from the PGMOL during the 2022/23 season when VAR official Lee Mason failed to correctly implement the offside rule which gifted Brentford and Ivan Toney an equaliser in a game which would end in a 1-1 draw costing the Gunners two massive points ahead of their title clash with Manchester City.

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According to Dale Johnson of ESPN, a specialist in reviewing officiating decisions and discussing VAR outcomes, a five-season net VAR score sees only Wolves worse off compared to the Gunners. Gary O’Neil’s side are at 17 against when it comes to calls compared to seven against Arsenal. For context, Manchester City are plus-three and Liverpool are plus-four with Brighton the side to benefit most at plus-six.

The consensus of many remains that mistakes in VAR are not the fault of technology and instead, those operating it. If the standard of officiating were to improve, so would the VAR.

In addition, VAR has certainly become more of a fall-back for officials leading to penalty calls and card calls perhaps not being made in the hope that the system will intervene if necessary. However, the related rulings mean for VAR to get involved the threshold is incredibly high for said decisions which creates a dynamic where the rules and the system are not necessarily supportive of one another.

A new campaign will of course provide more evidence to the quality of the refereeing at the elite level and how the rules and technology intertwine. Arsenal remain in favour of VAR’s use, but will be hoping that its efficiency improves.