Friday, December 1, 2023

Wenger: I’ve the right to be demanding of refs

Just what you’ve been waiting for…Arsene Wenger talking about referees. Again.

This time, ahead of Sunday’s trip to Nottingham Forest, the boss touches on the request by the FA to explain his comments before and after the Chelsea game, his response to the charge handed to him after the West Brom game and his take on Video Assistant Referees being used in the FA Cup.

There’s a report doing the rounds that the boss is leaning towards accepting a stadium ban for Sunday’s trip to the City Ground. If true it would be the first time Wenger has missed a game while in charge at Arsenal.


On if he’s been asked to explain his comments about the Chelsea game…

First of all, yes I’ve been asked [by the FA to explain comments after the Chelsea game]. I maintain what I said in the press conference, 100 percent. I’ve nothing to change on that. Basically, nothing has changed. I’ve been in England 21 years. I tried to serve this game with honesty and integrity and when I have something to say, I say it. On that front, nothing will change, never.

On standing by his statement that the Hazard penalty was ‘farcical’…

100 percent. I respect everybody’s opinion. I think it was a yellow card for Hazard, 100 percent. I have a right to have my opinion. I respect everybody’s opinion.

On Wilshere diving…

Yes, maybe he did. Why should that change my opinion on the penalty? It’s nothing to do with it. Every situation is different that is to be assessed by the referee. After that you have your opinion and I have my opinion. I’m long enough in the game to know everybody can have a different opinion.

On decisions against his side being ‘more than a coincidence’…

I have nothing to add to that. I maintain what I said. We can talk and talk and spend always time on talking about things that are not really important in the game. What we want to see is big football games, big players on the football pitch and we want them to be reffed by top quality people. I think I contributed a lot to give the referees a great opportunity to be at their best because I had a huge influence on the fact they became professional or not. I believe I had more influence on that and a positive one. That’s why I can be demanding. That’s what I want from them, to be at their top. I’m quite surprised that that is shocking.

On contesting his charge for comments after the West Brom game…

I don’t know. At the moment, I’m focused on football. All this fuss…you imagine that I’m 21 years in the game and [from] what I’ve seen and heard in the corridors from people, you can understand why I’m surprised and shocked by having been charged.

On VAR being used in the FA Cup and in the Carabao Cup against Chelsea…

I fight for the video for over 10 years. I can only be positive. It can create jobs as well for former referees who can continue their work and have their influence.

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And we as paying fans have the right to be demanding of you and the thundercunt board members


why do people like you always look for any opportunity to talk negatively about the manager? this article is about something else but you had to make it about how you feel about the manager – no one asked for your feelings


Er… No you don’t…

Football is in the entertainment industry. You can voice your conerns and HOPE they are listened to, but not much more….

You have no contract with the club and you are paying by your own choice. By your logic, every Lottery player can demand to win. It’s plain nonsense.

The Loon Ranger

Whatever your views on Arsene he has played a massive part in transforming the game and he really did have a vital role in getting refs to be able to turn professional. So he’s got a right to have an opinion. Unfortunately he can’t change the fact that a percentage of all people are cunts. And referees are people too.

Andy Mack

Part of the final training to become a PL ref is to have the “people” removed and replaced by “Cunt”.

Le Jim

Absolutely. When you look at the turnover of players and managers, it would seem every job except that of the referee is held to an incredibly high standard.


Love this sort of fight in him. Hope it continues and flows through the team.

Runcorn Gooner

Absolutely. He wants the game to move forward. Why should the instant decision of a person who may not see the incident properly be acceptable when a camera will (in most cases) show the incident.

I will repeat the penalty against Chambers is very rarely given these days and that is correct. You put a law in place and let VAR show if intent is shown.

We are talking multi million pound sport that deserves a more professional approach to it so that Managers cannot then moan about these decisions.


Yes but he was also wary that it could be a double edge sword he will fall on.

He was asked about Video Assist and was more than coy about it.

Because he realised we could have also been penalised on Jack ‘diving’ or say even with Maitland Niles tripping up on himself.

Its still open to interpretation.

We cannot fully master the human element.

What we can minimise on our end are the mistakes or lack of finish that contribute to putting us into these dicey situations dependent on the failings of the Refs

Andy Mack

No. He went coy on the subject of VAR because he knows it’ll be controlled by the same twats that are fucking up now.


