Can Arsene Wenger win his war on referees with over-the-top allegations?

Arsene Wenger is continuing his all out war on referees as Arsenal conceded yet another penalty against Chelsea, which Wenger has declared was ‘farcical’, even though the video clearly shows Hector Bellerin’s kick hitting Eden Hazard’s leg. Even Thierry Henry admitted that if there is contact then it is clear. “He doesn’t touch the ball, he connects with him, so it’s a penalty,”

Bellerin himself did not deny the charge: “He’s always very quick in the box,” Bellerin admitted. “I saw the ball in the air and I tried to challenge for it. We both went for the ball at the same time and the referee thought it was a penalty, so we’ll have to see the replay.”

Some people may think that Hazard made a meal of it, but the fact remains that the Belgian was kicked, with the ball nowhere near the defender, and it was clearly in the penalty area. I don’t think it could be considered even a 50/50 decision where Wenger could ‘call the ref’s integrity into question’ and it certainly could not be called ‘farcical’ and be used as evidence of a vendetta against Arsenal by the officials.

But the penalty given to West Brom last week is a different matter, where Wenger is totally right to complain about Mike Dean’s decision, and the boss was adamant that he will defend himself against the FA Charge when asked. “Sorry? 100 per cent.” Wenger replied. “You can listen to every interview I said, and I stick to everything I said without any problem. I am 35 years in football, I know what I say after the game and I stand up for what I said. No problem.”

Wenger is right to contest that, but calling every single penalty decision against us as proof that there is a hidden agenda is surely taking conspiracy theories just a bit too far. If anything it is Wenger’s over-the-top reaction to last night’s decision could be considered farcical by many people.

Darren N


  1. Jake says:

    I agree, then every shoulder barge or tackle made in the box should be given as a penalty. It’s simple. That was a matter of 2 players going for the ball and we all know Hazard made a meal of it. Hence that’s simulation. Hector’s a defender and he has the right to legally challenge for any ball in his box, cos that’s what’s he ought to do. Officials should be more sensible in such situations.

  2. Nayr says:

    arsenal apparently want aubameyang to replace alexis.

    from skyitaly.

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      Oh Nayr please tell me that’s true and where did you read it. I’ve wanted Pierre Emerick Aubameyang for the last three or four years. As I’ve said before, the nearest thing I’ve seen to the great man Henry

      1. jon fox says:

        Me too Kenny. And me. And me. I’m Spartacus; no, I’m Spartacus, etc etc. But it won’t happen as we surely all know only too well.

        1. Kenny Rolfe says:

          Under Wenger Jon, I would agree with you, but I think there’s changes in the air now with “Diamond Eye” and the other fellow, Hopefully the dinosaur is not calling all the shots anymore, It wouldn’t surprise me

  3. ThirdManJW says:

    I thought it was a pen, and we got one exactly the same at the Emirates, either this season or last season, can’t remember which. Our player got to the ball just as the opposing player went to kick the ball, so then the opposing player caught our player. I wonder what Wenger made of that one?

    Great tactic of Wenger though to focus on the penalty incident, thus deflecting attention away from the fact our defence gave up a whopping THREE ONE-ON-ONES in the same game!! Morata must be an Arsenal fan! So even if we thought Hazard cheated (which he didn’t, although he made a meal of it), we still had a huge amount of luck last night. In fact, when you consider how badly we defend, and how many clear cut goal scoring opportunities with give away in games, I would argue we’re the luckiest team in the division, because opposing offensive players kept messing up these easy chances. Chelsea easily should have scored five, Liverpool recently should have got five/six against us.

    1. jon fox says:

      Third Man, You and I and fair minded fans know it, but those “one eyed see no wrong with Wenger” fans will never accept your totally true comment. It is they who are preventing the club from sacking this fraudulent manager and his “deflection ” tactics. IF they joined with the sensible fans in calling for Wengers head, and all Gooners were thus in unity in wanting him out , and said so , LOUDLY AND OFTEN, the club would by now have acted. These fools make me furious, since I love our club and despise the sheer stupidity and wilful blindness of those, a dwindling number, who still revere him.

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        I completely agree. Yes we were good in midfield, and attack, but the defending is shocking, and it’s getting worse! We’ve now got a ‘complete’ attack in my opinion, of Ozil, Sanchez, and Lacazette, and yet the results are worse than ever! It’s amazing that people cannot see our issues are tactical, especially from a defensive perspective…and that comes from the manager!

