BREAKING: Mikel Arteta angrily resigned as Arsenal manager following lots of VAR CONTROVERSIES against ARSENAL

BREAKING: Mikel Arteta angrily resigned as Arsenal manager following lots of VAR CONTROVERSIES against ARSENAL

Live Scores


Live Scores

Latest News


Premier League

La Liga

Serie A




Moaning Mikel Arteta’s VAR rant shouldn’t overshadow Arsenal’s shortcomings – Gunners aren’t strong enough to truly challenge Man City

James Westwood







Premier League

Mikel Arteta

Kai Havertz

David Raya

Gabriel Jesus

Aaron Ramsdale


Newcastle United vs Arsenal

The Spaniard’s furious outburst at the match officials after Saturday’s damaging loss at Newcastle did little to mask the glaring flaws in his team


When Arsenal snapped their 15-game winless streak against Manchester City in the Premier League on October 8, it was billed as the most significant moment of Mikel Arteta’s tenure to date. The Gunners finally proved that they are capable of beating Pep Guardiola’s side, and moved two points above the champions into second – level with early 2023-24 pacesetters Tottenham.


Arteta’s side lost home and away to City last season, and ultimately missed out on the title after a poor run of results down the finishing stretch. But those demons were supposedly exorcised after the narrow 1-0 win at the Emirates Stadium, which saw Gabriel Martinelli score a fortunate deflected winner as the visitors endured a rare off-day in the absence of suspended midfield talisman Rodri.


If that were true, Arsenal would have kicked on, and really hammered home their title credentials. Alas, they followed up that statement victory with a 2-2 draw against Chelsea, who let a two-goal lead slip after some calamitous defending in the last 15 minutes of the game.


Article continues below

The Gunners got back on track with a routine 5-0 win against bottom club Sheffield United, but their weaknesses were laid bare once again during a trip to Newcastle on Saturday. Anthony Gordon’s controversial 64th-minute goal proved to be the difference between the two sides, and left Arsenal trailing City in the table once again.


Arteta blamed VAR for the defeat, but in truth, Newcastle were good value for the three points. Arsenal only mustered one shot on target in the match – their worst record in a game since way back in February – and they were outbattled in midfield.


Arsenal have yet to properly click into gear this season, despite spending over £200 million ($248m) in the summer transfer window, and the reality is that they do not look any closer to knocking City off their perch. And if Arteta doesn’t start acknowledging where his team are going wrong, the gap between the two clubs will only increase…


Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2023-24Getty Images

VAR complaints make little sense

Gordon’s decisive goal against Arsenal wasn’t pretty, and it was only upheld after three separate checks from the video assistant referee. The first was for whether the ball had gone out of play before Joe Willock’s cross, the second was for a potential foul from Joelinton on Gabriel, and the third was for a possible offside before Gordon fired into an empty net.


In the end, the match officials decided there was no conclusive evidence that warranted the goal being overturned and Stuart Atwell blew for the restart with Newcastle in front. Arsenal were unable to find a way back into the game thereafter, and Arteta went full Kevin Keegan when fulfilling his media duties after the final whistle.


“Embarrassing what happened,” the Arsenal boss told BBC’s Match of the Day. “How this goal stands in the Premier League – this league we say is the best in the world. I’ve been 20 years in this country and now I feel ashamed. It’s a disgrace. There’s too much at stake here.”


When asked to elaborate, Arteta failed to put forward a clear argument, adding: “Because it’s not a goal for many reasons; it’s not a goal, for more than one reason at least. It’s not a goal and it’s too much at stake here. We put in so much effort, it’s so difficult to compete at this level, and it’s an absolute disgrace.”


This is the same man that insisted managers must do their best to “support” referees because “mistakes happen” after Liverpool’s Luis Diaz saw a legitimate goal against Tottenham chalked off for offside on September 30. Jurgen Klopp’s calls for that game to be replayed were ill-advised, but he did at least have proper grounds to feel aggrieved.


Every single club in the Premier League has been on the wrong end of some questionable VAR calls this season. Wolves seem to have suffered the most, with Gary O’Neil saying he’s “given up on referees” after seeing his side lose at Sheffield United after an incredibly soft late penalty decision.


Manchester United, meanwhile, have had the most goals disallowed of any side in the division so far, including one for Alejandro Garnacho in their 3-1 loss against Arsenal in August. The Gunners also had luck on their side when VAR awarded them a penalty after a Cristian Romero handball in their derby draw against Tottenham.


VAR is clearly a problem that will need to be addressed in some way sooner rather than later, not least because of how disruptive the decision-checking process can be to the flow of a match. But over the course of a season, it always tends to balance out.


Arsenal didn’t lose against Newcastle because of the referee. And Arteta’s misplaced sense of entitlement is blinding him the fact that his team are underperforming in a number of key areas.



