Wenger on Pardew, referees and penalties

Read extra quotes from Arsène Wenger’s press conference ahead of Sunday's game against Crystal Palace:

on whether him and Pardew have mellowed…Maybe. I believe that the alerts are still there sometimes but the Emirates is quieter because the distance between the two managers is quite good and you need nearly to scream to have a go at each other! Overall on that front the danger is not too big.

on Kevin Friend being removed as ref of the Tottenham game…I am completely against that. I believe the referees are professional people and when you are professional, you are supposed to be impartial no matter what happens. I was always against this rule and it is somewhere not believing completely that the referee can be objective and impartial. That is absolutely surprising for me that that happens.


on social media and Kevin Friend…Social media doesn’t dictate the rules and has not to dictate what happens with the referees. Social media is one thing, but they do not have to dictate. It’s people who have responsibilities at the top level who have to make these decisions. I’m completely surprised and disappointed by that decision.

on whether there is a better way to select referees…I had this chat with Mike Riley once. You cannot concede that the referees have to declare who they support and then after they don’t referee the teams they support. If they referee a team who is fighting with the team they support, they cannot even referee the team who is fighting with the team they support. If you go into that kind of situation, you just think that the referees are not very professional. To be professional is to do what the rules demand. Once you go down that route they cannot be impartial because they have an emotional link with a club. That has nothing to do with being professional. I personally think that if you go that way it becomes a nightmare every week to choose a referee for every single game.

on the solution…The solution is that you don’t look at where they come from, who they support. You put the best referees in the most important games and ideally you should only have the best referees. Once you go into that kind of calculation, you never get out of it.

on the standard of refereeing…That’s a good question. Personally, I’ve not been especially happy with what’s happened this season for us, but I’m not a specialist of judging referees. I do not want to go into too much detail because people will say it’s a selfish point of view. Most of the time that’s the case because managers look at their own team and not at the overall situation.

on what he’s not been happy with…You ask any of the 20 managers that today and you will get the same response where they talk about this game and that game. You have to accept that the referees make mistakes. I believe we have to give them more support with more technology in the future, especially for the offsides. We also have to treat them as professionals, which means responsible people who have to make decisions that are not especially linked with emotional situations.

on Arsenal only having two penalties in the Premier League this season…That’s much less than many other teams. Honestly, I have not analysed that deeply enough to give you an objective opinion.

on Leicester having 10…Yes. What can I do about that?

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