Though Arsenal had taken a lead against West Brom, handball decision by referee Mike Dean against Calum Chambers in the closing moments allowed the hosts to equalise from the penalty spot in the 89th minute that denied the Gunners three points. This left Arsene Wenger angry, who later said that the referee had not even seen it.
“I’m angry because we have seen the same things again and again and I said down there that we have fought very hard for the referees to become professional many years ago with David Dein and we did a good job to allow them to become professional and I see no improvement. At the end of the day there are two countries in Europe where there are professional referees, in Italy and in England, but not one English referee will go to the World Cup, but everything is alright. We cannot say a word against because they are untouchable, it is the case and the truth as well, it is a reason for it. It’s not only me who judges them,” Wenger said in his post-match conference, according to the official website of Arsenal.
“I don’t want to waste my time and we have to live with the decision. You will go home and have your normal thing and we have to live with it and swallow it for the next game. There are two things that are not normal in the Premier League, the schedule and the referees. Maybe we haven’t played well enough, that is down for you to judge, but with those two things you cannot have West Brom with five days to prepare while we have three,” said Wenger, according to www.arsenal.com.
“I am ready to play every day as long as our opponent has had the same recovery time over Christmas, it’s not normal. We have the same problem against Chelsea, they played yesterday, we played today. They have one day more,” he said.
Meanwhile, Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech too slammed Dean, saying, “Every time we have a meeting with the referees prior to the season and it comes to this point where the player is too close to the ball and he has no chance to react. He has his hands by his side and it can never be a penalty. The referee gives this with two minutes to go and I asked him why he changed his opinion to give a penalty. I got booked as well and I think that’s the most disappointing, because he could have told me ‘come later’, but he just gave me a yellow card. I was not rude, I just asked the question and I think this disappoints me even more.”