FA Cup



7 Jan 2024




Match Preview

Kai Havertz Arsenal 2023Getty

Havertz was a complete waste of money

Arsenal could easily have ended up playing the final 60 minutes of the game against Newcastle with 10 men, too. Kai Havertz escaped with just a yellow card after a dangerous lunge on Sean Longstaff, which sparked a brawl between both sets of players.


Arteta would have been better off directing some of his anger towards his £65m ($80m) summer signing. Havertz started the game well enough, showing some neat touches, but his reckless tackle almost derailed the Gunners’ entire gameplan, and he had little to no impact on proceedings thereafter.


The Germany international has scored just once in 17 appearances across all competitions for Arsenal since his summer switch from Chelsea – and that goal only came after his team-mates gave him the chance to convert a penalty in a 4-0 victory away at Bournemouth.


Havertz was brought into to replace Granit Xhaka in Arsenal’s midfield three, despite the fact he primarily operated as either a striker or No.10 at Stamford Bridge. The fact that the 24-year-old has looked like a fish out of water in Arteta’s system should come as little surprise, especially when you also factor in how badly he played during his disastrous final season at Chelsea.


Arsenal were wrong to invest so much money in such an enigmatic player, but Arteta is far too stubborn to admit that. The Spaniard will keep trying to fit Havertz into his starting line-up, and the Gunners will continue to look disjointed as a result.


Havertz will go missing in games for large periods – just as he did during Arsenal’s disappointing 3-1 loss at West Ham in the Carabao Cup last week. Even when he does manage to get on the ball, he’s rarely taking the risks necessary to open up defences, and doesn’t appear to have built up any understanding with the rest of Arsenal’s attack as of yet.


Arteta would be wise to keep Havertz on the bench for a period, to spark a change in performance if nothing else. He’s quite clearly holding the Gunners back, and they cannot afford to be carrying him heading into a crucial festive period.


David Raya – Aaron RamsdaleGETTY

The Raya-Ramsdale sideshow

Arteta handed David Raya his Arsenal debut for their trip to Everton on September 17, which confirmed a changing of the guard between the sticks. Aaron Ramsdale was one of the Gunners’ top performers during their run to a second-place Premier League finish in 2022-23 – albeit while also being prone to the odd basic error.


The Arsenal boss clearly felt that Raya was an upgrade and exactly the kind of goalkeeper that could help his team go one better this time around. But it’s now apparent that he jumped the gun in trying to fix a problem that didn’t really exist.


Gordon’s winner for Newcastle could have been prevented had Raya not got his positioning all wrong when flapping at Willock’s cross. That mistake came just a couple of weeks after the Spanish shot-stopper got his angles wrong for Mykhailo Mudryk’s goal in the game against Chelsea.


Raya’s distribution was also called into question after his misplaced pass led to Lens taking the lead in Arsenal’s second Champions League group-stage fixture. The Brentford loanee was shaky in a subsequent 2-1 victory over Sevilla, too, with Gunners legend Thierry Henry insisting he was “lucky” not to concede more goals.


Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was even more scathing in his assessment of Raya after Arsenal’s defeat at Newcastle, as he told Sky Sports: “The guy they’ve chosen to come in is all over the place. This is now a massive problem for Mikel Arteta. He’s made the same mistake [against Newcastle] he made as he did a couple of weeks ago against Chelsea. He got away with it against Sevilla, but he’s not got away with it here.”


Just like with Havertz, Arteta’s vision for Raya has already gone awry. Ramsdale’s career at Arsenal looked all but over two months ago, but it’s getting harder and harder for Arteta to justify playing Raya ahead of the England man.


Gabriel Jesus Arsenal 2023-24Getty Images

Foolish to rely on Jesus

For much of last season, Arsenal were the best team to watch in English football, with Bukayo Saka, Martinelli and Martin Odegaard leading their charge. Those three men shared 44 goals between them, which helped to cover for the injury-enforced absence of Gabriel Jesus after he was sidelined for three months.


Jesus did still contribute 11 goals and eight assists to the Gunners’ cause in 2022-23, but by the end of the campaign it was obvious that more cover was needed up front. Arteta should have gone all out for a new centre-forward instead of making Havertz his number one target so early on in the summer window.


Arsenal did not welcome Jesus back into the first team until the end of August, and although he returned with four goals in 11 appearances, the Brazilian soon found himself back in the treatment room. He picked up a hamstring problem against Sevilla and has sat out the Gunners’ last three games, with Eddie Nketiah drafted in to fill his spot.


It’s not clear when Jesus will be back either, as Arteta admitted at a press conference last week: “With him [Jesus], I’m honestly not going to give [a timeframe]. I did it once and got it totally wrong. We need to be cautious because we need to treat it in the right way.”


