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‘We have a duty to express how we feel’

‘We have a duty to express how we feel’

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he has a “duty” to express how he feels and that he will not stop giving his “clear and honest” opinions on how the game needs to improve.

The former Gunners’ club captain described VAR as a “disgrace” and a decision to award Newcastle’s goal in 1-0 Premier League defeat at St James’ Park on Saturday as “embarrassing”. Anthony Gordon’s strike was given after three checks were all cleared – for offside, a foul and whether the ball had previously gone out of play.

Arsenal publicly backed Arteta’s comments on Sunday with a statement calling for an improvement in refereeing and the use of technology.

“It is my duty to stand in front of the cameras and give a very clear and honest assessment of what happens in the game, this is what I did – reflect very openly about how I think the team played and how the game was conditioned by the decisions that were made,” said Arteta in his pre-match press conference for their Champions League game with Sevilla.

“It’s my duty to defend my players, support my players, support my club in the best possible way and that is what I’m going to do time after time.

“When I use the words I do in the media it’s because I feel strongly about them. One thing is my duty to you guys [the media], and one is as a coach. Nothing special, nothing different, I will do it – and the club will do it – again and again until this is right.”

Former Manchester United captain

, telling Sky Sports referees need to be better protected, but Arteta says standards will not improve unless managers speak up.

“We have to stand for our people, our values and who we are,” he said.

“When the club has done it [released a statement], it’s done in a very specific moment for the right reasons, and it shows the unity and the understanding that is within the club, to position ourselves in a really clear and honest way. That’s our duty as a club.

“We all want the same, that this [refereeing] is not the topic. But we have to understand that we have to be there [in meetings].

“You guys [the media] want us there to give our opinion, we have to give our opinion in an honest way – and clearly. Don’t talk about other things, be clear and honest – very respectful. Value what we have and make sure we continue evolving the game the way we want.”

Arsenal’s defeat at Newcastle was their first in the Premier League this season. They can move closer to qualification for the last-16 of the Champions League with victory over Sevilla, a game live on TNT Sports on Wednesday.

TNT Sports presents the premium live sports rights previously carried by BT Sport including the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Conference League, Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Investec Champions Cup, EPCR Challenge Cup, MotoGP, Cricket, UFC, Boxing and WWE. The streaming home for TNT Sports in the UK is discovery+, where fans can enjoy a subscription that includes TNT Sports, Eurosport and entertainment in one destination. You can also watch TNT Sports through BT, EE, Sky, and Virgin Media.

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