Arsene Wenger has criticised the FA and Premier League for failing to improve the standard of refereeing and create a fair schedule.
Wenger was upset when Mike Dean saw fit to award West Brom a late penalty on Sunday evening. Arsenal were leading thanks to an own goal from James McClean, but were pegged back when Calum Chambers was judged to have handled the ball.
Chambers was two yards away from Kieran Gibbs when the ball struck his arm. James Rodriguez converted the penalty, and Arsenal were enraged by the decision. After the game, Wenger took aim at the Premier League for failing to address the standard of refereeing.
“It’s disappointing to see that but what can we do?” he said, as reported by the Metro. “We can talk and talk and talk but it doesn’t change anything. The Premier League doesn’t face the problem.
“Nor the schedule, nor with the referees. We fought very hard [for referees] to go professional, but the level hasn’t gone up. It’s difficult to accept. It’s more the decision involved in that and it’s not the first time.
“I believe West Brom had five days to prepare and we had three. The Premier League has to look at when the schedule is fair and unfair, on our side it’s unfair. Since the start of the season you have to look at it.”
It’s not the first time Wenger has criticised referees this season. He claimed the standard of refereeing had fallen after Arsenal’s 3-1 loss to Manchester City in November. The Frenchman escaped punishment from the FA then, but might receive disciplinary action for a repeat offence.
As for scheduling, several managers have complained about the amount of games played over Christmas and New Years. It happens every year, but the Premier League doesn’t do a thing about it. Wenger might take the fall for his comments, but he’ll know that many others feel exactly the same.