Wenger: Fans don’t want refs to be the star


Arsene Wenger says referees have a responsibility to ensure players don’t waste time when they are on the pitch, claiming supporters crave ‘crisp, sharp action’ not referees from the ‘dark ages’ who want to be the star.

The Frenchman, who was charged by the FA this afternoon for allegedly questioning Mike Dean’s integrity after the referee decided to award a penalty to West Brom on Sunday, was in no mood to tread lightly when quizzed on the state of officiating at his pre-Chelsea press conference on Tuesday morning.

Having already rallied against the Premier League’s questionable fixture scheduling and the ‘quality’ of England’s professional referees in recent days, he also took aim at another of his pet peeves, time wasting, as well as the potential for the game’s authorities to mess up the proposed introduction of Video Assistant Referees.

On how referees have a responsibility to look after the game, he began: “Sometimes I say to the fourth official, when after five minutes the goalkeeper starts to waste time, ‘Look up there, there are people who pay a lot of money to watch football. You are responsible to make sure that football happens on the pitch’.

“For me, they have to serve the game like we have to serve the game, and to try to give positive emotions to people who love football in the stand. That’s what they have to do. They have not to be the star. We have to respect the game as people want it to be played. That’s our responsibility.

“It’s not [appropriate] any more, in 2018, that the guy calls a player, speaks half a minute, or a minute to him, to say, ‘Look, you have to behave properly’. That is gone. That is not the rhythm of a modern society.

“People want crisp, sharp action, and the referee has to make sure that that happens. This is the 1950s, where the guy talks to him… ’If you’re not nice, I might punish you’. Come on, let’s not waste time. What does it help for the game? Nothing. Nothing happens.

“People who sit in the stand don’t want to see that. They want to see, ‘Come on, let’s get on with it and play’. That’s our responsibility. We don’t live in the dark ages.”

Wenger has long been an advocate of referees getting help from video assistants, however, the prospect of the match referee consulting a screen on the side of the pitch in order to clarify each of his decisions is not something that appeals. Predominantly because the boss thinks it’ll upset the rhythm of games.

“It’s inevitable [VAR being introduced] because the referee can get help and become more efficient – and he can gain time, contrary to what people say.

“Of course, if we go the way where the referee walks down the side of the pitch and watches a screen, I say, ‘Leave it at home’. That means, ‘I just want to make every single decision. I want to be the boss’. [In that case] let’s forget it because that is not serious, and not the way we want to see the game going.

“If somebody upstairs quicker than he does tells him, ‘Go, let it go,’ that’s what we want. It’s not that he walks down the side of the pitch and watches a screen, and the people in the stand freeze up there until he has made a decision. That’s not what we want. If it’s [like] that, I personally am against it.”

It remains to be seen whether these comments will influence any punishment the FA might choose to inflict on the boss if he doesn’t respond to today’s charge.

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43 Comments on "Wenger: Fans don’t want refs to be the star"

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Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Totally agree with Wenger. People don’t pay to watch referees.


Especially if they look like Mike Dean.

Runcorn Gooner

Fact is that the Dean against Chambers penalty is virtually never given these days. Okazaki against Man U was turned down yet it was much clearer case.

General standards are getting worse. Last night Spuds got an offside goal and a player who should have been sent off. Kane and Ali committing GBH being accepted etc.

There are have been numerous cases in the past few weeks of dreadful decisions. The managers have got to put pressure on officially. Virtual ref has got to come full time. It occurs in virtually all other sport. In tennis they are even experimenting without officials,which may be a step too far.

If a ref gets a number of decisions wrong he is suspended just like the players. Dean won’t get many games,which is good.

The time wasting is a big thing these days. A number of teams arrive at the Emirates wasting time from the first minute. I have seen games where the ref is not even looking despite the fans whistling. Refs should book players immediately they see clear attempt to delay. Customers pay good money to watch a match. It is about time that the FA introduced multi ball boys to keep moving as in European matches and some leagues.


The FA are a joke, there was no way they were ever going to rule against Mike Dean in favour of Arsene Wenger regardless as to whether or not Arsene was justified in his frustration due to Deans absolutely moronic decision which cost us the game.

Ultimately Wenger knew he was going to get a ban anyway. Its hardly his first rodeo. All I hope is that he called him every name under the sun making the inevitable ban and subsequent fine worth it.

High gunner

im amazed of how terrible the situation with the ball boys are in the f*king premier league.. it should never take more than 5 seconds to get the ball back to the players.. the ball boy should have a ball ready for the players immediately and not chasing the ball that just went to the 54th row of the stance.. its such a simple thing to do and its so ridiculous to see this happen actually..


They don’t pay to watch a club with a £200m wage bill that’s spend £300m over the last few seasons to fuck up against West Brom either.


Why everything for you has to do with the money?
Dean being a cunt and FA the spineless witch hunters, has got nothing to do with how much we’ve got in the bank


I have it on good authority* that what Arsene said to Mike Dean was, “Shove it up your arse and fuck off while you’re doing it” – and who could blame him?

*made up rumour

Lord Bendnter

If the FA could, they would have put Wenger behind bars by now
Thank God the FA doesn’t have that kind of power!


Until the FA introduces video to help refs,these problems
will never go away. Suffice to say it could be a ploy to
help the rich clubs to dominate.


How did Leicester win the league then?


That could be attributed to gaining viewership, you know, “Look at us, any team could win!”


