Opinion – Why I think referees should be accountable for many dropped Arsenal points

Premier League Refs Need to be Held Accountable

Here is the goddamn truth: there have been too many errors in the Premier League this season by referees and the most affected club has to be Arsenal.

Here is an Arsenal-specific list of many of those errors:

Two minutes into the game against Liverpool, Sadio Mane slapped Kieran Tierney across the face with no provocation. He was not sent off for what was a clear case of violent misconduct. We went on to lose the game 3-1 with a goal contribution from Mane. Additionally, Diogo Jota’s goal came off his arm and shouldn’t have stood.

Against Manchester City in the next game, Gabriel Maghalaes was caught by a high boot from Kyle Walker in the penalty box. It was ignored by both the referee and VAR.

The Leicester home defeat saw us start well and have an Alexandre Lacazette goal wrongly disallowed. Meanwhile, Manchester City scored against Aston Villa from a far worse and more obvious offside situation.

The Wolves defeat a week ago saw David Luiz wrongly sent off. It was a completely different game 11 v 11.

David Luiz

Bukayo Saka was hauled down by the last man against Aston Villa but was only rewarded with a yellow card and then Emi Martinez’s pulled Alexandre Lacazette to the ground and instead of a clear penalty, Aston Villa get the foul instead.

We went on to lose these games on the margins and could have been in a different situation had those calls been fairer.

This is not just an Arsenal problem. Only last week, two red cards against Bednarek and Soucek were subsequently rescinded despite the fact that VAR already reviewed the incidents in the match. It reeks of incompetence and maybe of corruption. Premier League referees are not doing well enough and Arsene Wenger had famously spoken out against it several different times.

The only quick fix has to be accountability. Every other aspect of the game has an element of accountability except for the crucial refereeing part. Why? Why are referees protected like little gods? Would this protection help them or make them more draconian?

Accountability is needed. An independent review board of refereeing performance is needed with both negative and positive incentives attached. Refs cannot govern themselves. That will be a sham. We need a powerful and independent review board now and not later.

Agboola Israel

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28 Comments

  1. instrooments says:

    Spot on..
    The next game man city is the one that bothers me, I hope the boys esp. Luiz, keep calm and avoid unnecessary red cards or PK…no trusting that shitty VAR

  2. gotanidea says:

    Another well-researched article from Agboola. The UK’s biggest economic decline in more than 300 years, the absence of the spectators at the stadium and the virus transmission fear seem to have badly affected the officials/ players/ coaches/ fans

  3. Joe Allysons says:

    I think the solution is for us to hear what the refs are saying like in rugby. In rugby, refs are mic tapped and we can hear every call they make, every thing players near them say. It makes the game a lot cleaner.
    After all, we copied VAR from them, why not mic taps? It’s not even that complicated. I’ve broadcasted rugby games before and had refs taped.

  4. Malaysian gunner says:

    I have been saying for along time that when Arsenal play the big clubs they will be playing against 13 if not 15 guys.
    These match officials shd be held accountable.
    However it shd start at the top. Until the ref chief holds them responsible, nothing can be done

    1. Jax says:

      It’s the refs chief (Riley) that’s the problem. He needs to go .

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Unfortunately, Mike Riley is Teflon coated and untouchable. Should a manager or club make a complaint about officials, no matter how reasonable, they are hit with a large fine. Given the money they generate for the FA, surely clubs should be able to hold officials to account.

  5. McLovin says:

    I don’t think Martinez pulled Laca down.. seemed like Laca leaned on him.. however that Konsa tackle on Saka.. why the hell wasn’t that a red? He was through on goal.

    Dont forget Fernandes stomp on Xhaka. And why didn’t Meslier get a yellow for his foul on Saka?

  6. John7 says:

    I tend to believe that it is sub-standard officiating that the premier league does little to address as it would upset their branding of the so-called best league in the world. Part of the problem is that football fans do not unite against the substandard decision-making as they are only concerned about their own club and enjoy goading to other teams so the criticism is watered down. I was reading comments by Southampton supporters after the Wolves penalty incident and they were claiming bias against their club. There is no evidence of corruption at this time although it has happened in other sports and it would not surprise me if there was a scandal in football on the horizon involving betting.

  7. Adajim says:

    I dont like to complain about ref decision because it’s like a sword with two edged, the decision might go against you or another favor you..
    However, use of VAR in EPL has not been fair. Because it’s not been serving the purpose. In some matches we see VAR spend over 2 months to review an offside but in other a controversial decision on red card and penalties are ignored, so why did we have VAR if same issues still occur. Ref are human, can make mistakes but now we agree technology should help cover this limitations, why do we refuse to use it. In the case mentioned, VAR didn’t review most of the issue, if ref didn’t see it, was VAR also blind? Aren’t we supposed to be viewing same match? How come fans and commentators saw them and VAR didn’t see. That’s where I sense foul play. We don’t need to hear what ref say, it’s part of fun of the game, but VAR needs to be consistent and do just what is required

  8. Dan kit says:

    Southampton appealed and won the red card decision against Liverpool ,next match wolves are given one of the most pathetic penalty’s I’ve seen against Southampton while Southampton had a clearer penalty appeal turned down .that to me stinks of corruption ,Southampton made them
    Look bad so next match the officials get their own back .
    Its as clear as day to me that cheating occurs among some of these decisions,if fans and pundits can see wrong decisions while matches are going on why can’t officials ,they have a bloody tv in front of them and countless angles and replays of the incidents.

