On Saturday evening, Everton were involved in one of the most controversial stories of the season, as the Toffees suffered a 1-0 home defeat against Manchester City. Phil Foden scored the late winning goal. However, the biggest talking point of the game came when the referee Paul Tierney and VAR Chris Kavanagh decided against giving a penalty for an obvious handball by City midfielder Rodri.
Lampard questions decision afterwards
It seems the whole of the world has condemned the dodgy decision, with Everton head coach Frank Lampard speaking his mind honestly after the game. Speaking to BBC sport after the game Lampard said:
“There is not a person who watches that… that can’t see that’s a penalty,”
“Something has to be done about that.”
He continued by saying: “VAR have two minutes to look at it and to think they have not given that as a penalty when it strikes him on the arm, in an unnatural position. I have a three-year-old daughter at home who could tell you that was a penalty.”
The former Derby boss is likely to get a fine. However, it should be the officials that are looked into for their absolutely inexplicable decision.
Everton coach Ashley Cole also went on to the pitch after the game to ask the officials about the decision. All he got for his efforts was a meaningless yellow card.
Ironically, there was a similar incident in Everton’s game at Southampton last weekend, which was also deemed not to be a penalty kick. The incident did not get much publicity because the Saints are not as high profile as the champions.
English officials are just got good enough
The VAR system is a good one if used in the correct manner. In other European countries, the system is used and officials come to the correct decision in the end, which is the main goal of the technology.
It is not VAR that is failing the English top-flight, it is the officials that use it that are letting the Premier League down. As the officials that take to Premier League pitches each week seem to be incompetent, or is it something else?
Do officials use bias in their decision making? Is in a long-held theory that the monied clubs in the English top-flight get more generous decisions, especially against struggling teams.
This is not a new theory or a difficult one to prove. It would be hard to argue against that theory for anybody who witnessed the incident at Goodison. The problem is that neither answer is good. Corrupt or incompetent? Both make a mockery of the English top-flight.
The decision could have big consequences
The one decision on Merseyside could have big consequences at both ends of the table. What if City now wins the title by two points or Everton suffer relegation by a point. These are both very likely scenarios considering both teams’ current positions in the table.
This is not the old days were people could say that officials are only human and can make mistakes. Yes, the officials can still make mistakes, but that is why VAR is there as a backup. For both on and off-field officials made a mistake at Goodison Park.
These are the sort of decisions that should lead to more scrutiny on officials. However, that will not help Everton, who had fought hard against the best team in the Premier League for 90 minutes. Past evidence suggests that nothing will happen and this incident will be brushed under the carpet. Is this really what we want from our officials? The majority of fans would say it isn’t, but we may never know the answer of whether Premier League officials are incompetent or corrupt.
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