Is Arsene Wenger right? English referees are rubbish?

Arsenal have had very many dodgy refereeing decisions against them this season, and Arsene Wenger has not been backward in coming forward with his complaints against the quality of the decision-makers in many Arsenal games this year, and has been punished by the governing body of the FA with touchline bans. Le Prof famously said after we were beaten by Manchester City back in November: “I would say overall the referee made the decision today, with the soft penalty and the offside goal. But we are used to it when coming here, last year they had two offside goals, and once again, I feel they don’t work enough, because the level drops every season at the moment. Overall it’s unacceptable what happens.

“The physical level is very good, the decisions [are not]. At 2-1 we are in the game, and he gives a clear offside goal, and of course that kills the game for us.

“And if you see last year we conceded two offside goals as well, but of course they are a top team, but on top of that it makes things very difficult for you.”

Even after that Arsenal were the victim of Mike Read who gave West Brom a penalty in the last minute of the game when it was obviously not a handball, and there have been many more examples before and since then. So Wenger will not be surprised that FIFA have not appointed ANY Premier League referees to officiate at the World Cup this summer. FIFA confirmed its list of 36 referees and 63 assistants for the tournament yesterday and not one of the 99 are from England, despite all our officials being classed as professionals.

In the list of appointees there are refs from such far-flung places as Gambia, Bahrain, Egypt, Zambia and Bahrain, but none from the EPL. Does this signify that Wenger could be right after all? English referees ARE rubbish!



  1. Razah says:

    Or it could be the current tension between Russia and England.

    1. Tas says:

      I agree

      Despite what AW or admin thinks EPL refs are still some of the best and fare in the world

    2. dutchy says:

      Has nothing to do with Russia. Also not the first time.

  2. gotanidea says:

    Maybe, but only the FA can change it

    Besides, it would not be a problem if Wenger’s team can dominate in the games like Guardiola’s Manchester City. If an official decision costs the team a goal, they have to score more, if they are really a good team

  3. Kev says:

    Poor Mike Dean

  4. Innit says:

    So are French Managers
    Actually i shouldn’t judge all french managers based on Wenger
    Zidane, Dechamps, Blanc are good

  5. Me says:

    So that is the reason Arsenal are 33 points behind.
    Bad referees !
    Dear god does anyone take this man seriously ?

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      we could potentially be 9 or 12 pts up if the refereeing is good

      hence puting us in around the same with the other remaing big 6…..

      whether is 6 pts or 33 pts……2nd place is still a lost

      if leicester can win so can anyone

      all 19 other managers should be sacked with immediate effect

      1. jon fox says:

        Oh dear!

  6. Counsel says:

    I have no iota of doubt that Wenger contract will not be extended. Fans can see the rebuilding taking place the club started hiring a fitness coach,dof,chief scout,contract negotiator with these background changes Wenger is the next in line to be replaced .The club is heading in the right direction ,Wenger the father of the club wants to leave a strong foundation for the next manager

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      Father of the club??

  7. Sue says:

    Some of the refs are pretty dodgy yes

  8. ThirdManJW says:

    All leagues have good and bad referees, it’s political that’s there’s no English representation.

  9. AndersS says:

    Bad excuse. Refereeing may or may not be up to standard, but there is no clear tendency, that bad refereeing mostly goes against us.
    Our problem lies in, that even against bottom teams we give so many chances away, and we aren’t able to control games like other top teams. That makes us more vulnerable and if decisions or luck go against us, it has too much impact.

  10. jon fox says:

    To ask “Are English referees rubbish?” is such a laughably simplistic question as to be entirely worthless. Suppose the question instead read “Are men between 30 and 50 rubbish?” All Prem refs are men so that would be just as valid a question, that is, NOT at all valid. Suppose it were ALL women,ALL black people,ALL white peolpe,ALL gay people, ALL people who are under 5 feet 8 inches etc etc. You can surely see the idiocy and foolishness (or worse) of posing such a question. At least I hope you can. The bl….ng obvious answer to the original question is that some are poor, some better, some good and all other shades in between as well. Just like players. And managers too! These generic questions are really insulting our intelligence, I seriously suggest! TRULY EVOLVED PEOPLE JUDGE THE INDIVIDAL, NOT A GROUP TO WHICH HE OR SHE BELONGS. Examples: All Scots are mean; all Iriish are thick and other similar ignorant, bigoted, trash talk!

    1. GB says:

      Well said.

  11. Kenny Rolfe says:

    What the question should be, are all these northern English referees bias towards certain clubs? And the answer is yes, especially Arsenal. Lets be honest about this, Wengers been giving these northern referees a hard time for years, deservedly so in my book, therefore you would expect them to give him a hard time back, simple as that The fact that this years World Cup is the first since 1938 where an English referee has not been selected tells you everything about the quality of our officials. To me this must reflect on the head of referees, northerner, Mike Riley and all those northern clowns at the PGMOL and so therefore definitely time for Riley to be sacked. Oh, by the way, not one southern referee on the list.

