The Frenchman was unhappy with a series of hefty challenges on his players during a 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light, and in particular some of the treatment handed out to Jack Wilshere, with referee Anthony Taylor taking a lenient approach despite sending off Gunners defender Carl Jenkinson for two bookable offences.
Asked if he was happy with some of the tackling on show, Wenger said: "No, I wasn't, especially on Jack.
"I was a bit frustrated because I thought many times, Jack didn't get the free-kick he deserved.
"The referee let two or three things go that I thought were fouls on Jack.
"I want just the referee to give a foul when it's a foul. I don't want any special protection.
"The referee is not a bodyguard, he is just a referee and you want him just to give a foul when it's a foul."