Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has accused VAR Lee Mason of not “understanding his job” after his “unacceptable” error in last weekend’s draw vs Brentford.
The league leaders were made to settle for a point over the weekend as they drew 1-1 against Brentford.
January signing Leandro Trossard netted his first goal for Arsenal to break the deadlock but Ivan Toney equalised for Brentford before full-time. It was subsequently spotted that the forward’s goal should have been ruled out by VAR as Bees midfielder Christian Norgaard was offside in the build-up.
Arteta hit out at Mason, who was the game’s VAR official, after the draw to Brentford as he accused the 51-year-old of “changing the rules”.
It was confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that Mason has not been selected as a VAR for the next round of Premier League games.
Man City’s win over Aston Villa on Sunday leaves Pep Guardiola just three points adrift of Arsenal having played one more game. The rivals face off at the Emirates on Wednesday night.
Ahead of this huge game, Arteta was once again asked about Brentford’s equaliser and he refused to accept the PGMOL’s suggestion that the mistake came down to “human error”.
“We ended the [Brentford] game, after analysing it with the evidence and images, with a huge anger and disappointment,” Arteta said in his press conference on Tuesday (via Sky Sports).
“Because that wasn’t a human error. That was a big, big, big not conceiving and understanding your job. That’s not acceptable, I’m sorry. And that cost Arsenal two points and that’s not going to be restored.
“So we are going have to find those two points somewhere else in the league. But at the same time, we appreciate the apology and the explanations which were really open to be fair.
“We have got a lot of sympathy from a lot of colleagues and in the industry and in football. They are [saying] we cannot play with integrity in the way that we do. And that’s it. We have to move on.
“That has certainly made the players, the staff, the fans even stronger with a desire to pass this herald that they put on us. We move on with it.”
Arteta later insisted that he will only be “satisfied” if Arsenal are “given two points back”.
“I will be satisfied if they give me the two points back, which is not going to be the case!” Arteta added.
“They were serious, open genuine and honest apologies which is really good. But doesn’t take away from the fact that we have two fewer points than we should have in the table.
“Everybody makes errors and mistakes and we are part of that, me the first one in our job. But that was something else. I wasn’t having it, the club wasn’t having it. And I think it’s clear, the consequences of what happened.”