  9. jon fox says:

    “And the most affected club has to be Arsenal”. And why? BECAUSE this is an Arsenal fan site. Go on other fan sites and see how often the fans of other rclubs think the same prejudiced nonsense appies against their club.

    Then sit down and think PROPERLY, and you will – assuming you are fair minded, which sadly most of you are not – see a clear pattern of bias by FOOTBALL FANS THEMSELVES.

    The miserable irony is that most are quite unable and/or unwilling to see that it is THEY THEMSELVES who are biased, NOT REFS!
    Refs make mistakes, accepted , Of course they do. But accusations of bias are accusations of cheating and that is a line I WILL NOT CROSS, AS BIAS ASIDE – WHICH YOU FIND AMONG ALL CLUBS- there is not shred of REAL evidence.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Jon, can you explain to me why Riley has made the PGMOL unaccountable to anyone!?
      Why VAR in THE PL is used differently to any other European country?
      Why the PGMOL has a bias of Northern referees in it’s rank and file?
      Why referees are nor allowed to be questioned regarding decisions that are viewed by pundits, fans and the media as wrong?
      Why some referees are seen to be given many more games involving individual clubs than others?

      The fact that you see no corruption in this, is your opinion of course, but until Riley is held accountable, along with his members, for wrong decisions, game after game after game, telling us that we are wrong, doesn’t mean a thing.
      Being biased and/or incompetent doesn’t matter, the fact that either has cost our club (not bothered about any other) dearly is the subject matter and Dean’s two rescinded red cards in a matter of days, show just how much this is affecting the league.
      If it’s not cheating or bias, let them be open
      accountable and prove it, just like any other profession.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Great points, ken.
        The other concern is the amount of betting/gambling involved in sports, including sponsorship.
        I can’t watch cricket with my 7 year old grandson, without being bombarded with gambling ads.

  10. fcrb 2008 says:

    There was a time when Mr. Dein was part of FA management as one of four representatives of the FA Premier League clubs. Has departed 2006 and thing became harder for AFC on pitch. Dein was replaced practically by D. Gill from manU. 15 years and still active in FA.
    Do you see the things more clearly ?
    Do tou know why manU has 20 penalties per season ?
    Occam’s razor – it’s very simply to answer WHY?

  11. Trudeau says:

    There is no corruption. Individual referees may be consciously or unconsciously biased but there is no conspiracy to get Arsenal – even though it sometimes feels to us like there is.

    Just breathtakingly high levels of incompetence. Breathtakingly high.

    I’m not sure which is worse.

  12. fcrb 2008 says:

    justin: why did U used “conspiracy” word ?
    No one mentioned nothing about that c-word.
    “Biased” is good enough for description.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Because conspiracy means more than one individual is involved – hence the article is talking about VAR and the referees both on and off the pitch.

      1. Jax says:

        True, but conspiracy suggests deliberate actions by more than one individual. This is all going a bit Untold and we’re better than that…much better.

  13. Sue says:

    OT.. Wow, some game between Barca and PSG… Mbappe!!! 👌

    1. Andrew Elder says:

      Fully agree Sue, one of the best non-crowd matches I have seen. You’re right about Mbappe, agree with Joe Cole, he’s probably World No. 1 at the moment and he is only 22!!!

      1. Sue says:

        He’s quite simply brilliant, Andrew.
        Seems like he’s been around forever!

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Brilliant Mbappe hat trick, Sue and Andrew. The finish for the third goal was superb.

          1. Sue says:

            It was indeed, Ozzie!

  14. Glorious says:

    Conspiracy against Arsenal FC, but no proof. But bias minds of referees against this club is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf. It can not be overlooked by fans.

  15. Durand says:

    Need a review body to rate and rank them. Drop the poor ones, promote others to the PL.

    Happens to clubs to ensure PL has best 20 teams, why not do the same to ensure the best refs?

    They have too much power and refs overseeing themselves is ridiculous.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      👍

  16. Joe. S says:

    Dodgy calls against Arsenal’s have been an ongoing issue, however it’s one that is best left alone. Just let your actions on the field do the talking. It should be something that also unites the team and fan base. They’re all against us. Complaining is futile. There is no proof of systematic corruption. It’s more of a deep rooted bias or envy that probably goes back to the 1930s and resurfaced during the Wegner years. Many of these refs are northern lads who despite themselves find it difficult to give the 50 – 50 calls to the team from North London.

  17. Danny says:

    Please stop using referee’s as a excuse for this Arsenal team are they to blame for many many years of failure every club could come up with this theory if they really wanted to but let’s get to the truth Arsenal football club is no longer a big club been in decline for several years we have a owner with no ambition other than to fill his own pockets we now have a manager that clearly is not up to the job after a year in charge still does not know his best team or formation and has weak players no leaders unfortunately there is no coming back from this we will never challenge for prem league title ever again and will struggle to compete for top 4 we will continue to be a mid table mediocre club!!

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