Press conference

Wenger on handball, VAR and rotation

The Premier League decided on Friday to postpone the introduction of Video Assistant Referees for another season - and Arsene Wenger does not believe it is the right way to go.

The Arsenal manager was asked about it following a key decision that went against us at St James' Park when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's shot appeared to hit Jamaal Lascelles' hand in the area.

This is what he said in his post-match press conference:

on Aubameyang’s shot hitting Lascelles’ hand in the first half…

The referee is the referee. What you want is to have the referees. Unfortunately the Premier League has again decided not to go for VAR and personally I believe that is a very, very bad decision.

on if he’d have implemented VAR…

Yes, because the Premier League has been created with people who had a progressive mind and wanted to be in front of the rest in Europe. It worked. Overall I believe that with that decision we are behind the rest in the world and that every big game this season has been decided by mistakes that could have been avoided with VAR, especially in the Champions League with Manchester City and Liverpool. The young generation is used to [VAR] and worldwide they might move away from us because they see that in other countries they do it.

on if the team changes were down to players being rested…

Some were injured and some were rested because they had not recovered from the number of games we’ve played recently.

on who’s injured…

Ramsey had a wound and couldn’t get into any contact. The rest are little knocks and recovery tests, which weren’t good enough.

on Aubameyang and Lacazette starting together…

It was promising what they did in the first half. In the second half, they were like the rest of the team, less creative. In the first half they created good situations.

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