Arsene Wenger has criticised the Premier League for failing to adopt VAR ahead of the new season after watching his side lose 2-1 at St James’ Park on Sunday.
During the game Arsenal had a call for a penalty turned down when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s shot hit the raised and outstretched hand of Jamaal Lascelles. Nothing was given and after the game, Wenger was asked about the incident.
“The referee is the referee,” Wenger replied.
“What you want is to have the referees. Unfortunately the Premier League has again decided not to go for VAR and personally I believe that is a very, very bad decision.”
The referee in this instance was Anthony Taylor, one of the absolute worst referees in the league who is hailed by PGMOL as one of the best.
Taylor isn’t a biased referee, and this isn’t some anti-Arsenal conspiracy rant. He’s just an awful referee who shows repeatedly that he is either unable to get the big decisions right or simply afraid to make big calls, no matter who he is refereeing.
“The Premier League has been created with people who had a progressive mind and wanted to be in front of the rest in Europe,” Wenger continued.
“It worked. Overall I believe that with that decision we are behind the rest in the world and that every big game this season has been decided by mistakes that could have been avoided with VAR, especially in the Champions League with Manchester City and Liverpool.
“The young generation is used to [VAR] and worldwide they might move away from us because they see that in other countries they do it.”
Let’s be clear here. Arsenal did not lose this game because they didn’t get a penalty but that doesn’t make Wenger’s comments any less true.
Arsenal lost against Newcastle because, in addition to Rafa Benitez’s men playing well, Arsenal Arsenaled.
That doesn’t make Anthony Taylor any better nor the decision from the Premier League to refuse to assist referees, who show consistently that they are struggling.