Arsenal were far from their best against Brentford on Saturday but yet again the officials played a pivotal role in deciding the outcome of the match.
Pick a game where Arsenal have dropped points this season and you will find a major decision by the officials that influence the outcome of the game.
So it was on Saturday when Arsenal, after struggling all afternoon to find a break through against a resolute Brentford side, found a goal thanks to Leandro Trossard’s first for the club.
With a few minutes left on the clock, Ivan Toney drew the sides level. A long pause ensued while Lee mason on VAR checked for an offside.
At least, that’s what we thought he was doing.
Turns out, he just didn’t bother to draw any lines at all which would have shown very clearly that the Brentford goal should not have stood. His eyes also should have shown him that.
“It’s a terrible angle”
“VAR checked it”
“Nothing to see here”
I’ve done Lee Mason’s job for him. It’s OFFSIDE. Clearly.
See for yourself what PGMOL CHOSE not to. #ARSBRE #VAR pic.twitter.com/Z1FH6rg1c1
— ínvìnciblog (@invinciblog) February 12, 2023
It is quite remarkable how bad PGMOL officials are at their job but Lee Mason seems to be extra special.
He was, after all, the man in the middle when Arsenal lost at Old Trafford because Gabriel Martinelli’s goal was ruled out after a United player fell over a few minutes before in the build-up.
Arsenal have dropped points in five games this season and in ALL of them there has been a major decision made that was said to be wrong after the game.
Don’t believe me?
Manchester United 3 Arsenal 1
As we’ve already mentioned, Gabriel Martinelli’s goal was wrongly ruled out for what VAR claimed was a foul on the half way line.
Most acknowledge that had Arsenal’s goal stood, they would most likely have gone on to win the game. The certainly seemed unlikely to lose it.
After this game, Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) agreed to work with a review of their usage of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) following a series of controversial decisions the same weekend in the Premier League.
Fans were unhappy with a number of decisions including disallowed goals for Newcastle and West Ham, as well as the overturned goal for Arsenal at Old Trafford.
At the time, PGMOL accepted these decisions were wrong and said they wanted to work with the Premier League to address the issues.
That was the last we heard of it.
Southampton 1 Arsenal 1
Leaving aside the red cards Southampton should have seen in this game, former referee Mark Halsey said that Arsenal should have had a penalty and that Bukayo Saka was wrongly booked for diving.
Halsey believed that the referee, Robert Jones, should have pointed to the spot after Gabriel Jesus was hauled down by Southampton’s Duje Caleta-Car, who was not goal-side.
He was critical of the inconsistencies in the decision-making by officials in recent games, where teams such as Chelsea and Aston Villa were benefitted in similar situations.
Arsenal 0 Newcastle United 0
Once again Arsenal were denied a clear penalty, this time for a foul on Gabriel which could have proven pivotal in picking up all three points.
To make matters worse, Arsenal were then charged by the FA for failing to control their players during the game as they protested.
Newcastle, who were just as vociferous in their protests, were not charged.
This was the third charge to be levied at Arsenal, out of three games they had dropped points in to this point.
Everton 1 Arsenal 0
Once again, we saw a clear foul on Gabriel in the box go unpunished.
Arsenal 1 Brentford 1
Of course, none of this touches on the decisions in games where Arsenal have won, some of which have been equally as ridiculous.