        This is why I want Simeone. Yes, he may not play an exiting brand of football, but he’ll sort out the defence, and he can work on a smaller budget than what Wenger has (for all those fans that say it’s all about the money).

        1. jon fox says:


          1. Kenny Rolfe says:

            I would also like Simeone, very similar George Graham, lets get back to a well drilled defence with attacking flair.

        2. Thebush says:

          No exciting brand of football???
          Then I for one don’t want it at the Arsenal, full stop.

      2. pires says:

        we accept that wenger is At FAULT in MANY ASPESCTS .It’s the ABUSE he’s getting which is unfair.AND the toxic atmosphere created by some fans with banners and protests.

        1. Lance says:

          Pires. This is interesting coming from you who made a racist comment about African referees the other day.

  4. Steven says:

    Contact in the penalty area does not mean that a penalty should necessarily be awarded. A penalty should only be given if 1) the challenge is illegal, 2) it is initiated by the defender 3) it significantly impedes the striker. Bellerin did make slight contact with the sole of Hazard’s boot but not so as to impede him significantly. He certainly didn’t catch him on the shin, which Hazard was clutching when he went down. The test is this: would the referee have given a free kick if the incident had happened anywhere else on the pitch? I don’t believe so.

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      Agree Steven, but penalty or not there’s one thing for certain, Hazard is the biggest culprit for diving in the Premier League

  5. john hodges says:

    im ffed up with henreys comments

    1. Sue says:

      Only because he helps manage the Belgium team!!

  6. Nothing changed says:

    It was a soft penalty but a penalty none the less. It could easily not have been given but it was not outrageous that it was given.

    1. McLovin says:

      Mustafi was marginally offside against Spurs but it was not given, easily could have given..

      These calls will even out at the end of the season so when we finish 6th, we all know it is not because of bad refereeing rather than static management.

      1. jon fox says:

        True comment EXCEPT that we don’t ALL see it is “not because of bad refereeing etc… ” Most of us do but there are a number of “one eyed, unfair, see no evil, idiots” who are wilfully blind . THEY SHARE THE SAME PARANOIA AND OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY SYNDROME THAT WENGER DOES.

        1. Kenny Rolfe says:

          Jon, for someone in the past whose openly criticised the standard of refereeing in the Premier league is there ever going to be day when you say the ref made a bad decision. Sorry but I’m with Ivan on this one and the fact that Wenger brings these decisions on himself

          1. jon fox says:

            Kenny, I don’t want you to get a wrong impression of what I think about refs. Mostly they are very bad, some like Dean are dreadfUl . Yes, Dean made a howler at WBA but that howler does not explain the teams abject display as we all know. But my whole point was NOT about refs at all but about Wenger and his paranoia with most of them. And also on how he uses his down on refs as an excuse for our poor play, very often. I say Wenger is two faced; complaining bitterly when he feels refs have cheated him, which mostly they clearly do not do; they make bad mistakes but NOT cheat. But when we get the benefit of a poor decision against our opponents, which we do if you look across many games, Wenger says nothing – like Mustafis close but offside goal against Spuds,- and so he wants it both ways. THAT IS NOT HONOURABLE AND NOR IS HE. THAT BRINGS OUR CLUBS NAME INTO DERISION AND DISRESPUTE. We should not be hypocrites and stand by while this childish and cowardly behaviour goes on and just pretend it is OK. It is NOT OK.

        2. Thebush says:

          What about the penalty not given against Moses? If the ref was fair then he should’ve given us that one too!!!

    2. SuperClaes says:

      The thing I don’t read is….Bellerin should never challenge for a lose ball like that in the penalty as no immediate danger and Hazard is going away from the goal!!!

  7. Ivan says:

    Personally I did not think it was a penalty but I think Wenger is embarrassing himself and Arsenal with his childish behavior.
    And he has no chance of beating the system so a small fine for him.

    1. pires says:

      for once i agree with you mate. wenger has to fix the problems of the team instead of critcizing the refs

      1. Ivan says:

        We agree on a point. That is a good thing and may there be more!

        1. Ivan says:

          Thumbs down for saying I hope I agree with someone more often?

      2. jon fox says:

        Wow! pires, this is now the seond time I have agreed with something you have said. KEEP THE COMMON SENSE COMING. It is very welcome!

  8. tas says:

    off topic = According to the study, the Gunners have £766million worth of fixed assets – following their move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium – more than any other club in world football.

    Only Manchester United have more money in the bank (£307m) than Arsenal’s £300m.

