Arteta Claims He's Had Enough of VAR, Is He Right?

 In Arsenal's recent loss to Everton, two decisive moments were critical to the outcome of the match. 

Arsenal v Everton

One cannot be contested, the glaring error of Bernd Leno to stop a cross that would not have gone into the goal, diverting it into his own net. The other involved the oft maligned VAR, is that criticism correct?

Arsenal VAR controversy

Firstly, let me be clear, I do not like drawing lines on the all.

If the offside is not clear, there seriously cannot be any advantage. The only way a finger, toe, or hair folicle can give any advantage is if the momentum of that appendix is attached to a body that is moving much faster than the line of defence.

In the above incident that cost Arsenal a penalty, game momentum, and at least one point, even with lines it is not clear if there was an offside or not. Why is that significant?

Application of VAR

VAR is used, in the build up to a goal to check if there was an infringement prior to the goal. In this case, it involved Pepe, who, by the way, was NOT the player fouled, leading to the penalty awarding decision. However, the Video Assistant Referee said that it influenced the build up to the goal, or penalty at least, being awarded. Remember though, the offside is not at all clear, not at all.

According to Wikipedia, and by the way the rules of Football, VAR is mainly there to correct a 'clear and obvious error'. Yes, it can be used, and often is, to check build up offside infringements prior to a goal. However, in this case, the referee HAD awarded a penalty prior to the VAR check. Why is this critical?

The VAR is there to correct a clear and obvious error by the referee. Looking at the image of the 'infringement' there was no clear and obvious error by the referee. It was not clear at the time, and as many times as you look at the photo, it is still not clear. In the spirit of it's inception, VAR should never had said that the referee had made any kind of error, or that it didn't matter because there was an offside.

How can any side experience anything other than demotivation when being on the receiving end of such an obscure and unwarranted decision..and Arsenal experienced just that. Yes, they did continue to press, keep their shape, and threatenn the goal, however, the result was that clear and obvious motivation for the home team was taken away...without due cause. However, this was not the limit of the frustration expressed by Mikel Arteta.

Arteta's Other Gripe

Arteta sais that 'enough was enough', and that part was correct. Arsenal have been on the end of some extremely dubious VAR decisions this season, as have other teams. It has not been Arsenal alone that faced this problem. 

Areteta went on to imply that jobs could be threatened by such actions, why? If you are a resident adjacent to the stadium and Google 'local businesses near me', you will see many local businesses that rely on Arsenal, it's income, and fan base.

In addition to those 'local businesses near me', there are the online, and global businesses that rely on Arsenal for income. Those jobs ARE threatened by the London club dropping unecessary points, why so?

Because, now Arsenal are extremely unlikely to secure a European place for next season. This means that focal matches that bring massive amounts of revenue in to the club, will now no longer happen. Businesses, local businesses will suffer as a result. Yes, VAR is run by imperfect people, but the people that rely on VAR are also imperfect people whose livelihoods are dependent on Arsenal's position in the league..and the continent.


Whether or not there have been many incidents this season, as Arteta claims, is irrelevant to what happened here. I am sure there is no conspiracy....however, this decision was a very poor one, that came at a time of great sensitivity at the club.

This decision was wrong, and an apology should be issued. Not because the decision was not 1mm or 2mm correct, but because it was unecessary. There was no clear and obvious error, and the penalty should have been it was by the referee who actually saw it first hand.

These decisions have large ramifications and all involved are responsible for the outcomes they engender.