Eddie Howe: Newcastle United manager feels win against Arsenal ‘overshadowed’ by VAR row

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe feels his side’s win against Arsenal has been “overshadowed” by the VAR row over Anthony Gordon’s goal.

The decision was called “embarrassing” by Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.

Howe said he was “disappointed” with the VAR controversy dominating the post-match discussion, as his players’ display was “absolutely outstanding”.

He added: “It’s a big subject, VAR in my opinion won’t be going anywhere.

“I think once the technology is in it’s about trying to get the technology to work in the best way, whatever that is.”

The defeat at St James’ Park put an end to third-placed Arsenal’s unbeaten start to the season in the Premier League.

The only goal of the game was scrutinised for three potential issues – the ball going out of play in the build-up, a foul on Arsenal defender Gabriel by Joelinton and an offside against goalscorer Gordon.

All three checks went in the home side’s favour, leaving Arteta furious and labelling the VAR ruling a “disgrace”.

Arsenal then released a statement backing the Spaniard’s comments and asked for “urgent” action on refereeing standards.

However, the Premier League’s Key Match Incidents panel has ruled the decision to award Gordon’s controversial winner was correct.

While Howe said he been “reluctant” when VAR was first introduced to the Premier League during the 2019-20 season, he does think there have been “real benefits” to the review system.

“There’s aspects of it that do work but my big thing will be when a game ends it should be about the players, about the football, about what we’ve seen,” said Howe.

“The main focus should not be about the referees or VAR. I think that’s very dangerous, as I say, we beat Arsenal and played very well.

“I don’t think there was any talk or reaction about how well the team played or individuals within the team and how well they excelled, it was all about one refereeing decision which I think is sad.”

Newcastle, who are sixth in the table, face Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday at 17:30 GMT.

Managers are ‘locked down’ when it comes to VAR – Moyes

David Moyes said highlighting controversial decisions tends to leave managers in the difficult position of either being fined, or clubs from outside the top six not being listened to.

“We’re all pretty disappointed with lots of aspects but we’re also all very much in favour of trying to make it work,” said the West Ham boss.

“I just think we’ve all been disappointed with some of the officiating this season. My single opinion wouldn’t matter a jot. They’ll do what they need to do.

“When we’re putting it over it’s not getting much clout at the other end. You can ask us but we feel that we’re not getting an awful lot back when we’re giving it back to the officials or whoever.”

Arteta’s strong post-match views comes after referees’ body PGMOL released the VAR audio of the incorrect decision to disallow Luis Diaz’s goal for Liverpool against Tottenham in September.

Moyes believes all clubs have the right to discuss contentious decision without fear of recrimination.

“It’s as if people don’t think that some other clubs have the same problems, the same VAR problems, the same decision-making,” he said. “We’re all pretty disappointed by what we’ve been getting back.

“We don’t want to do it because managers will be fined for speaking out of turn. Most managers don’t want to say anything about it because we know we’re locked down.”

West Ham secured a 1-0 victory against Greek side Olympiakos in the Europa League on Thursday and face Nottingham Forest in the league on Sunday at 14:00 GMT.

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