Dermot Gallagher returns with the latest Ref Watch, discussing several controversial incidents from recent matches. The first incident involves Alejandro Garnacho and Destiny Udogie, where Gallagher states that the contact between the two players was minimal and not worthy of a penalty. He questions why defenders would take such risks and mentions that Burnley co-owner JJ Watt criticized referee Tony Harrington and VAR for missing the apparent foul. However, former goalkeeper Shay Given disagrees and doesn’t believe it was a foul either. Gallagher concludes that it is a subjective decision but believes it should have been given as a foul on-field to be upheld by VAR.
Moving on, Gallagher analyzes another incident involving Malo Gusto of Chelsea and Willian. He mentions that Gusto was previously sent off for a similar challenge and argues for consistency in referee decisions. He believes that Saturday’s challenge by Gusto should have been a yellow card rather than a red. Gallagher highlights the complexities of interpreting handball laws and expresses the importance of narrowing the grey area and achieving consistency among referees.
Stephen Warnock joins the discussion and questions the effectiveness of VAR if decisions still remain subjective. He mentions a specific incident where VAR took nearly four minutes to confirm an offside decision, but concerns were raised about whether the correct decision was made due to unclear footage. Warnock also brings up a potential foul by Clement Lenglet on Arnaut Danjuma during the same incident. He emphasizes that just because a player gets the ball, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a foul. In this case, he believes the challenge was a foul but understands why a penalty was not given.
Lastly, the controversy surrounding Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s red card against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup is mentioned. Although the red card was later rescinded, an FA regulation states that it will remain on Calvert-Lewin’s record. This means that if he receives another red card this season, he would serve an additional match ban on top of the suspension for the offense. The fairness of this regulation is questioned, and it is hoped that Calvert-Lewin avoids receiving another red card.