As an Arsenal fan I often find myself left fuming by a decision from a referee or one of his assistants which goes against us. I really feel that recent years have been harsh on the Gunners in this respect, both in the Champions League and the Premier League.
At the same time, though, I think we can understand that we are not completely impartial when it comes to our own club, so we can see the same sort of incident in one way if it happens to us and another way if it happens to another team.
We do know the rules, though, and have to accept it when, say, a goal we really wanted is ruled offside correctly, as Mustafi’s header against Chelsea was this weekend. Perhaps and probably it is even harder for a football manager to see these incidents without bias as it can make a huge difference to their careers.
Wenger recently claimed that Arsenal were not getting the rub of the green from the officials and the defeat at Stoke gave him good reason, but did the Chelsea boss Antonio Conte also have good reason to suggest his team has been treated unfairly in their last three games Competitive against us?
The Italian told Sky Sports he thought it was very hard luck that Chelsea have been reduced to 10 men in their last three games against Arsenal, with David Luiz joining Pedro from the Community Shield clash and Willian from the FA cup final in taking an early bath.
Conte said, “I don’t talk about the referees, but the only thing I can say is we need to see what happened before the tackle.
“I repeat that we have great respect for them. But sometimes, it is very strange to finish for the third time in a row with 10 men against Arsenal.
“For sure it’s strange. A strange situation. I was a player and it can happen, this type of period and you are not so lucky to receive these red cards.
“I think we have to try to improve all the situations physical, tactical and we will try to pay more attention in the future.
“I hope to be more lucky with the referee’s decision, for us and also for the opponent. Sometimes the opponent deserves a red card and instead they continue to play with 11 men.”
Has he got a point do you think? It is a bit odd but could it be that Chelsea are over stepping the bounds too often? It was not too long ago, after all, that Gabriel and then Cazorla saw red against them while Diego Costa stayed on the pitch, so is this just a matter of luck evening out?