By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger says Arsenal must be excluded from the argument that big clubs get favourable decisions - because they have not been awarded a Premier League penalty at home this season.
Former Gunner Patrick Vieira caused a stir during the week when he suggested that Manchester United and other leading European teams are less likely to get a raw deal from referees, two days after Fulham were denied a late penalty in their 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford.
Wenger was asked for his view at his pre-match press conference and the Arsenal manager had some statistics up his sleeve to distance his own club from the debate. However the Frenchman believes the issue could be solved at a stroke - by giving referees access to video replays.
"On the evidence of the numbers, at least you can say that Arsenal doesn't get any advantage from anybody because we have zero penalties," said Wenger.
"That is what comes clearly out - on our side, not only do we not get penalties but we get penalties against us that are not penalties - this season - so that at least keeps us out of that fight.
"Man United have got seven penalties at home, Man City got seven penalties at home and Arsenal got zero [at home in the Premier League]. So we come out of that with no advantage from anybody, so we are very happy.
"He [Vieira] spoke with his heart," added Wenger. "It was after the decision on Monday night where Fulham didn't get the penalty and in fairness it was a penalty. It just shows one more thing - that the referees need help, video assistance, and then they will gain credibility and there will be no suspicion.
"If the referee has a difficult decision to make, if he has any assistance from video he would have given a penalty or not a penalty but it would have been a decision that would have had no suspicion.
"The referee is certainly honest but you expect him to make a decision in a fraction of a second. You can understand it is difficult. He has not time to check if it is right or wrong. That is why, for years, I have been for video assistance."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 30 Mar 2012