Arnold a no-show as refereeing rows continue for Sydney FC

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Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold refused to show up to the post-match press conference at Allianz Stadium on Thursday night after his team endured a frustrating, foul ridden nil all draw to Wellington Phoenix.

Arnold instead opted to send second in command Steve Corica on his behalf.

When questioned by the press concerning Arnold’s absence the former Sydney striker announced.

“Arnie was a little frustrated tonight with some of the decisions that were made. Fouls and penalties didn’t go our way. He’s been fined in the past talking about the refs so he thought it best I come down instead.”

A total of 29 fouls were given against the Sky Blues by referee Chris Beathe and along with three dismissed penalties the relationship between the two parties continued to deteriorate on Thursday night.

“They were harsh decisions”, stated Corica.

“Overall I thought we were the better team…but that number of fouls makes it difficult to build any momentum, get the ball rolling, possession happening and get the game flowing.”

Arnold’s relationship with referee Chris Beathe is a volatile one. The former Socceroos coach has been fined in the past for speaking out over Beathe’s competency as a referee, and has continued his questioning of the ref throughout the 2015/16 Hyundai A-League season.

A total of 35 fouls in 65 minutes against Brisbane Roar led the coach to proclaim his judgment over Beathe’s capacity to successfully referee a game without impeding on it.

And Thursday night’s game saw the number of matches won by Sydney FC under Beathe remain at only five out of 26.

When questioned by the press Wellington Coach Ernie Merrick responded neutrally.

“29 fouls they gave away. We gave away 14. That’s over twice as many as we did. But I’m not going to get involved in that.”

“Overall we had more possession…Riera was outstanding, our defence was solid and our midfield won the ball well. We just didn’t hold well up front”, explained Merrick as he looked optimistically towards next week’s home game against his old club, Melbourne Victory, in Auckland.

“I quite like having tough games.

We like stepping up”.

Meanwhile for Sydney their early season form continues to slip as four games without a win has fans feeling bemused.

“Look, we were very positive. We had 15 shots, hit the post and kept a clean sheet. We just couldn’t find the right pass in the box”, said Corica.

“The boys gave their all, and these are the games we need to win. Unfortunately, no win tonight”.

The Sky Blue’s sit at fourth while the Phoenix remain at sixth.

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George Vlotis
UTS Journalism graduate and football fanatic. Ex-NSW premier league player and now fortunate enough to be reporting on the A-League. Sydney is Sky Blue. Follow me @VlotisGeorge

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