Dermot Gallagher returns with the latest Ref Watch, discussing several incidents from recent matches. He starts by addressing the incidents between Alejandro Garnacho and Destiny Udogie, stating that they were not penalties. Gallagher questions why defenders would take such risks and emphasizes that minimal contact does not necessarily warrant a penalty. Burnley co-owner JJ Watt criticized referee Tony Harrington and VAR for missing an apparent foul on James Trafford during Luton’s equalizer against Burnley. However, Gallagher argues that it is the referee’s decision, not VAR’s, and believes there is no clear violation of the laws of the game in this instance. He acknowledges that opinions may differ, but personally deems it a foul.
Moving on to another incident, Gallagher discusses a challenge by Malo Gusto on Willian during a Chelsea match. While Gusto has been sent off for a similar challenge earlier in the season and Curtis Jones of Liverpool has also been dismissed for a comparable offense, Gallagher believes that a yellow card would suffice in Gusto’s case. He highlights the inconsistencies between referees’ decisions, but acknowledges that some level of subjectivity is necessary in interpreting the laws of the game. He expresses the desire for more consistency among referees and narrowing of the gray areas in decision-making.
Stephen Warnock joins Ref Watch and expresses his frustration with the subjectivity of VAR decisions. He mentions a lengthy VAR check during an Aston Villa match involving an Alex Moreno goal, which took almost four minutes to confirm the offside decision. Warnock questions whether the correct decision was reached, as the initial lack of footage showing the ball and Bailey at the same time created uncertainty about when the ball was kicked. He also brings up a potential foul by Clement Lenglet on Arnaut Danjuma, arguing that just because a player gets the ball does not automatically mean it’s not a foul. Despite this, Warnock understands why the penalty was not awarded, highlighting the inherent subjectivity in decision-making.
In a separate incident, Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s red card against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup was rescinded. However, according to an FA regulation, the red card will still remain on his record. This means that if he receives another red card this season, he will face an additional match ban in addition to the suspension for the offense. The fairness of this regulation is questioned, with hopes that Calvert-Lewin avoids any further red cards.