Well, not by being billionaires…
They had biased cunts like Dean that awarded Leicester around 20 penalties that season


Lest we forget, Mike Dean is a cunt.


Aye! That he is. A cunt with bells on!

Suprim Shrestha

Amen to that.


We willl NEVER forget!


… and a disappointment to his federation.


Trouble with VAR is the Mike Deans of this world still have to interpret it..

He’ll look at that Gibbs ball to hand and call it handball. I’ve watched it used correctly in Serie A and other leagues though. Hopefully the refs won’t be the stars even more with it in England


The point, like Wenger said too, is that the VAR be used as a ref, not just a tool for THE ref. That way some ref up in the room can see it and say “Mike, shut the fuck up and calm your tits”. Mot the one where they break up the beat of the game so they can rule on an offside or something.

Andy Mack

When the media can no longer say that the ref made the mistake because he saw the incident once at full speed, they’ll start saying that there’s something wrong with the system if ref still can’t make the correct call after seeing it in slow-mo.
It may take a few years but eventually they will start saying that the officials are consistently making extremely poor decisions, and when enough of them are saying it, it will have to change.

David C

how about we use the VAR in steps. Offside goals are the ones that really irk me. Oh, and goals that are called offside, but were actually good, but that only seems to happen to Arsenal (Laca goal).

What you don’t want is NFL type delays. NHL does it a little better, but it still slows the game down at times. I can put up with a few delays as longs as the decision is right, but then we are we going to moan about after games? 😉

Andy Mack

I’d guess that if the refs sorted out the time wasting by certain teams, that a VAR game would have more actual game playing time than it does now. Especially if it stopped players diving.


VAR’s got to be done by someone in a booth, as in major league baseball, and not by having the referee himself have a look at the replay on a monitor as in MLS. No-one likes to go back out and reverse themself. Take the temptation away and have someone independent do the review.

And please, get this in place sooner rather than later. Referees have cost us ten or twelve points so far this year.

Oh, and please never let Mike Dean referee again. Not even a U6 match, he’s not even good enough for that.


Agreed, think of the children!


Totally agree that the VAR decision needs to be made independently of the referee as Dean would’ve probably convinced himself he was still right as he’s such an arrogant tosser. In cricket when the on pitch umpire’s call is challenged the decision is taken out of his hands. Sorted.

Crash Fistfight

Apart from when it’s ‘Umpire’s call’ and their incorrect decision can be allowed to stand.


Maybe a long ban would encourage AW to call it a day? Just looking for silver lining in the storm clouds.


Maybe being globally outed as a massive cunt will encourage Mike Dean to call it a day?


I hope no one out there is delusional enough to believe that the FA, who have demonstrated in their ‘alleged and/or blah blah’ charge that they can’t even write in English, will do anything other than close ranks behind their shoddy standards of refereeing and that they will do anything other than punish Wenger in the harshest way possible. To do anything else would require them to act properly for the benefit of the game. I don’t actually think they are capable of this.


Parking the bus and wasting time is the tactic many teams use. They even start in the first half. Breaking up play with fouling and counter attacking (scoring occasionally)and then wasting time even more excessively. Pep has found a way dealing with it but Wenger hasn´t. He´s making all the headlines now drawing attention away from his total mess dealing with internal issues like finishing negotiations before players like Alexis Ozil and Wilshire can make pre agreements with other teams.

Running a functioning business means you have to deal with issues and sort them out. That´s not Arsenal now and hasn´t been for a couple of years.


Whatever else went on, Dean said he saw Chambers raise his arm towards the ball. We know, from TV camera’s and Dean’s position, that he NEVER saw that happen.

So at best, he is just a lying fucker!

However, he is protected by this insane mafia led by Mike Riley, and the FA seem to pander to the PGMOL propaganda!


I think people would not be so vocal about VAR if referees were doing their jobs properly. It’s almost as if poor refereeing choices have become part of the game also. They should be punished for affecting a team’s position on the table and should, therefore be fined accordingly. It’s truly ridiculous that we have gone backwards in this regard. I can count good refereeing performances on one hand from this season.


Chambers raised his arm towards the ball, it was involuntary, hence not a pen. Dean made an honest mistake and apologised to Wenger on the field of play. There is no conspiracy. Refs do an almost impossible job, with the game played at frightening speed – fans have no idea how difficult it is, hence why the FA protects referees. VAR will not make much difference as human error is human error. Why would a video referee not make the same errors? Wenger is a dead manager looking for excuses. He will take every perceived bad decision against him and deliberately magnify it, even it means getting a stadium ban, to detract from his underperformance as a manager.


Dean did not apologise. Why do people think he did?!


Some twit posted a video of Dean saying “I’m sorry” – he was actually saying “I’m talking”.


I’ve seen the video. He says both.


Makes sense. I’m sorry he’s talking as well.


Cuz ppl are so blinded by hatred of Wenger


Are you Mike Riley in disguise???


Here’s hoping Wenger gets more curmudgeonly and more Ornery and sticks it to refs and the FA every game till he buggers off in a spectacular flame out…
-be a lot more fun than watching his team play.

Wenger gerrin ther !


The hold that these football organisations have on UK football is disgraceful.
Can’t criticize refs.
Can’t question refs.
Can’t point out one’s opinion without being ostracized.

What is the point of these post match interviews if one cannot speak one’s mind.

Who are these refs? Are they without any error?
I thought they were born like the rest of us with all of the problems we all have.


Feels like a Stalin time