Former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein has criticised Mikel Arteta for his VAR rant following the defeat at Newcastle, suggesting it damaged the image of the club.
Arteta described the video assistant referee system as “embarrassing” and a “disgrace” after Anthony Gordon’s goal at St James’ Park on November 4 was allowed to stand despite three separate checks – one for the ball being out of play, one for a foul and one for offside.
Arsenal subsequently released a statement backing the Spaniard, although the FA took a dim view and hit him with a misconduct charge that could result in a touchline ban.
Dein, who was vice-chair at the Gunners between 1983 and 2007, says he would have instructed Arteta to handle the situation differently had he still been at the club.
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Asked on talkSPORT, if he would have backed Arteta, he replied: “It [the rant] wouldn’t have happened. But we’re in an emotional game and these things do happen, I think it’s unfortunate, and you live and learn.
“But you don’t want to undermine the manager either. The manager in the heat of the moment, that’s what he believed. I was at Newcastle that game, he felt aggrieved that he felt the decisions went against him.
“In the final analysis, I think it was a bit of misdirection, because the fact is, there was 101 minutes – three minutes added on in the first half and eight minutes in the second. In 101 minutes of football we only had one shot at goal, so you can’t really say that the team deserved to win.
“There is a process in place for how they deal with these things and I just think it was a little bit unnecessary. I don’t think it did the image of the club any good.”
The defeat at Newcastle is Arsenal’s sole loss in the Premier League this season and, despite his occasional unease at Arteta’s conduct, Dein is delighted with the club’s overall progress.
He added: “I think under Mikel they’re doing a good job, I think there is a freshness there, you can see there is new belief – certainly the crowd have got it.
“There is a definite buzz about the place now that we haven’t seen for several years, and it’s the four-letter word – hope.
“You can see the team have got something good going for them, I think there’s something positive, it’s a bit of a renaissance going on at the moment at Arsenal.”