After Anthony Gordon’s controversial goal was allowed to stand, the PGMOL broadcast the VAR audio from Newcastle and Arsenal’s match on the newest episode of ‘Mic’d Up’ with Howard Webb. It’s also entertaining to listen to.
The Magpies defeated their Premier League opponents 1-0 thanks to Gordon’s second-half winner, but three incidences in the build-up to the goal were investigated by the team at Stockley Park.
Initially, cameras inside St James’ Park did not provide a clear view of whether the ball had gone out of play.
Then there were concerns about whether Joelinton shoved teammate Brazilian Gabriel in the back while attempting to win a header from the resulting cross. On top of that, it was unclear whether Gordon was in an offside position.
After four minutes of searching for a probable offence, VAR determined that there was insufficient evidence to overturn the goal.
Outrage ensued, with Mikel Arteta giving one of the most unusual post-game interviews, calling the goal “an absolute disgrace.”
Arsenal star Ian Wright then vented his rage on X, tweeting an image he said plainly showed Joelinton fouling Gabriel in the build-up.
Webb believes VAR was correct not to intervene.
Following the game, Arsenal issued a statement supporting their manager’s outrage, demanding that the PGMOL improve the standard of officiating in the English Premier League.
However, the Premier League’s independent panel ultimately determined that the verdict reached by Stuart Attwell and VAR was accurate, as there was insufficient evidence to overturn the on-field decision.
PGMOL CEO Webb has now commented on the goal, noting the frustration caused by the winner. He believes that the controversy that has erupted in the aftermath of the events proves that VAR was correct not to intervene.
The VAR audio for Newcastle’s goal has been published.
The PGMOL has now published the VAR audio of the incident to further clarify the matter.
This season, Webb and the organization have been seeking to provide greater openness in officiating, initially releasing audio for Luis Diaz’s controversial disallowed goal for Liverpool against Tottenham in October.
The PGMOL had previously informed Arsenal that the audio will be released, and it is now available to the public.
Surprisingly, after Diaz’s disallowed goal, where there was dispute about the on-field judgment, the VAR requests that Attwell affirm his on-field decision first to provide clarity.
The VAR then begins to look for violations. When the ball gets close to the goal line, the assistant referee may be heard yelling “ball in.”
The assistant VAR then indicates in the following replays that there is no solid proof that the ball had gone out of play, notwithstanding the curvature of the ball.
They then move quickly to the potential foul, with the VAR official noting that while they see two hands on Gabriel, they don’t detect a precise infraction on the defender that merits him flying forward – a decision that will undoubtedly enrage Wright.
After realizing the ball comes off Gabriel, they move to the offside zone to determine the point of touch.
The problem is that there is no view that depicts the ball and Gordon’s position. The assistant VAR discusses the scenario, emphasizing that the ball is obscured, and hence there is no conclusive evidence that Gordon was ahead of the ball and thus offside.
It’s a fascinating listen, especially since the officials go into every detail to ensure there’s no infringement at all. Listen to the audio for yourself below.
Despite the clarity of the situation, it is unlikely that Arteta, Wright, or many Arsenal fans will be satisfied with the game’s outcome. Despite this, Arsenal remain in the title fight, and enter the international break third in the league, one point behind Manchester City.
When the Premier League returns, the north London club will face a London derby before traveling to Brentford on Saturday, November 25th. Because Arsenal are apparently interested in signing Bees striker Ivan Toney in January, the game could be an opportunity to impress a possible January addition.