Wenger angry with Mike Dean and Premier League scheduling

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An angry Arsene Wenger says that officiating at the top of the Premier League has not improved and that the Premier League have to examine the way they schedule games.

The Frenchman was speaking to Sky Sports just minutes after Mike Dean harshly awarded a penalty against the Gunners that West Bromwich Albion converted to secure a 1-1 draw against Arsenal.

Here’s what the boss had to say on Calum Chambers’ ‘handball’ and why his side looked so sluggish at the Hawthorns.

On Mike Dean’s decision to award a penalty…

It’s disappointing to see that, but can you do? We talk and talk and talk, it doesn’t change anything. The Premier League doesn’t face the problem, not with the schedule [of matches] nor with the referees. I would just like to remind that I did fight with David Dein many years ago to make the referees professional but their level, unfortunately, doesn’t go up.

On the decision being wrong…

Yes, it’s difficult to accept. It’s more than the decision that is involved in that. It’s not the first time that it’s happened. It’s best we don’t talk about it. We know deeply, what’s going on, we just have to deal with it.

On what Mike Dean said to him after the penalty…

Not a lot.

On whether he’ll speak to the referee again…

No, I won’t speak to him.

On whether Video Assistant Referee technology might have made a difference… 

I think so. It’s time. I don’t know why the best league in the world waits for such a long time when other leagues use it already.

On the frustration also being down to the result…

Yes, but if we should have won and we’ve made a mistake, you deal with it. We have enough to stand up for. Overall, I feel that the schedule is not right, West Brom had five days to prepare for that game, we had three. Chelsea has four days to prepare for the game on Wednesday, we have three. Since the start of the season, the Premier League has to become serious about the scheduling and whether it’s fair or not fair. On our side, it’s completely unfair.

On Mourinho and other managers also complaining about the schedule…

Yes, of course, that’s even a better reason to look at it. Since the start of the season, you have always to look when you play against a team how long was their rest and how long was your rest. If we play every day, I have no problem. If the team you play also played the day before, I accept it completely. But the way they organise the schedule, it cannot be right. It has nothing to do with top-level sport.

On the schedule playing a part in Arsenal’s lack of sharpness…

Of course. Of course. When you have played top-level sport, you wouldn’t even question that.

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