    The north London club also have the lowest net debt (£8m) of any other team from England, with Chelsea’s £800m recorded as the largest of clubs in the top 100.

    1. Manchester City
    2. Arsenal
    3. PSG
    4. Guangzhou Evergrande
    5. Tottenham
    6. Real Madrid
    7. Manchester United
    8. Juventus
    9. Chelsea
    10. Bayern Munich
    11. Zenit St Petersburg
    12. RB Leipzig
    13. Barcelona
    14. LA Galaxy
    15. Atletico Madrid
    16. Liverpool
    17. Borussia Dortmun

    i have been saying for years we have shi7 loads of money

    1. Ivan says:

      I saw this too. Shame it is all in Kroenke’s pocket.

    2. tas says:

      With our fixed asset worth 766 Million GBP and our players worth probably around the same value also income of around 400M a year we can easily borrow (and pay back) 500M add that to 300M in the bank = 800M which is the same as Chelsea owe, that’s two Messi’s and two Ronaldo’ws and keep Ozil and Sanchez job done and we will have change left over for the silver polish for the trophy room

      1. Ivan says:

        @ tas
        If I owned the club I’d sack Gadzidis and give you the job as you have a better understanding than him.

        1. Tas says:

          ??? you would have to pay me more ??

          1. Ivan says:

            ????? Are you sure he’s on £2.0 mil not a bad salary.

          2. Tas says:

            I wouldn’t get out of bed for 2m ??

        2. jon fox says:

          My cat also has a better understanding than Gazidis. Now Tiddles would be quite happy for tas to be our CEO, but he draws the line at Gazidis.

    3. SuperClaes says:

      Where do you get 300 million? Last set of accounts showed 180 million!

      What is the list Showing?

      After missing out on Champions Leugue you will release what effect it has on profit and cash balance….

      In any case Wenger has wasted so much money on unnecessary salaries over last decade so advantage of Emirates is now gone.

      1. Tas says:

        The report says it and all the calculation for the last few years incom and outgoings surplus cash,

        We might of not qualify for the CL but we are one of a few teams who made profit from seling and signing this summer

  9. Colin says:

    To third man ,I 100 percent agree ,well said.

  10. jon fox says:

    Congratulations Darren N on writing the plain truth on Wengers paranoia about refs. This arrogant, “I ALWAYS KNOW BEST AND NO ONE ELSE KNOWS ANYTHING” so called manager is a dismal joke and totally away with the fairies on this ref blaming. We win some, we lose some but when we win, he either “does not see it” or argues black is white. He has not the first idea or intention of ever being fair minded. He pretends that all refs are always against Arsenal and never mentions that bad decisions are everywhere. He blames refs for the fact he is a crap manager with zero idea of how to set up, organise or coach defence. Our current defence- if you can call it that- is BY FAR the worst we have had in his 21 years and most fans know it. ALL fair minded fans know it. To deflect from his terrible managing he uses this refs debate , and manages to con the section of one eyed fans that all clubs have , but not us fair minded ones who can see right through his deception, and thus keep at least some who sympathise with him. They are not over bright for certain, to put up with his deceptions and take the part of a man who year by long , tedious, year is steadily ruining our club and taking us further and still further away from the top strata. A fair minded manager would admit that our so called defence with the ruinous and way out of his depth Chambers was dead lucky we did not get hammered by 3 clear goals against Chelsea( mainly thanks to Moratas rubbish finishing) even though, overall we did deserve a draw, since Chelsea were also rubbish at the back. Both teams were, goalies excepted.

  11. Sandeep says:

    Still with modernisation in every sports, using technology, EPL should also use review system at least in penalty area.what you think guys.goal line technology is good success.

  12. Joseph says:

    Wenger is right

  13. nosa says:

    for now only city is wealthier than us. y are we scared of buying u and Chelsea are the most indebted yet they buy quality players,we need abermyan and dybala,tony cross, modrid

  14. GB says:

    Looked s pen to me, but I’m surprised the question of Jack still being on the pitch to score the opening goal has not really been mentioned.
    He could easily have been sent off earlier in the game.

    1. Ivan says:

      It was a good “Tom Daley” style dive.

