Arsene Wenger did not go the whole hog and blame the fact that Arsenal were held to a draw by Hull City today on the referee Mike Dean, probably because he was worried about being punished by the football authorities for criticism of their seemingly untouchable officials.
But as the live FA cup feed on the BBC has reported, the Frenchman did make a reference to the decisions of our old friend Mister Dean. He had good reason to as well because even though the referee was not as blatantly biased against the Gunners as he was in the match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and in other previous games, he did deny us two good claims for a penalty.
Replays clearly showed that Alex Bruce had moved his hand towards the ball when he blocked a shot early in the game. And after waving away a not so clear call for a foul on Welbeck in the box he failed to award another spot kick which we should have got for a trip on Chambers. Both of the BT sport pundits after the game agreed that Arsenal should have had the two penalties and they are not usually on our side.
But Wenger did not dwell too long on this aspect of the game and gave credit to Hull for their dogged defending while also suggesting that the Gunners should have done better in the creating and finishing of chances. And he admitted that having to fit in an FA cup replay is not at all what we wanted.
He said, “No not especially good news [having replay] but Hull defended very well. We were not incisive or accurate enough in our passing in the final third. As long as they did not concede, they maintained with how they played. We had 20 shots, 70% possession but no goals.
“I cannot influence the referee’s decisions, only the technical quality of my team. If we have no injuries, we can cope with the fixtures.
“I think FA Cup replays is a particularity of the English rules and you have to respect that.
“The Hull goalkeeper was outstanding and kept them in the game. It would have been decided with them or us scoring a goal.”
It took the Frenchman some time after the game to give his post match interview, so do you think he had much harder words for his players in the dressing room or was he trying to build them up for Barcelona after this disappointment?