Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has been charged by the Football Association for an explosive rant aimed at VAR following his side’s controversial 1-0 defeat at Newcastle earlier this month.
Arteta did not hold back in criticizing the video assistant referee’s decision to allow Magpies striker Anthony Gordon’s goal to stand, despite triple checks for offside, fouls and the ball going out of play.
The Spaniard blasted the call as “embarrassing” and an “absolute disgrace” in his post-match interviews, comments that have landed him in trouble with the FA.
“It’s alleged that his comments constitute misconduct as they are insulting towards match officials and/or detrimental to the game and/or bring the game into disrepute,” the FA said in a statement on Thursday.
Arteta now has until Tuesday to respond to the charge. If found guilty, he could face a fine or touchline ban.
Arsenal came out in support of their manager following the controversial defeat, saying in a statement that they “wholeheartedly stand behind” Arteta and that the club’s players, coaches and fans “deserve better.”
The Gunners had been on a nine-game unbeaten run in the Premier League before the loss at St James’ Park. The result saw them slip to fifth in the table.
“The Premier League is the best league in the world with the best players, coaches and supporters, all of whom deserve better,” Arsenal’s statement read.
Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg told ESPN the VAR decisions on the day were correct but admitted Arteta was well within his rights to vent his frustrations.
“I can understand his anger. He’s trying to protect his club,” Clattenburg said. “Sometimes as a manager you have to come out fighting.”
Arteta will be hoping to avoid a ban ahead of a grueling December schedule for Arsenal. The Gunners face tough league clashes with Chelsea and West Ham as they look to force their way back into the title race.
They also have a Carabao Cup quarterfinal against Brighton and their final Europa League group match against FC Zurich.
With the fixtures piling up, Arteta will need all the help he can get on the touchline as Arsenal battle on four fronts. But his VAR outburst means he could be forced to watch on from the stands instead.