Arsene Wenger Wants To Forget 1000th Game

Published: Mar 24, 2014 15:12pm EDT
By Jason Bardwell, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Mar 24, 2014 @ 03:12pm EDT

 

What a crazy weekend of English soccer that was. I cannot remember so many goals going in during a weekend for a long time. Thirty two goals on Saturday alone and another ten on Sunday with the top four sides tally’s combined resulted in eighteen of those goals, and that was including Arsenal’s zero!

 

It is to that Arsenal game I wish to focus, and the case of mistaken identity. We all hear how the referees have such a tough job and, while that is true, there is no excuse for what happened on Saturday morning in the opening weekend game between Chelsea and Arsenal.

 

The game, between title contenders and local rivals, was made that much bigger by being Arsene Wengers 1,000th game in charge of Arsenal. It is a achievement only few have made and ended up being a game I doubt he will ever forget. Albeit for the wrong reasons.

 

Already two goals down in the opening few minutes, Arsenal were struggling to contain the Chelsea attack. Less than ten minutes after the second goal Chelsea had added a third from the penalty spot and Arsenal were down to ten men.

 

Edin Hazard took a shot and Arsenal midfielder, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain dived to palm it round the post. The referee, Andre Marriner, awarded a penalty for Chelsea but then sent of Kieran Gibbs. It appeared to be a case of mistaken identity and, even though the guilty player appeared to tell the referee of the injustice the decision stood.

 

Chelsea converted the penalty and romped home with a 6-0 win which now leaves Arsenal seven points behind Chelsea, although they do have a game in hand over Mourinho’s men.

After the game the referee apologized for his mistake and, although it is not as bad as giving the same player two yellow cards in a game and not sending him off, it is bad.

 

This has happened earlier this season in a game between Preston and Port Vale and, in that case the red card was retroactively issued to the correct person, meaning the correct player served the suspension. No doubt the Kieran Gibbs red card will be rescinded and he will be able to take part in the game tomorrow against Swansea City.

 

What will also be found out is whether or not the referee himself will be stood down for this weekends matches after making the wrong decision. Certainly errors can occur and fortunately this sort of thing, with regard the mistaken identity, is rare but it shouldn’t really happen at all. I think that Marriner will be missing when the referees line up at the various games over the weekend and that is only right. He is still a good referee, and we have a bunch of quality referees in England, but there also has to be a consequence for a wrong decision like this.

 

Arsenal, who have the right to appeal, are of course doing that for Gibbs which was a never in question. However, they are also preempting that the card will be retroactively issued to Oxlade-Chamberlain, and have already placed an appeal on that too. This is so that any appeals heard on Monday should have the decisions cleared up for the Tuesday game against Swansea.

 

Although it was a clear handball from the Arsenal man what Arsenal will protest is that the shot was not going in and so therefore not a goal scoring opportunity.

 

It will certainly be interesting to see how the FA rule in this matter but what is clear is that Arsenal’s title run has taken a massive knock as a result and certainly not the eventful game Arsene dreamed of marking his 1,000th as Gunners boss.


 

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Jason Bardwell
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