  15. Ken 1945 says:

    Sorry, but have I missed something? Who is/was Jon Fox managing in the premier league? Come to that, what was the last premier league game he took control of?
    With his “absolute and complete knowledge” of how a premier team should be run/managed/refereed perhapss the anti weger brigade have finally found their messiah.
    Who knows, he could do better than three FA cup wins in the last four years, three community shield wins in the last four years, twenty years of champions league participation and overseeing the building of a magnificient stadium that has propelled us into the top five clubs in the world, All I can say is this, after supporting Arsenal for over sixty years Arsene Wenger is the best their was, the best their is and the best their ever will be and despite numerous attempts to organise protests against him the anti wenger brigade has always failed miserably. Thank you Arsene for being loyal to our club and its philosophy and thank you to the massive majority of Gooners who believe in him.
    Just one negative from me…it seems that our defence is the problem, so why on earth don’t the likes of Jon Fox question Steve Boulds contribution to the club and how does he justify his position?
    Thanks Arsene and keep up your crusade against the likes of Mike Reilly and his crooked brigade.

    1. Ivan says:

      The last sentance was on topic if a little mad.

      1. Ken 1945 says:

        Please just read again the tirade of abuse that Jon Fox is writing with regard to the most succesful manager in our clubs history and then tell me if he is on topic.
        I would also ask you to look at the decisions that Dean has given against Arsenal, especially the the game against Chelsea when Gabriel was sent off. That decision was recinded of course and Costa was banned for three games for violent conduct. Dean was refereeing a premier league game the next week. I believe that Arsene is right when he says this referee sees what he wants to see (and that is always against the Arsenal).Who was refereeing the Man Utd game that ended our 49 game run and what are your views regarding that penalty?
        Finally, instead of ignoring the points I put forward with a throw away comment, why don’t you at least attempt to answer them? After all, we are still awaiting the credentials of Mr Fox.

        1. Thebush says:

          Well said Ken, love the comments

        2. Kenny Rolfe says:

          For your information Ken it was PGMOL chief Mike Riley from West Yorkshire who refereed the game in 2004 which ended Arsenal’s unbeaten run of 49 matches

          1. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Don’t worry you may have got Mike Dean mixed up with Mike Riley but I fully agree with your post

          2. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Actually after reading your earlier post, you didn’t mix up , my apologies

        3. Ivan says:

          @ Ken 1945
          Your thing with the refs is enitirely within your right and indeed on topic. For the record I think the refs in England our amongst the worst in the world.
          As for your thing with Jon that is between you and him and he certainly does not need me to speak for him.
          With regard to Wenger there are quite a lot of us who are fed up with him. He has not even competed in the league since 2004. Since then he has been woeful.

  16. Ken 1945 says:

    Thanks for the reply and I agree with your comments regarding Jon and myself.I do find it intriguing that he hasn’t come forward with his portfolio as a successfull premier league manager and premier league referee yet but let’s wait and see.
    I would like to take you up on your point about not having competed in the league since 2004/5 when we finished 2nd
    So it seems you forgot about the 15/16 season when you used your benchmark of 04/05 and it must have slipped your memory that we were champions in03/04.
    My question to you is do you really believe that the above stats plus the new stadium plus the FA cup wins and community shield wins plus 20 years of champions league participation should be looked upon as failure?
    Our last four home games have seen some fantastic football against our nearest and dearest opponents and if it wasnt for the fact that we came up against the top two keepers in the country, we might have been five points better off. Also with better refs we would have had another two points as a minimum.
    We certainly do have issues with our defence, but (as I noted before) Steve Bould is being paid to sort that out and that is where we, as supporters, should be asking questions. I remember the names being put forward to replace Arsene by the likes of Jon (Moyes is an example). Be careful what you wish for and please look at the stats before belittling the magnificient results of Arsene Wenger and his teams.

    1. Ivan says:

      1) We were never in competition at the business end of any of those seasons.
      2) We are getting worse each season. (5th last 6th this season?)
      3) Stadium the brainchild and seen through by Danny Fizman, David Dein and Ken Friar.
      4) Community Shield is not a competition.
      5) FA Cup is a devalued competition where teams do not play their first team. Also last year highlighted it is not much of an achievement. We beat 2 non league teams, 1 championship team, Southampton who made 10 changes, Man City where we benefitted from a dodgy decision and Chelsea who had been partying following their title win.
      I have noted from your earlier post you are a long standing fan as am I. We are not going to persuade each other to change our opposing views on Wenger as it is pointless for me to try me to persuade my wife to change her views on Brexit or friends on who they vote. That does not mean though that we cannot respect each other and get on anyway as I do with my wife and my friends. And in the spirit of a New Year I wish you well.

    2. Lance says:

      Ken1945. Whose job it is to ensure that Bould does his work efficiently? Wenger’s of course. So blame him for our shambolic defence.

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