John Aldridge has discussed Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Brighton in part one of his weekly Liverpool column.
Another Premier League weekend, another decision that has gone against us.
I actually thought Anthony Taylor did well on Sunday in our match with Brighton, but the game ended with yet more questions hanging over the officials.
The first talking point was the Virgil van Dijk handball appeal, but that’s not a penalty. It’s impossible. The ball has bounced off his leg onto his hand, so there is not even an argument there.
Then we come to the circumstances around Liverpool’s penalty and the fact Brighton midfielder Pascal Gross was not booked for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity.
This incident reminded me of when I was involved in as a Tranmere Rovers player during a League Cup semi-final second leg against Aston Villa.
I was brought down by goalkeeper Mark Bosnich inside the penalty area and he should have been sent off, according to the laws of the game.
I scored the penalty to make it 1-1 in the game, but we ended up losing on penalties with Bosnich later saving three spot-kicks.
I personally had no gripe with that because I scored the penalty and I never like to see people sent off, but rules are rules.
So how Gross has not even got a yellow for bringing down Dominik Szoboszlai is what I don’t understand. Craig Pawson on VAR has to tell the referee to go and have a look, it is as easy as that.
We didn’t deserve to win the game overall, and a draw was probably fair, but we are continuing to be hurt by poor decisions being made by others.
We’ve had the Mac Allister red card against Bournemouth, Van Dijk’s dismissal at Newcastle, the absolute shambles of the Tottenham game and now this.
At the end of games, we are always talking about referees, VAR – and we shouldn’t be. Referees should be taking their time so as to make the right decision. You look at the Curtis Jones red card, they certainly took their time over that.
To make matters worse we then saw Manchester City midfielder Mateo Kovacic somehow avoid a red card twice in quick succession against Arsenal on Sunday night.
It was unbelievable, incredible. It was even more blatant than the Brighton incident we were on the wrong end of.
There were two yellow cards Kovacic should have received, one was bordering on a straight red card, and he got away with it.
The first tackle shouldn’t even go to VAR, it was a clear sending off. It was shocking but not surprising.
I would be getting sent off most weeks if I was working as a manager with VAR in the game. I got sent off a couple of times as a manager as I am passionate about the game.
What I would say is Howard Webb’s return to England to become chief refereeing officer has not solved all the wrong calls being made on a weekly basis.
Is he the man for the job? If I was managing him, I would tell him he’s got until the end of the season to sort it out or he’s sacked.
Absolutely. He is the figure above all the officials and if any manager has a bad team, they lose their job. It should be no different for him. If he can’t sort it out, he has to go.