It was not just the fact that Arsenal failed to score for the third Premier League game in a row this week that got under the skin of Arsene Wenger. It was clear for much of the disappointing draw with Southampton at the Emirates Stadium that our manager was less than impressed with some of the decisions of the referee Lee Mason and his assistants.
As reported by Sky Sports, the Frenchman lost his rag and blasted the official in the tunnel after the game, only for the Saints boss Ronald Koeman to get involved and the two bosses also had words. The Dutchman suggested that Wenger is always moaning about referees and that he was merely blaming Mason for the failures of the Arsenal players.
Is that fair? I know that Wenger has a reputation for bias but that is surely true of every player, coach and fan in the world. Did Wenger actually have a point? Well this was not the worst game we have seen on that front but I would say that the ref was very lenient throughout the game and as well as allowing the visitors to play a bit rough, he failed to produce yellow cards on a number of occasions.
Normally I would say that some refs are like that and we just need to get on with it, but when he booked Coquelin for his very first tackle I must admit I thought it was taking the mickey. And when he blew the final whistle a few seconds early as we were launching an attack I was a bit baffled as well.
Not really enough to launch a rant though, but I think that this because of a build up in Wenger’s frustration. The last two EPL games have seen us play against the two teams that benefited hugely against us with some shocking decisions. The Chelsea and Mike Dean debacle at Stamford Bridge and the three non goals give at St.Mary’s. So maybe Wenger thought Arsene were due a little tiny bit of help in the return games. I certainly did, how about you?