If you complain about VAR when Arsenal lose, then you’re just being bitter and if you do it when they win, well, what are you moaning about, you won didn’t you? So just when, exactly, are Arsenal fans allowed to complain about things that have a very real impact on the scoreline?
Arsenal’s last-gasp dramatic winner was a thing of beauty against Bournemouth on Saturday. But, had the officials done their jobs properly during the game, it would never have come to that.
Last-minute winners aren’t needed when you’re a few goals up.
Had it been one or even two decisions they waved away, then perhaps Arsenal fans could be expected to leave them to the side to focus solely on the win instead of asking more awkward questions about things many would prefer we ignore. When there are five penalty shouts in one game? That seems like something that should be mentioned and being told you shouldn’t is curious to me.
(for the record, the five were the three handball shouts, the foul on Tomiyasu and the Bournemouth keeper punching Ben White on the back for no reason, the latter two not even going to VAR)
No reporters at the post match press conference agreed any of that was worth mentioning. One even called it an ‘incredibly boring’ matter.
Asking Gary O’Neil if he was annoyed by Arsenal’s celebrations, though? That is not ‘incredibly boring’, apparently.
Thankfully, he refused to give the soundbite they were after.
To be honest, I agree. It is boring to have to keep talking about VAR every week, but that doesn’t mean we should shut up.
We aren’t talking about the odd decision once in a while. To Arsenal fans, this feels like it has been a regular feature since the technology was introduced and it has got worse, not better, with time.
This season we’ve had apologies for decisions that had a major impact in Arsenal games and cost them points.
One official is no longer a referee because he forgot to do the most basic of duties that cost Arsenal. He was also the guy who ruled out Arsenal’s goal at Old Trafford in the league because Christian Ericksen fell over some time before.
I’ve lost count of the times Gabriel, and before him Gabriel Jesus, have been rugby tackled in the box this season with no penalties awarded. Remember when Gabriel was grabbed around the neck twice in the 2-1 win against Villa at the Emirates?
We watched Arsenal have a long-range goal ruled out just last week because Ben White touched the hand of the Leicester keeper in the move before, while an Aston Villa goal was allowed to stand despite Aaron Ramsdale being held in a bear hug and blocked, making it impossible to get to the ball.
The very next day after the Leicester game, we watched Eric Dier use a defender as a step-ladder to flick the ball on. Harry Kane’s goal was allowed to stand.
Shall we talk about Bukayo Saka and the fact he has to be assaulted to earn a free kick and nearly dead before someone is booked for an offence against him?
No, Arsenal fans are not to talk about these things.
It’s ‘incredibly boring’.
If it’s boring to some people listening to it, imagine what it’s like being an Arsenal fan having to listen to the same people week after week telling us to shut up about it, while nothing on the pitch changes.
On the flip side, we watch fouls regularly given against Arsenal that are just waved away for other teams.
Martinelli’s double yellow, anyone?
It’s not that Arsenal are punished for things that aren’t fouls (although that has also happened with alarming regularity this season), it is that they seem to be refereed to the letter of the law while their opponents are not.
It has even been the same with foul throws. When do you ever see those given? Unless, of course, your name is Hector Bellerin.
But Arsenal won against Bournemouth and created amazing memories, so it doesn’t matter.
And next week, if they lose, it won’t matter then, either, because we’re just being bitter over dropped points.
So, I’d really appreciate it if someone could let me know just when it’s acceptable to discuss these matters, if that’s not also too ‘incredibly boring’, of course.