Arsene Wenger must be wondering what he has done to deserve this, or be wondering why the Premier League officials seem intent on doing anything they can to stop Arsenal from winning the title this season. It is getting beyond a joke now, as almost every match day seems to throw up another dodgy decision that either punishes us or helps our direct rivals.
So after losing to Swansea thanks to two goals that should not have stood, it was the turn of Michael Oliver yesterday in the north London derby and his decision to keep the yellow card in his pocket when the Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier blatantly hauled back Olivier Giroud by the shirt.
The ref was right on top of the incident and he definitely saw it because he gave a free kick but why no booking? The only reason I can see is that Dier was already on a booking and I personally do not mind the officials being lenient as long as they are consistent and Oliver had no hesitation earlier in the game when Francis Coquelin fouled Harry Kane. Coquelin’s was a bookable offence and nobody was complaining when he got a second yellow, including Arsene Wenger with his post match comments reported by Sky Sports.
The boss said, “I can complain that Eric Dier wasn’t sent off. I didn’t see a reason why he didn’t send him off. I couldn’t understand it.
“He [Oliver] looked ruthless with us and suddenly comprehensive with Tottenham. I think referees should come in the press conference after the game. We are questioned and they should be too. Maybe he could give you an answer.”
That was quite a reserved response in the circumstances and it is not as if Wenger is constantly sniping at the officials like Jose Mourinho did to get their collective backs up. But it seems painfully obvious that we are not on a level playing field here. I have a feeling that Dier would have been sent off if Alexis Sanchez had not just levelled for Arsenal.
Am I being paranoid here or do the Gunners keep coming up against 12 men in every EPL game we play?