Clarets boss Sean Dyche unhappy with referee after Arsenal defeat

Sean Dyche admitted he was unhappy with a number of decisions as his side lost 3-1 at Arsenal.

Dyche was particularly annoyed at a failure to award a penalty after Sead Kolasinac’s shove on Kevin Long, with the score at 2-0, and the decision to book Ashley Barnes in the first half, after he appeared to be elbowed by Sokratis.

Sean Dyche managed to find something to smile about during the 3-1 defeat at Arsenal

Sean Dyche managed to find something to smile about during the 3-1 defeat at Arsenal

The Clarets boss again raised the issue of diving, feeling a couple of Gunners players were guilty during the game.

Looking back on the game, he said: “Two of the three goals were soft, but, we’ve delivered a performance, particularly coming here, we’ve definitely taken the game on, so I think we could have got something, but we know, even with a good performance, you can’t give two soft goals away.

“The final one is a marginal off-side, but we certainly didn’t get a lot of decisions...”

Pushed on which decisions, he added: “Shall we start on 61 games without a penalty and a clear double-handed push in the back on Kevin Long?

“And Ashley Barnes getting booked when their player clearly threw an elbow out at him?

“I’ve seen it back, an unnatural arm movement towards the face. Somehow Ashley Barnes gets booked.

“Two dives, no one seems to want to do anything about the diving in the game apart from me.

“I’m still amazed by it. They don’t get booked, and we know nothing will get done about it retrospectively.

“If they were booked, one would definitely have been off the pitch.

“Numerous other things, even at the end, Vyds goes through with Xhaka, touches him on his shoulder, marginally, and he goes down and gets a free kick, centre halves now going down with hardly anything!

“Incredible, but I’ll leave it there, no one seems to want to effect the diving, I think they had three the other week (Xhaka, Mustafi and Guendouzi) against Huddersfield), but it just goes away, ‘oh well’.

“I just want to see it banned, and then it would evaporate from the game.

“There is hundreds of millions at stake, and we have all kinds of gadgets to view these things, and hopefully VAR will make a difference, although I don’t think it will make a radical difference.

“I’m talking about the morality of the game, I’m absolutely amazed where it’s at at the moment.

“Can’t we just get in with playing? Then, alarmingly, we were questioned about some tackles!

“It’s quite refreshing to see someone tackle someone, I think.”

Dyche feels referees don’t have the authority to make a sea change in the culture, however: “There’s no point talking to the referees I think they’ve got no power, or they don’t seem to have, it’s a bigger picture.

“I’m not exactly shy in my feelings with them!

“It has to come from the powers that gem they’ve all got to get their heads together, the FA, the Premier League, the PGMOL, and go, ‘hang on a minute, it’s all gone too far’.

“It’s every week, no one hardly mentions it, and if they do, it’s ‘oh we don’t want to see that, oh well, on to the next clip.’”

Dyche had a few words with Arsenal boss Unai Emery at the final whistle, but smiled: “He just said ‘you were questioning the referee’, and I said ‘yeah, you’re absolutely right I was’, ‘All the best, have a good Christmas’.

“I was upset with the referee today, I think these are clear things, they weren’t affected.

“61 games without a penalty. If I was allowed to bet, which clearly I’m not, it’s incredible. I don’t know how you get that stat. 61 games, 61 games. Another one today not given, and I bet you any money, we’ll get one when we’re 4-0 down or 4-0 up or something.”

Burnley were recently criticised for their aggressive approach by Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp, yet have gone 67 Premier League games without a red card now: “I can’t remember a bad tackle in the game, only someone slinging an elbow, and that was even off the pitch.

“I think the game is in great shape with the physical side of it, these players are incredibly strong, quick and fit now, balance is unbelievable. So why do some need to dive around?

“They’re so technically good, I don’t get that.

“It’s funny how we get this physical tag, if you look down our record, every year we’re pretty high up the fair play. Look at our suspensions, red cards, yellow cards, not that high.

“And even if you look at them, you’ll see yellow cards because people have dived, blatantly.”

Dyche insists Burnley should look to use their physicality to their advantage, as numerous other levellers have been taken away: “A few years ago they started that the grass has to be cut at 30mm. Every pitch now has to be UEFA standard size, which plays into the hands of the more technical teams, and the teams who every year are in Europe.

“We’ve had to change our pitch and cut it shorter.

“Apparently we’re not allowed to tackle either, we’ve got nowhere near the finance of the other teams, the wage finance, and we don’t dive. That ain’t a good start is it?

“The old advantages you used to have, have now been replaced, because they say they want a level playing field! Ridiculous.”