Arsenal fans and Arsene Wenger have had our fair share of moans about the Premier League officials over the years and often with good reason. And for a team that has often been filled with creative, technically adept but not necessarily physical players, the Gunners disciplinary record has been pretty poor.
But we have put that right in recent years and at the same time, the manager has reined back his criticism of the refs, even when things have not gone our way and they have made a costly mistake. To be fair to them, it is a tough job and it is not made any easier by modern players and their theatrics, or by the managers heaping extra pressure on.
So I think they appreciate Wenger´s new approach, unlike the ridiculous claims of the Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho. Never a man to see any side of an argument but his own, Jose has continually blasted referees since coming back to England, while his team are one of the worst offenders when it comes to bending the rules and trying to con the officials.
And we saw that backfire on them last year, prompting Mourinho to up the stakes with his talk of an orchestrated campaign. The refs must have loved that and they did seem to get harder on Chelsea afterwards. That is probably why the Chelsea boss has tried to be nice to them before the start of the new season, as reported by The Mirror.
He said, “I will be the same as always. Understanding the very difficult job they have, having lots of respect and being emotional as always because that’s my way.
“I will accept mistakes – but not accepting of a lot of mistakes. Mistakes are a part of the game but a lot of mistakes are not. I’m emotional and this game doesn’t allow us to make lots of mistakes because we are punished for that.”
Even then he is putting pressure on and if I was a ref I would take his words with a massive pinch of salt. I fully expect the BPL officials to be hard on them again this season and be very wary of their diving, overreacting and fouling and if this is the case, it should give Arsenal a little edge in our attempt to win the title. Do you think the refs will help us at all?