Which is what he was alluding too here me thinks: “It can create jobs as well for former referees who can continue their work and have their influence.” i.e the poor refs now can contribute to be poor refs in the future via the VAR. Personally, I think VAR is good idea but ONLY for serious game defining incidents. An incident in the Australian league last week saw the Ref miss a player lash out with his feet and kick an opponent whilst both were on the ground. VAR picked it up… Ref promptly dismissed the thug. Nobody was upset… Read more »

Adebayor\'s Mom

Fantastic fire from Arsène there. No one has tolerated the shit this man has swallowed from referees and stupid FA members. No respect for him at all.

Imagine these decisions were made against Man Utd when Ferguson was their manager. The media will be up in arms with him. All these things smells like someone at the FA or PGMOL has something very deep against Arsène.

Sean il liba

Not only that but when Ferguson commented on Mike dean’s performance way back in 2006 guess what the FA did.They demoted him back to the championship……who would have thought eh!!!!!


Could this be the last season of le prof? He has been very adamant and open towards certain issues! And surely he wont go to the final year of his contract like he did last season since he openly admitted that his future uncertainty was reflected on the team .


Or he could say at the end of the season that the next is my last year. There would be no uncertainty then.

Why not

Or sign an extension…………………..


Keep fighting the fight Arsene. For all of his flaws, it must be frustrating as a purist, to see all of poor decisions which have influenced results in the last 20+ years. He has worked hard to change the game, and the FA have stood still. He must be thinking ‘fuck it, I am nearing the end so I am going to stand by my comments’. Maybe he will force some change?


I’m down with the creation of new jobs as long as we don’t bring that inept little Howard Webb back.
I still resent how much he helped United.

Andy Mack

He’s involved with VAR for merican MLS…

A Different George

Well, he may have been inept, but he’s not little–he is 6’2″.


Mike Dean is a cunt!


@arseblog .. can you look at the numbers on what Wenger is saying? None of the media seem to be doing comparisons, but Arsene is very respected in the game, and so is Petr Cech, and they are both saying decisions are dodgy .. so lets look at the numbers Arsene is talking about, but all the media are hiding from us for some reason Have we had more bad decisions against us than other clubs? Are we being specifically targeted by this – maybe not deliberately, but through the ref’s unconscious bias Not a crazy conspiracy theorist here, but… Read more »


This somewhat justifies what many have suspected for a little while. The bias against Arsenal has credible statistics to verify. Whether this bias is intentional or not, nobody knows – yet. All fans need to be open to the idea that there are people or business owners in or are working with the FA and PGMOL that want certain teams favoured. With all the riches flowing through the league, is it very hard not to imagine that business/money interests will reflect in the officiating of our game? We have seen corruption right through FIFA and UEFA, but most fans stop… Read more »


Exactly. It’s funny because when you look at the Diego Costa incident on Koscielny and Gabriel for example it was shameful. How many times have we seen Ivanovic or Cahill try to murder Ozil/Alexis and not get booked? Yet Arsenal players get sent off for doing nothing. I still remember Alonso tackle on Bellerin when we played Chelsea away last season. Bellerin almost had a NDE. They should have disallowed the goal and stopped the play immediately. The fact that people are thinking ‘Ahh the decisions will even itself out’ shows the standard of refereeing. How is it even logical… Read more »


OTOH, we had the rub of the green with Antonio Taylor against chelsea in the FA cup final.

Remember the ‘handball’ controversy with Alexis never mind the ‘interfering’ with play offside with ramsey in the same play.

And he also sent off Moses for his efforts in tripping over grass.

So statistics can cut both ways depending on how you want to see it.

This has always been the problem with 7amkickoff.

Dan Hunter

The team have played well??? What the hell


Here’s a thought: Why not actually concentrate on fixing the team’s flaws in midfield/defence and focus on actually coaching players properly instead of whinging about refereeing decisions? Yes some of the decisions against us this season have been shambolic, but our poor performances are down to problems within the team, not match officials. I don’t know any other manager in world football who would get away with not fixing a team’s defence for over 10 years! We’ve also needed a competent defensive midfielder for god knows how long ….

Andy Mack

This article is about the FA asking questions of the managers response to journalists questions. So not really the place to discuss other points, but I take it you think the team and the refs decisions are somehow related.
Do you think the refs are doing a good job and shouldn’t be berated?


The comments get moderated and if they dont have a problem with his comment then who are you to question what he says or doesn’t say? If you’ve got a valid argument against him based on the point he’s making then do it. Otherwise you’re the one with the irrelevant comment.


But he’s right.

This only serves to obfuscate the bigger underlying issues in the team.

We have zero concentration.

We know we will be immediately under pressure following our goal(s) but we are not mentally switched on.

This is an inherent issue unaddressed in this team which prevents it from reaching full potential.

