Ex-Premier League Referee Questions Multiple VAR Decision Live On TV

Image of the Premier League flag.

Image of the Premier League flag flying. Credit: rarrarorro/Shutterstock.com

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has weighed in on several controversial refereeing and VAR decisions concerning Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United live on SkySports.

As has been the case for a few seasons now, former Premier League referee Gallagher has been tasked with the job of running through all of the controversial decisions from the previous weekend’s play in the Premier League and beyond as he looks to offer clarity to sometimes angry supporters.

Since VAR came into the Premier League there has been an increased amount of pressure put on officials to get decisions correct more often than not because of how long it can take for the game to be started following a stoppage in review.

This weekend, several clubs felt hard done by when it came to refereeing decisions including Newcastle who saw a goal ruled out for a Callum Wilson foul before then being awarded a controversial penalty, Spurs who were not handed a spot kick for what many saw as a foul of James Maddison and Arsenal, who won 1-0, had a goal chalked off via VAR for a Gabriel Martinelli offside.

Newcastle United vs Brentford

In what was a very dull and boring game for the majority of Saturday evening, Craig Pawson and his VAR team had a lot to do in the second half as he awarded the Magpies a spot kick after Anthony Gordon was fouled as he attempted to keep the ball in play.

Gallagher believes that it was indeed a decision that splits referees and claimed that “He does not get the ball, that is the only certainty. I think if you split referees, some will give it and some will not.”

Gallagher jumped to the defence of Pawson who ruled out Wilson’s goal in the second half, despite any in the media claiming Mark Flekken was too soft in his attempts to claim a cross, but Gallagher believes Wilson blocked his arm which forced him to flap at the ball.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Sheffield United

It was one of the most dramatic Premier League games of all time as Spurs scored two goals in second-half stoppage time and picked up all three points despite trailing heading into the 90th minute.

However, Spurs could have had a much more relaxing end to the game had they been awarded a spot kick when summer signing Maddison was kicked from behind, although Gallager believes they have nothing to complain about.

He said: “For me, no, minimal contact. How it puts him down like that, I do not know because the contact is on the left ankle and he throws himself on the right.”

Everton vs Arsenal

Arsenal travelled to Goodison Park over the weekend knowing that they have had a pretty poor run of things on Merseyside of late – or at least on the blue half – so to pick up all three points will have been a huge sigh of relief.

The Gunners required a world-class Leandro Trossard strike to pick up a huge win, but they thought they were set for a much easier afternoon when Martinelli netted a first-half strike past Jordan Pickford, but it was brought back via VAR for an offside call, despite the ball being deflected into his path by an Everton player, something that left Garry Neville confused on commentary.

However, Gallagher was adamant live on TV that the VAR team got the decision right because Martinelli was in an offside position even before Everton’s Beto deflected the ball, he said: “It is a good call as Eddie Nketiah is offside, he started in an offside position, then comes back. As Gabriel plays the ball up, it strikes Beto.”

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Written by

Aaron Hindhaugh

Qualified and experienced journalist covering all aspects of news and sport. Specialist in both Men's and Women's football with increasing coverage of golf and tennis.