Fri 15 Dec 2023, 09:34 · Ash Harrison

Arteta avoids further punishment as Joe Willock's real-time opinion stirs up the Arsenal fans again

Arteta avoids further punishment as Joe Willock's real-time opinion stirs up the Arsenal fans again
Justin Tallis via Getty Images
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta avoided further punishment yesterday for his rants after the Newcastle United defeat.

London Borough of Islington council are getting the sandbags out again to damn the flooding caused by the latest deluge of Gunner tears. This comes after the documentation of the case against Mikel Arteta showed that Joe Willock told his former Arsenal teammates he thought that the ball had gone out of play before he crossed in to lead to the winning goal.

Apparently, one player's real-time assessment and subsequent conversation with his mates holds more water than the beIN Sports technology, Gary Neville's demonstration of how spherical objects look like they occupy different space on different camera angles, and the common sense knowledge that a ball is round and the contact point on the ground is not the same point as it's most extreme points around the circumference.

Arteta somehow avoided punishment for his post-match rants

First off, how Arteta has dodged this bullet we'll never know. Regardless of Joe Willock's testimony at the time, it has been proven that the ball was in play, granted by the smallest of margins, but proof is proof. So just because Arteta felt that it wasn't is inconsequential.

The other VAR checks have all been shown, multiple times to be the right call, the audio from that VAR decision has been released and it showed that it was one of the rare cases where VAR was implemented properly. So since it was established that all of the decisions were indeed correct, Arteta has no right to go off the way he did and should not have gotten away with further punishment.

The Athletic reported that Mikel Arteta used the Spanish language as his defence:

"Arteta was also said to have explained that the word ‘disgrace’ “has a very similar spelling and pronunciation to the Spanish ‘desgracia’.”

"The Arsenal boss said that the Spanish word had “connotations of misfortune, tragedy or bad luck rather than the connotations of the English equivalent
which suggest contempt, dishonour or disrespect. While the English meaning may lead to interpretations of abuse or insult, this was not the intended meaning.”"

That's by-the-by though, we don't give a rat's tuchus about Arteta, it's the Arsenal fans who are still crying about it that's getting our backs up.

Joe Willock is not the authority on touchline technology

As stated earlier, it has been proven that the ball, by the definition of the rules, was still in play. Proven by science and technology. However, Arsenal fans now believe that Joe Willock telling his mates at the time that he thought it was out is more relevant.

Yes, Willock was right on top of it, but he saw it in real-time from one angle and probably wasn't looking directly at the ball at the time anyway. Then add to that the fact that he maybe just couldn't be bothered with the resulting argument if he'd claimed he'd kept it in, it was probably just easier to agree with his former colleagues and move on.

Joe Willock is not the authority on this case, the ball was in, the goal stood, it was right at the time, it's right now, there's nothing can be done about it. Get over it. You're embarrassing yourselves.