Arsene Wenger questions the role of fifth officials as his side let a three-goal lead slip against Anderlecht in the Champions League.
Anderlecht secured one of their most memorable European nights in recent history as they came from 3-0 down to rescue a point in their Group D clash at the Emirates Stadium.
Anthony Vanden Borre struck twice for the visitors before Aleksandar Mitrovic’s last-gasp leveller but the first goal was clearly offside.
And Wenger, who has long been a fan of technology in football, felt let down by the referee’s assistant behind Wojciech Szczesny’s goal and believes UEFA need to find a better way of making sure the correct decisions are made on the pitch.
“We can learn a lot from what happened on Tuesday,” he said.
“We have special incidents. Some things we can correct, like the second and third goals. But we cannot influence the first goal. When the goalscorers are one yard offside, we cannot influence that.
“Every time we go to Geneva, (Pierluigi) Collina (UEFA’s chief refereeing officer) explains to us that the fifth referee is a fantastic finding.
“But when you see the pictures on the first goal, it is unbelievable. A guy stands behind the line in front of the offside guy and does not stay a word.
“I do not know what the guys behind the line are paid for. That is a general feeling shared by everyone who watches football. They should buy a seat for them, and give them a good book!”
Wenger also labelled any of the criticism aimed at his side following the slip-up as “predictable” after former Gunners favourite Paul Merson said the team were “tactically clueless”.
“If you are 3-0 up and get back to 3-3, you always get the same,” he said when asked about the criticism.
“I have managed 2000 games and can anticipate what people will say. If you defend and get back to 3-3, people will ask why you defend and not continue to play a normal game. If you continue to attack, people ask why you attack. It is so predictable.
“We are very positive inside the camp. We are not touched by that [the negativity]. Inside the camp we are very positive and are not touched by that. When we do not win, we are not happy. The rest, we can live with.”
The Arsenal boss confirmed Jack Wilshere is available for Sunday’s trip to Swansea after missing two games through illness whilst Wenger was bullish when asked about Theo Walcott’s chances of being involved from the start.
“He is in the squad,” he said of Walcott, who is working back to full fitness after 10 months out with a serious knee injury.
“His ability to start is that if I decide to start him he can start.”
Associated Press Report