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All Wenger Wants Is a Fair Crack Of The Whip

When Arsene played Bayern Munich in the first leg of the first knock out stage they did so with only ten men for much of the game after goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was sent off for being too close to Arjen Robben.

The incident actually prompted FIFA to take a look at the rules which as they currently stand are a three-pronged punishment for denying a goal scoring opportunity.

When these events occur in the penalty area the offending player is sent of for denying a goal scoring opportunity (despite the fact that the awarded penalty represents about the best goal scoring opportunity you can get), the fouled player is awarded a penalty and the offending player is subsequently suspended.

Arsenal have suffered at the hands of three referees in recent Champions League history and each time it cost us big.

The first was the sending off of Jens Lehmann in the 2006 Champions League final. Yes it was a foul outside the penalty area and on any other day the red card would have been justified, however a fraction of a second after the foul, Barca put the ball in the back of the net, nullifying the foul and the red card. Barca would have had their goal and the game would have continued 11 v 11.

Then in 2011 Robin van Persie was sent off at Camp Nou after getting a second yellow card for kicking the ball away after the ref had blown his whistle. That would have been all well and good had van Persie not kicked the ball away (he didn`t actually kick the ball away, he was taking a shot) less than a second after the ref blew his whistle.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called for tonight`s referee to use his common sense and try and keep all 22 players on the pitch.

"We played now a few times with 10 men in Europe and under always very special circumstances, in the Champions League final [of 2006], now against Bayern [last month], at Barcelona [in 2011] when we were in a position to qualify. Said Le Boss

'I hope tomorrow we will get a fair chance to play with 11 versus 11 until the end."

'I think you do not want players to stay on the pitch who deserve to be sent off but you do not as well the interests of the game to be killed for reasons that are a bit tricky. To find that kind of balance, the experience of the referees is important."

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday March 11 2014

Time: 11:49AM

Your Comments

The best referees are anonymous but not every referee wants anonymity. The need to be the centre of attention in a big game televised all over the world can be too strong for some.
100 players sent off since Wenger took over at Arsenal, far more than any other club. The refs can`t all be wrong !
don't really buy this to be honest. While the RVP yellow was wrong the Jens ad Schzy were deserved red cards. You could argue that the Jens one could have been allowed to run to see if there was any advantage and even Schzy could have been a yellow but I think under the letter of the law they wereboth red cards. Can we expect a ref in such bi games to disregard the law purely to make the game more interesting?

All a bit Jose like for me, trying to influence the ref before the game starts.

Galway Gooner
Not sure there is much wrong with that, to be honest. Pretty much familiar antics before such a big game. He has not said that players who deserve a red should be allowed on the pitch, but there are some borderline situations in which the Ref can use common sense and discretion. Take that van Persie red card; very silly really because that happens every game and much later than RvP's was, after the whistle. Knowing he was on a yellow already, a nice warning would have sent the message, especially as RvP was genuinely trying to score and not time wasting as suggested. He didn't hear the whistle and deserved the benefit of the doubt on that one. Szczesny's was the same. Robben had lost the ball anyway and we had a defender running into position, so that last man bit was "tricky".
Far more than any other club? What a shock! When you consider the second longest serving manager in the whole country has been at his club for only 8 years. Third longest 6. Noone else above four years. It's no surprise that after 18 years in charge of Arsenal Wenger has miles more red cards. You know what, he has thousands more points too!!
Of course he's trying to get in the refs mind GG, otherwise what would be the point in speaking about this. As stated in the article, the Lehmann red card was correct on the face of it, but it's the referees responsibility to keep the game flowing. If he'd have waited more than a second the game would have player out much differently. With regards to Chesney, not only did he barely touch him, but he was going away from goal. Yellow card at best.
Depends how you read the numbers Blueheart. As at the end of last season Everton had picked up two more PL reds than Arsenal under Wenger since he joined the club but in either case the number of red cards both picked up are little more than average for the PL. Of course Arsenal would have picked up other reds in CL and other competitions but would have played more games than many others. As an average per PL season, remembering that not all clubs have been ever present, Wenger's Arsenal rank behind current PL teams like Sunderland, Hull, Newcastle, Stoke & West Ham as well as Everton while being pretty similar to others like City on the basis of average number of red cards per PL season played.
Very interesting stats Amos. They'd make a nice article :)
@rocky7, the point being was since the Premier League began. Arsene is trying to point Arsenal out as being angels and the only club prone to ridiculous refereeing decisions, unfortunately every club is at the wrong end of them at some time or another.
We've already had it Rocky!
Shades of SAF there. Hope it works. We have had the fuzzy end of the lollipop so often in Europe - typically a "strong" referee when we play at home and a homer when we play away. That RvP decision was even more outrageous because it was sandwiched by three Barca players doing that very thing - kicking the ball away or taking a shot after the whistle went, and the ref did nothing in those cases.
@ Blueheart9 - Have you any evidence at all to back up the assertion that ever since the PL began (why then?) "AW points out Arsenal as being angels and the only club prone to ridiculous refereeing decisions"? Any quotes?
And as Amos pointed out, other teams have worse records in the same time period. I trust you've been on their websites to criticise them? In the sake of fairness!

Amos, how do you remember this stuff? I can't remember articles I did last week let alone four years ago!
I can sometimes remember the themes if not necessarily when but with the power of search and the right combination of words you can usually retrieve them with the help of google!

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