It might have been Francis Coquelin’s stupidity that saw him dismissed at Tottenham, but Michael Oliver should have levelled the numbers.
When Eric Dier, just yards away from the ref and in his clear line of sight, hauled at Olivier Giroud’s shirt, Oliver blew his whistle. He’d seen it. Yet, somehow, he had deemed the offense not worthy of a second yellow.
Speaking at his press conference after the game, Arsene Wenger said he thought referees should have to do press conferences when he was asked about the non-decision.
Wenger says referees should 'come into press conferences after games' to explain decisions like Michael Oliver not sending off Eric Dier
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) March 5, 2016
Of course, Spurs fans will probably point to Hector Bellerin. The Spaniard could, and perhaps should, also have seen red for a second yellow. That doesn’t undo what Wenger is saying.
Picture proves Michael Oliver bottled decision to send off Tottenham's Eric Dier: https://t.co/sLckEyHrto pic.twitter.com/YPHPIqL8Ia
— Metro Sport (@Metro_Sport) March 5, 2016
Players, management, owners and even fans are all held responsible in football. Referees, whose mistakes can cost clubs millions, are not.
They have to explain nothing.
They can make decisions that change games on a regular basis and are still held above reproach.
I’m struggling to think of another profession, besides that of ‘dictator’, which comes with the same sort of freedom.
Overall our record with Michael Oliver in charge Won 2 Drawn 5 Lost 5
— Orbinho (@Orbinho) March 5, 2016