Arsene Wenger has backed Greg Dyke’s campaign to get Chelsea and Manchester United to stop harassing officials*.

The Arsenal manager firmly believes that players and managers should do more to assist the referee and admitted that he needs to take control of himself when it comes to his touchline antics.

Of course, everybody thinks their club is one without a problem but with Arsenal they really do not have a habit of swarming the ref in order to try and influence him. In fact, a case could be made for saying the team could actually show a bit more aggression when it comes to lobbying for decisions.

How many times have you seen a player felled in the box in what was a clear penalty only for none of the Arsenal players to claim and to just carry no playing?

Speaking to the press ahead of this weekend’s tip to Newcastle, the Arsenal manager said

‘He [Dyke] has my complete support.

‘We all have to respect the referee and make their jobs as easy as possible. It’s difficult enough for the referees — they are criticised a lot, and I include myself. I do remind my players but I don’t think we have a problem with that.

‘We have never been reproached so on that front I don’t question myself too much. I question myself on my individual behaviour, that’s true.’

‘Even sometimes at half-time I think, “Come on, stop that, my friend”, you know? And I think in the second half I will not say a word to him any more.

‘Sometimes it helps you to get your frustration out but I don’t think it is right, honestly. That doesn’t mean I don’t do it. I do. I’ve looked back on the tapes sometimes.

‘I have spoken about this with referees,’ he said. ‘Maybe they are too close today because sometimes they are in the way of the pass. I can show you situations where they hide the vision of the pass. Because they are so directly involved they are surrounded sometimes when they should keep a bit of distance.

‘We want everybody to be respected and the referees are part of everybody.

‘What we have to do is respect the decisions. The referees know the worst offenders but I like to think it doesn’t work. Referees are prepared for that nowadays. They are warned and they can deal with it.

‘I agree completely that you want players to be ready to fight for each other. How far does that go? You have to draw a line somewhere. You cannot go after every decision of the referee.

‘In rugby it didn’t exist. Unfortunately since they have become professional I have seen signs of them starting to question the decisions of the referees. So it may be a result of the pressure of the professional game.’

*The campaign is not really about those two clubs, although it should be.

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