Ref Watch: ‘Yes, no, maybe’ for Forest appeals – agree with Dermot?

Dermot Gallagher returns for a busy Ref Watch, with the former Premier League referee saying the third of Nottingham Forest’s denied appeals should have been given.

Did Forest have three penalties turned down?

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Nottingham Forest were denied three penalties during their important clash with Everton as Ashley Young was accused of kicking Giovanni Reyna, committing a handball in the box and fouling Callum Hudson-Odoi

Giovanni Reyna went down in the box under a challenge from Ashley Young and nothing was given on field by Anthony Taylor or the VAR.

DERMOT SAYS: “No. The referee has got the perfect view. There’s contact but not all contact is a foul. Once the referee has looked at it, the VAR is never, ever going to intervene.

“He makes contact but we’ve got to be very careful we don’t sanitise the game where every bit of contact becomes a foul.”

Warnock: Young knows he’s done something wrong

Stephen Warnock on Ref Watch:

“I think it’s a penalty… it’s one of those things where you get caught on the wrong side of a player.

“The big thing for me and we talk about player reaction… if you keep your eye on Young, two hands go above his head as if to say ‘I’ve done something wrong’.

“Straight away, that reaction tells you everything he’s kicked through him. Ash knows he’s got away with one there.”

Young was perhaps more fortunate not to give away a penalty at the end of the first half when Callum Hudson-Odoi’s cross struck his arm.

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A smiling Ashley Young claimed that all three penalty decisions in Everton’s Premier League game against Nottingham Forest were correctly refereed

DERMOT SAYS: “This is the most difficult call. Is his arm there because he’s running? Is he too close?

“I think he would be very harshly treated if a penalty was given but in the Scottish Premiership, everything like that is given.

“It’s a decision that could have gone either way.”

Warnock: Are natural positions the same for everyone?

Stephen Warnock on Ref Watch:

“I think it’s the natural movement of a footballer and anyone who runs.

“This ‘natural movement of the arm’ is something the lawmakers have got themselves into a deep hole with because what is a natural position?

“Everyone will have different running styles. The way Young has to get across, he cannot run with his hands behind his back. That’s not natural.

“He will run with his hands moving side to side and that’s normal.”

There was another penalty appeal for Forest in the second half when Young challenged Hudson-Odoi, but did he get any of the ball?

DERMOT SAYS: “It’s a penalty. Firstly, the defender is the wrong side of the forward. Secondly, the referee signals that the defender plays the ball. He doesn’t play the ball, that’s a certainty, on that basis the VAR could send him to the screen.

“The VAR probably judged it wasn’t a clear and obvious error but the referee signalled he got the ball. I would say to the referee, ‘Go and have a look at it’. He might have a look at it and not give a penalty. That would sit better.”

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Everton’s win against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League

Nottingham Forest statements

After the defeat to Everton, Nottingham Forest released a statement on X, formerly Twitter, which read: “Three extremely poor decisions – three penalties not given – which we simply cannot accept.

“We warned the PGMOL that the VAR is a Luton fan before the game but they didn’t change him. Our patience has been tested multiple times. NFFC will now consider its options.”

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Jamie Carragher says the Premier League has to come down hard on Nottingham Forest for their statement on the refereeing decisions, whilst Gary Neville believes Mark Clattenburg should stand down from his referee analyst position at the club

Nottingham Forest adviser Mark Clattenburg later doubled down on the statement in a column for the Daily Mail.

Discussing how referees are allocated to games and having to declare their allegiances, Dermot said: “We all had to do it right from the start. It obviously works because referees are put on games week-in, week-out. It’s only highlighted today because of the three penalty shouts yesterday.

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Following Nottingham Forest’s suggestion that VAR Stuart Atwell is a Luton fan, Sky Sports News’ senior reporter Rob Dorsett explains how the PGMOL appoint officials to matches

“It’s not easy putting 10 referees, 20 assistants, 10 VARs – there are so many mechanics in it. Where were you last week? How did you perform? It’s an intricate mechanism but it does work.

“What I do know, is that Stuart Attwell is one of the VARs used week-in, week-out in the Champions League. He must be regarded as a very integral part of the system.

“You don’t do that if you’re not capable and making mistakes on a regular basis. People may question his decision but it’s not right to question his integrity.”

Both Stephen Warnock and Sue Smith agreed that the character of Attwell should not have been questioned, but Warnock added that referee Anthony Taylor should have been sent to the monitor.

He said on Ref Watch: “I don’t like the questioning of the integrity of Stuart Attwell, but I do agree that Attwell should have sent the referee to the monitor [for the third penalty].

“As soon as you have a referee saying he’s got the ball when we can clearly see he hasn’t, then it has to go to the on-field referee and he has to make a decision.

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Jamie Carragher has slammed Nottingham Forest’s social media post after they were denied three potential penalties against relegation rivals Everton during their 2-0 defeat

“It’s a bad day for VAR again and bad days happen. But VAR was bought in for big moments in big games and this was one of the biggest games of the weekend.

“VAR was bought in so there wouldn’t be controversy and talking points about these incidents. I understand how Forest are as well, but you can’t question the integrity of someone for loyalty to another football club.”

Coventry 3-3 Man Utd (Man Utd with 4-2 on penalties)

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Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville dissect Manchester United’s narrow FA Cup semi-final win over Coventry and what the performance at Wembley could mean for Erik ten Hag and his future at Old Trafford

In the FA Cup, there was late drama at Wembley on Sunday as Rob Jones awarded a penalty to Coventry for an Aaron Wan-Bissaka handball.

DERMOT SAYS: “I didn’t think it was a penalty. This is the complexity of the handball situation. They’ve drilled down to get it precise but it’s actually made it more difficult for the officials.

“One thing you would say is the distance the ball travelled, Ashley Young (for Everton vs Forest) was close to the cross but this one came from a lot further.”

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Sky Sports’ James Savundra and Peter Smith reflect on Manchester United’s dramatic FA Cup semi-final win over Coventry City at Wembley

Coventry had a marginal offside to deny them a late winner in extra-time against Man Utd. Victor Torp scored the goal, but Haji Wright was flagged offside.

DERMOT SAYS: “If he’d worn size-eight boots instead of size 10, he would have been given onside. But it’s a factual decision.”

Man City 1-0 Chelsea

There was another handball incident in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday. Chelsea felt they should have had a penalty for a handball against Jack Grealish.

DERMOT SAYS: “The referee gives a goal kick so he definitely doesn’t see the ball strike Grealish’s arm. On that basis, I wonder if the VAR could send him to the screen. It’s then more acceptable if the referee makes that decision.”

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