The Arsenal manager was in an angry and disappointed mood after the Manchester City game and here is what he said on French TV channel, SFR sport.
Here is the interview:
— SFR Sport (@SFR_Sport) December 18, 2016
“I think we physically dropped down in the second half in both games.”
On that point, the blame lies with him as there was insufficient squad rotation, when you consider three games were played in eight days. Nine players started the three games in eight days.
Only Mustafi who got injured against Stoke and left his place to Bellerin and Oxlade-Chamberlain who left his place to Iwobi to end up as a sub against City and get injured.
“I believe at the moment, we have a lot of bad luck with the referees decisions, because both goals are offside and it is hard to lose games of that magnitude with offside goals.”
Suffice to say, the referee truly influenced the game, because if the equaliser is not given as it should have happened, the game stays at 1-0. Game management is different and the spacetime continuum was broken at that exact instant.
And then gets on the attack at referees:
“There is a real big problem with referees in England, they work within their comfort zone. It is time for the PGMOL to wake up and stimulate the referees again to get back to work, because they don’t work hard enough.”
He gets asked about the VAR and if they would be helpful:
“I think there are many other things: referees are professionals. I don’t want to speak more about it, because I am speaking under huge disappointment but I think there is a real problem.”
I think there is little accountability from the referees in general, especially when they make big mistakes. You can see some of them being demoted from time to time but it is not good enough.
You do wonder why the Premier League are not one of the test Leagues for the VAR with the level of errors you see in games. And true to their published statistics, the referees get the huge majority of decisions right but when they do it wrong, there is no one to correct them.