Arsenal fans aren’t happy with claims made by Mark Clattenburg, after he admitted avoiding send off Tottenham players in a game to avoid getting blamed for ending their title challenge.
The match in question didn’t end up having much effect on the Gunners, as they finished above Spurs on the final day of the season.
However, Clattenburg’s admission that he “went in with a gameplan” and should’ve given more red cards to Tottenham has caused supporters to ask how many other games were refereed in the same way.
— ™ (@TheFalseNein) December 4, 2017
So Mark Clattenburg has admitted that he doesn't follow the rule book but just 'manages' the game to his plan. I expect all English refs do the same. I also wonder what their plan is and who's idea it was to not follow the rule book.
— Don't buy the sun (@goonergrove) December 4, 2017
— Dark(est) Gable (@AdiAyeni) December 4, 2017
Our very own Lee Hurley pointed out that Clattenburg chose not to give a red card to Emmanuel Adebayor for stamping on Robin van Persie’s face.
Adebayor received a retrospective ban, but that didn’t make up for the three points Manchester City won that day in a 4-2 victory.
Here's Mark Clattenburg looking straight at Adebayor stamping on van Persie's face yet he didn't send him off https://t.co/qeGZS5EMHt
— Lee Hurley (@HLeeHurley) December 4, 2017
In general, there does seem to be a sense that Clattenburg kept his cards in his pocket when perhaps he should’ve brandished them.
Arsenal were refereed 41 times by the Englishman, only three red cards were shown to the opposition and two to the Gunners; one to Sebastian Squillaci in a 2-1 win over Huddersfield, the other to Per Mertesacker in a 1-0 home loss to Chelsea.
Overall, this style of refereeing doesn’t seem to have impacted Arsenal too much. Clattenburg refereed more wins for the Gunners than any other team in the league.
Nonetheless, that’s unlikely to be much comfort next time the plucky underdog gets a convenient penalty at a crucial time, as you know what supporters will now point to.