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Tom Hancock

Arsenal SLAMMED by Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher for scathing VAR statement

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Former players of both teams, Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher presenting Sky Sports from the middle of the pitch prior to the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United at Anfield on March 5, 2023 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images).

Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher have accused Arsenal of going too far in releasing a statement backing up Mikel Arteta's criticism of officials.

Arteta felt the Gunners were hard done by in Saturday's 1-0 defeat away to Newcastle – where the hosts' controversial winning goal came after a series of VAR checks – going as far as to say he felt "sick".

There was particular outrage over the ball appearing to go out of play in the build-up to Anthony Gordon's 64th-minute winner at St. James' Park – so much so that Arsenal released a statement on Sunday supporting their manager's comments.

Arteta branded the officiating in Arsenal's loss at Newcastle "a disgrace" (Image credit: Getty Images)

For Neville and Carragher, though, the club have overstepped by publicly declaring officiating standards to be "unacceptable".

Neville wrote on X (formerly Twitter): "I played for a club [Manchester United] where a manager [Sir Alex Ferguson] went mad after games if we felt a decision had gone against us. You feel like it’s us against the world. I get it. 'Everyone hates us, the refs are out to stitch us up and [there's] bias v us.' However, I can never remember the club writing letters undermining the system and the whole refereeing community.

"When I look back now I don’t think as players we always covered ourselves in glory with refs and also at a big club we all feel entitled and you have to leave and retire to be able to see that.

"Arsenal’s letter and even the Liverpool statement a few weeks ago (they [Liverpool] had a genuine bad one v them) are wrong. Do it privately. If I was [PGMOL Chief Refereeing Officer] Howard Webb, I would stop apologising to them and get on with it. Managers and players make far more mistakes than refs!"

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Carragher posted similar sentiments on X, writing: "That Arsenal statement & complaints from their manager about the officials & VAR, on the Newcastle goal, is way over the top!"

The loss to Newcastle leaves Arsenal three points off Premier League leaders Manchester City after 11 games.

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