Jesus’ fitness record at Manchester City wasn’t particularly alarming, but that could have something to do with the fact he wasn’t always in Guardiola’s starting XI. Arsenal are far more reliant on the 26-year-old to lead the line than City were, and that may be taking a toll on him.


Signing Havertz instead of a new frontman could come back to bite Arteta in January, too, with FFP likely to prevent Arsenal from launching a bid for Brentford’s Ivan Toney – unless they sanction one or two big sales.


It was always unlikely that Saka, Martinelli and Odegaard could continue to shoulder the main scoring burden for Arsenal. They are creators by trade, and need someone ahead of them to link up with in order to reach an even higher level.


Even when Jesus is available, he lacks the ruthless streak of a truly great No.9. It’s a position that the Gunners really must address in order to stay on the coattails of City, who have the ultimate scoring machine at their disposal in the form of Erling Haaland.



Arsenal look worse than last season

With the jury still out on Jurrien Timber given the unfortunate ACL injury blow he suffered shortly after his arrival at Arsenal from Ajax, it’s fair to say that Declan Rice has been the only success story from Arteta’s summer window.


The Gunners forked out a club-record £105m ($130m) fee to prise the 24-year-old away from West Ham, and he’s had no problems adapting to life at the Emirates. In fact, it could be argued that Rice has been Arsenal’s standout player so far this season with his outstanding work-ethic in the centre of the pitch – and he’s even chipped in with crucial goals against Manchester United and Chelsea.


The problem is, he’s playing in a team that no longer has the same balance as it did last term. Losing Xhaka has turned out to be a huge blow for Arsenal, who have sorely missed his technical quality and bite in midfield.


The Switzerland international was an enforcer defensively, but he also recorded 14 goal contributions in the Premier League last season, and Havertz just doesn’t match up as a replacement. Arteta is also having to make do without the injured Thomas Partey, who was colossal alongside Xhaka and Odegaard last season.


William Saliba is the only man in the squad who has largely managed to maintain the same high standard in 2023-24, but hasn’t had a consistent partner at centre-back this time around. Gabriel has fought his way back in recently, but Arteta has also experimented with Ben White and Jakub Kiwior alongside Saliba – with mixed results.


And the uncertainty caused by the battle between Raya and Ramsdale in goal has clearly filtered through to the entire defence. This version of Arsenal are very beatable, with a lack of cohesion threatening to derail their campaign even at this early stage.


Of course, the situation is salvageable. The Gunners are only three points off the Premier League summit and barring a major shock, should quality for the Champions League knockout stages. But Arteta has made life hard for himself with his poor decision-making. The 41-year-old was heralded as a messiah for turning Arsenal back into title contenders, but the fact is, he’s only delivered a solitary FA Cup success in his three-and-a-half years at the helm.


Arsenal won’t have enough to add to their trophy cabinet in their current guise, and it’s Arteta’s job to recognise where they are falling short and make the necessary changes – especially with the January transfer window looming large on the horizon. If he fails again, questions really should start being asked over whether he is really the right man to take the club to the next level.



Quiz: Only an Arsenal superfan can name at least 12/15 of these club legends

Quiz: Only an Arsenal superfan can name at least 12/15 of these club legends

Quiz: Only a Liverpool superfan can name at least 12/15 of these club legends

Quiz: Only a Liverpool superfan can name at least 12/15 of these club legends

Quiz: Only a Chelsea superfan can name at least 12/15 of these club legends

Quiz: Only a Chelsea superfan can name at least 12/15 of these club legends

Quiz: Only an England superfan can name at least 12/15 of these national team legends

Quiz: Only an England superfan can name at least 12/15 of these national team legends

Quiz: Only an Argentina superfan can name at least 12/15 of these national team legends

Quiz: Only an Argentina superfan can name at least 12/15 of these national team legends


Winners & Losers 2023 GFX

Football’s biggest winners & losers of 2023



Arsenal January signing split 2024

Six players Arsenal should consider signing in January



Best January Signings GFX

10 best Premier League January signings – ranked









Ice-cold Palmer offers Chelsea hope for a brighter 2024


15 best managerial jobs of the season so far – ranked


Ronaldo sets ambitious aim to become 2024’s top goalscorer


Thiago Silva reveals wife flew to Russia to end relationship


‘This one was personal’ – Elanga on beating Man Utd


Six players Man City should consider signing in January


Pochettino bites back when asked about Chelsea’s long-ball style


Ronaldo gets salty after top 10 best footballers snub


Contact Us

Terms of Service

Privacy policy


Goal App (Android)

Goal App (iOS)

Goal Live




Nigeria (English)

Copyright © 2023 Goal All rights reserved. The information contained in Goal may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Goal


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.