Arsene Wenger is now officially at war with the FA and the Referees Association. The Arsenal boss has now been tasked by the FA with explaining his new comments after the Chelsea game, when he complained that Anthony Taylor gave Eden Hazard a penalty and accused the referees of carrying out a vendetta against Arsenal.
He was asked this morning about the new charges and he admitted he had been asked, and then went on to declare that Hazard should have been booked for diving instead. “First of all, yes I’ve been asked,” he stated. “I maintain what I said in the press conference, 100 per cent. I have nothing to change in that. Nothing has changed. I’ve been in England for 21 years and I’ve tried to serve this game with honesty, integrity and when I have something to say, I say it. On that front, nothing will change. Never.
“I respect everybody’s opinion but I think it was a yellow card for Hazard, 100 per cent. I have a right to have my opinion, and I respect everybody’s opinion.”
Asked to clarify whether he still felt the decision was ‘farcical’ as he had said after the game, and he replied: “100%”.
Wenger has already maintained that he will defend his charges relating to the penalty that Mike Dean gave to West Brom on New Years Eve, and it would seem that he is going to stick to his guns on this one as well, even though it is not quite so clearcut as the handball given against Calum Chambers. He said about Mike Dean: “He saw what he wanted to see and we have to deal with that.”
He also said that Arsenal always seemed to be treated harshly on a regular basis. when he said: “When opinions always go the same way it’s coincidence. Statistically it’s built on the fact that when it’s repeated it’s not coincidence.”
There were also many pundits watching the Chelsea game alleging that Jack Wilshere should also have been booked for diving during the match, but Wenger declared that to be irrelevant. “Yes, maybe he did but why should that change my opinion on the penalty? It’s got nothing to do with it.
“Every situation is different and has to be assessed by the referee. After that, you have your opinion and I have mine. I’ve been in the game long enough to know that everybody can have a different opinion.”
It is certainly true that everyone is entitled to an opinion, but is he right to say that the referees have a conspiracy against Arsenal specifically, when Taylor allowed a similar allegation against Wilshere to go unpunished?
It is a very difficult moral issue. What do you think?