    1. jon fox says:

      Kenny, Though we think alike on most Arsenal matters, we part company on your view of northern referees. As I said in my above post I think refs, like all other generic groups are made up of individuals, some of whom are more skilled than others. I also believe all are honest. For my money, comfortably the best is Michael Oliver. I just don’t agee that refs are biased. Some are not good enough, that is true but you are effectively calling them cheats, esp Northern ones(wherever you define the North starts and ends) and I say you are wrong!

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        You are right Jon, we do agree on most matters and I always enjoy debating with you but you know my feelings on this one. You also know that in the past I wrote to PGMOL asking them for an explanation on why they don’t appoint any southern referees and as the PGMOL do, chose to ignore my very polite email. I then wrote to the football ombudsman, who, to his credit, had the decency to reply to my email with”I see nothing sinister on this occasion” even though, I pointed out, that 90% of referees live between 10 and 20 minutes from Mike Riley. Also Jon, while we’re talking about Riley, a former referee, famous for ending the Invincibles 49 match unbeaten run by awarding a disgraceful penalty against Sol Campbell after a Wayne Rooney dive and for also giving 11 penalties in 11 games to Ruud van Nistelroy in the days when Manchester United were Arsenal’s only challengers and we’ve not even started talking about Mike Dean from Merseyside who told the BBC that he was a Tranmere Rovers supporter after giving several bad decisions against Everton but recently was forced to admit to being Liverpool fan. I told you before Jon that I wouldn’t use the word crooked anymore because I know you never liked that term but surely Jon something’s going on here. In the end all I can say is the sooner they appoint some southern referees and get Mike Riley out of his job as referee supremo the better.

        1. Kenny Rolfe says:

          Select group of referees Martin Atkinson West Yorkshire
          Stuart Atwell Warwickshire
          Mike Dean Merseyside
          Roger East Wiltshire
          Kevin Friend Leicestershire
          Mike Jones Cheshire
          Bobby Madley West Yorkshire
          Andre Marriner West Midlands
          Lee Mason Lancashire
          Jonathon Moss West Yorkshire
          Michael Oliver Durham
          Craig Pawson South Yorkshire
          Lee Probart Wiltshire
          Graham Scott Oxfordshire
          Neil Swarbrick Lancashire
          Anthony Taylor Cheshire
          Paul Tierney Lancashire

          1. Kenny Rolfe says:

            To go with that list, only 3 of 27 linesman are from the south the rest from the north and for anyone that’s interested the north starts from the midlands

  12. Gunner22 says:

    Wenger has been proven right again! You cannot suppress the truth.Bad refereeing cost us games and points, year after year.we’ve got a ref from Bahrain and not England!!Rather than slating Wenger, see where the problem lies.

    1. Break-on-through says:

      Maybe if Wenger spent more time highlighting the good decisions and saying how fair they can be compared to other nations that he worked in, maybe we’d have gotten an edge without realizing it. Pep knows how to play the game on and off the field, Wenger encourages bad calls, he dares them.

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        Agree with you Break-on-through. You’d think a man with his intelligence would see the benefits of being polite to referees. Seems to me, he may have a degree in economics. but when it comes to a little bit of psychology, he’s got a lot to learn.

  13. auba arsenal of Lagos says:

    some of you kept referring to our club in terms of the bad officiating.but you all failed to consider other games.theres hardly a weekend of English football when you won’t see bad officiating or bad calls from referees.ive been saying it since the day our unbeaten ended against man u that English referees are biased and likes getting into the spotlights.howard web basically allowed Reyes be kicked around on the ball by the Neville brothers and never gave a free kick.several games where our technically gifted players are vividly kicked around the pitch and the referees say we are too it. I can guarantee you the English referees will be the first ones to abuse the v.a.r

  14. Break-on-through says:

    Wenger has played the game badly concerning referees. Put yourself in a refs shoes, you’re listening to Wenger for almost 90 min badgering you when being a fourth official. Then you are reffing an important game and you have the power to stick the boot in, not many of us could put all our differences to one side, even subconsciously you will lean one way on tight decisions. Wenger does us no favors the way he hounds at them over everything whether right or wrong.

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      Again Break-on-through I have to comment on your 100% correct post. It is those tight decisions that continually go against us. For example, if we’re attacking and our player goes down in the box and it’s 50/50 decision, 9 times out of 10 the ref won’t give, if we’re defending and their player goes down in the box and it’s a 50/50 decision, 9 times out 10 he’ll give it, because .the referee thinks, ok Mr Wenger, it’s pay back time.

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