We need to put ourselves in a position whereby these refereeing anomalies are less of a potential factor.

We have not.

Andy Mack

Vedant, they aren’t moderated in that way…


Arsene is a very clever, wise and experienced football manager, as such he must be smiling to himself knowing that VAR will show through the number of corrected review decisions what he (Arsene) has been saying for years, our referees are not good enough.

Malaysian gunner

In the WH /Sp game,a spud went lunging at a hammer with two feet
sliding. The hammer writhed in agony after falling with a thud.The ref who else b ut the beloved M D waved play on.Needless to say Spuds went on to equalize.
The FA shd take immediate and retrospective action against such errant
refs and retire them for the good of the game,

Steve Vallins

You can be the best coach in the world and have the best team you can’t take out the referees decisions in a game good or bad


Blogs, I have to call you out on this occasion. To completely dismiss fans who believe there could be a bias against Arsenal as “conspiracy theorists” is quite low. There are credible statistics (some shared in the comments) and years of negative PR which have negatively affected our club. Lets all just have an open mind, and respect the views of each other. The FA and PGMOL have shown no desire to take the game forward (that we all agree on), so I think we should all be very interested in what Wenger has to say. With the way the… Read more »


Let’s understand the difference between bias, which is much more plausible, and conspiracy. Some people truly believe that the referees sit down and make plans to get Arsenal, and to me that’s absurd.

An individual ref or two being not favourably disposed towards Arsenal/Wenger, that’s a very different thing.

Loo Roll Messi

The Match fixing scandal in Italy (less than a decade ago) was based on the same referee structure still used in the UK, which every other Country has moved away from. A Billion quid industry that self regulates? refuses accountability? no transparency? allows suspect owners? A lack of noise in the media? who just happens to be the largest sponsor of the EPL or the opposite to attack the whistle blower… Then we see these decisions with our own eyes, but when or if you suggest corruption – you are labelled a nut job… a fine example 101 Character assassination… Read more »

A Different George

Serious studies in various sports have shown a clear “home” bias for officials–not a conspiracy or a conscious prejudice, but a tendency to favour the home side, probably because of the crowd.

If that is the case, it seems plausible that other generalised biases may exist. Does anyone really doubt that English referees were (and maybe still are) more likely to think a foreign player is diving or feigning injury than a British one?


Who reffed the FA cup finals against Chelsea?

Anthony Taylor.

Alexis could have been penalised for hand ball and Ramsey for offside for the first goal.

Moses got tripped by grass and was sent off by Taylor.

Worth remembering the calls that went in our favour too.

Andy Mack

Blogs, you’re making the mistake of believing Refs are their to impose the rules of the game, but they aren’t.
They’re there to keep this multibillion pound entertainment business interesting. They are the ringmasters in the PL/FA circus. They’re there to create the good guys, bad guys etc of a soap opera whilst trying to keep a vague aura of sport in PL football.

Max Fischer

I find it funny that as fans we all bemoaned the awful calls against us the last couple games (and earlier this season), yet we’re angry when someone who can actually do something about it expresses the same feelings we share. Why are we mad at Arsene Wenger for questioning exactly what we’re all questioning and upset about it? Would we rather him shrug his shoulders and leave us voiceless? I don’t get the hate. Also, for the people saying he should be focusing on fixing the defense…you know he’s probably doing all that in training, right? I mean, you… Read more »


So why don’t ticket holders get a solicitor and sue PGMO and FA for colluding to defraud ticket purchasers? See what documents can be brought to light like emails, phone calls, bank records and PGMO’s weekly reviews of ref decisions.

Loo Roll Messi

There is a reason the PGMOL is a Limited company. If and when it comes to legal action, they fold and disappear.

A Different George

Well, because merely alleging something with absolutely no evidence will have your case dismissed and you ordered to pay the other sides’ legal costs.

Sean il liba

On 2 January 2014, Southampton F.C. made an official complaint and demanded an apology after accusing Mark Clattenburg of making an insulting remark to their midfielder Adam Lallana during their 2-1 defeat to Everton on 29 December 2013. The incident is alleged to have happened after Southampton had two penalty appeals turned down. Clattenburg is alleged to have said to Lallana: “You are very different now, since you’ve played for England – you never used to be like this. Despite the complaint being dismissed by the PGMOL,Southampton released a statement saying that they did not accept the verdict as the… Read more »


This should not deflect away from the fact that :

1) We need to be more unforgiving with our efforts in front of goal to make up for inherent flaws we have at the back

2) We need to iron out those flaws in concentration but also in defending as a proper unit over 90 + minutes.

Never mind the lousy refs.

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