Arsene Wenger Hits Out at Officials, Festive Period Scheduling


Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger saw his big day ruined by very questionable officiating, and after the fact he did not restrain his opinions. Wenger was fuming, and deservedly so, as his side dropped two points in the 89′ of the Frenchman’s record setting match.

Wenger was managing his 811th Premier League match (moving him one above Sir Alex Ferguson), and on his way to winning when referee Mike Dean awarded West Bromwich Albion a penalty kick, and Jay Rodriguez subsequently equalized from the spot.

Dean pointed to the spot after former Arsenal man Kieran Gibbs hit the ball at the arm of Calum Chambers from close range inside the box.

In the eyes of Dean though, Chambers was the guilty party.

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Arsenal got very lucky to score the other goal in the match, and they weren’t exactly in top form on this day, but they did enough to win. After the match, Wenger hit out at both the officials and the festive period fixture congestion.

“What can you do – talk and talk and talk but it doesn’t change anything,” the Gunners boss said in a television interview.

“The Premier League does face a problem with the scheduling and referees. I tried hard with referees to help them become professional. The level of the referees unfortunately doesn’t go up. It’s not the first time it happened but it’s best we don’t talk about it.

“I believe West Brom had five days to prepare and we had three. The Premier League has to look at when the schedule is fair and unfair, on our side it’s unfair. Since the start of the season you have to look at it.”

He was then asked if VAR would have gotten this situation right. In his response, Wenger said the time has come to implement the technology.

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“It is time. I don’t know why we want to be the best league in the world and wait this time and other leagues use it already,” Wenger told the interviewer at The Hawthorns.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC and Chicago, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

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