Fans of Arsenal are not alone in being left frustrated on a regular basis by the decisions of the referees and their assistants. There is always an element of bias in the way we see things but there is also a lot of inconsistency from the officials.
Take Saturday for example, when our Spanish defender was penalised for the merest touch of legs with the onrushing Watford forward Richarlison. As an earlier post here on Just Arsenal reported, top ref Mark Clattenburg says it was correct because of that contact and that would be okay if it was going to be given like that every time.
Clattenburg said, “It was the correct decision to award the penalty as there was contact between him and Hector Bellerin, that wasn’t initiated by the forward.”
Earlier in the match, however, Welbeck was barged into by a defender who did not touch the ball after the Arsenal striker had but that was called good defending, so you can see the inconsistency and why it angers players and managers so much.
The fact that former EPL referee Graham Poll took the opposite view, as reported by Metro, and reckons that Richarlison should be retrospectively punished for diving just highlights the problem of consistency.
He said, ‘First time through at full speed, it didn’t look right to me, my gut feeling was it was not a foul.
‘It’s deception. There’s no contact, he throws his legs out, that’s a clear dive.
‘The FA will need their review panel to look at that. There should be a two-match ban coming.’
So what would have made it clear to the ref at Watford that it was not a pen? Perhaps Bellerin doing the old defensive trick of getting front and going down when the forward runs into you. Then we get a free kick, no?
Poor old Hector was on the wrong side of another poor decision this season, when he was taken out by a Stoke defender but got nothing. He did not ask for it with much gusto, though, and perhaps if he had done a Ronaldo and rolled a few times or got up and demanded the spot kick it may just have made the difference.
I think that officials like to take the easy route if possible, so make it easier for them when defending and make them make a decision when attacking. Do these two penalty calls that went against Arsenal suggest Bellerin needs to wise up a bit?