Arsenal have had their problems with certain referees before, with fans feeling that some like Mike Dean definitely do not treat the Gunners in the same way as other teams. And now the name of Anthony Taylor might be added to the list.
Arsene Wenger stopped short of blaming the referee for yesterday’s defeat away to Stoke City, as he accepted that we were at fault for allowing them to race into a 3-0 lead by the break. But the Frenchman could not help but blast Taylor for his decision to send our young defender Calum Chambers for a pretty soft second yellow card, as a report in The Mirror shows.
And he was right to do so. By the letter of the law, Chambers challenge on Crouch could be seen as a bookable offence, but in the context of the game, with Crouch having done worse to Chambers earlier in the game without punishment and only being booked for one of two challenges when his arm went into an Arsenal player’s face, sending our player off was harsh and unfair.
Wenger said, “It was a bad decision. I could watch the game with you and I could find five more players who deserved more to go.
“I don’t want to come too hard on the ref, but I don’t think Calum deserved to be sent off compared to some other players who put their arms and elbows in faces.”
Charlie Adam should definitely have seen a straight red for his assault on Alexis and Taylor let way too much go from Stoke, but Wenger admitted that the main reason for our loss was the weakness of the defending and the failure to match the home side’s commitment.
He said, “Stoke started strongly and we were not determined enough in the challenges, and from then on we gave them an early present.
“After that we put a lot of energy into the game, but in the second half we needed too much to come back and we couldn’t do it.
“You have to give Stoke credit for their start, but I think we were a bit naïve at the back. We could not play Koscielny and Monreal, and with Debuchy out as well we were always too soft to cope with what they offered us.
“In every single game you have to be committed and focused from the first minute.”
Maybe one good thing will come of this result though, as long as Wenger decides to use the January transfer window to fix the problem.