“I think we were not very good and the referee was at our level.”
Arsene Wenger’s words not long after the final whistle summed up the feeling of most Arsenal fans in the wake of the north London derby on Saturday.
Taking charge of the game was Martin Atkinson who, out of our last four matches, had the worst game of all the referees.
Booking Arsenal players as Tottenham players dived, Atkinson bought just about everything Spurs offered him with a massive smile on his face while allowing Ryan Mason a free pass to kick his way around the pitch, booking him only for blocking a freekick from being taken quickly.
Danny Rose was another who could have seen a number of yellow cards, not least for his stamp on Giroud’s Achilles that didnt’ even warrant a freekick.
He allowed tackles from Spurs to go unpunished throughout the course of the game and at one point even went to give them a freekick when Aaron Ramsey was bundled over causing him to fall into another Spurs player. The ref chose to play advantage to Spurs instead.
Then there was the no-call which could have seen Arsenal awarded a penalty when the score was just 1-1 as Per Mertesacker was hauled down in the box.
As we’ve seen all-too-often this season, this was another display in which the referee booked Arsenal players for ‘fouls’ he wasn’t even giving to Arsenal while ignoring more serious offences by the home side.
At least his linesman, Stephen Child, got the call on the Ozil goal right despite BT insisting that it was controversial as the German’s toenail was in an offside position.
Atkinson’s display wasn’t the worse we’ve seen this season but it was the worst we’ve seen since we started doing these reports a few weeks ago and, given that those included features on Mike Dean and Anthony Taylor, that’s really nothing to be proud off, Marty.
To make matters worse, Arsene Wenger will most likely receive a touchline ban for his comments while Atkinson will be free to take charge of the next round of matches.