Allardyce calls for refereeing rethink
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was frustrated by the match officials’ performance in his side’s 2-1 defeat against Liverpool on Sunday.
Allardyce said that the Hammers had put in a performance worthy of a result against the Premier League leaders, but the game had ultimately been decided by referee Anthony Taylor and his two assistants.
West Ham’s equalising goal was allowed to stand after Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet looked to have been impeded by Andy Carroll, while Jon Flanagan earned the Reds a controversial penalty, from which Steven Gerrard scored the deciding goal, when he was adjudged by Taylor to have been fouled by Hammers’ goalkeeper Adrian.
The decisions led Allardyce to question the standard of refereeing in the Premier League, and the practices in place to help them officiate a game, claiming communication and understanding needs to improve.
He said: "I can be disappointed if we lose because the opposition have outplayed you, but I can't today. It was one of those games when we needed to be at our best, and I thought we were.
"It's a game where we really challenged Liverpool, but across the board the controlling factors and managers of the game are the officials and I don't think they managed this game very well at all. It's left me feeling a deep regret and sadness because we don't want games decided by decisions that were incorrect.
"I know it looked like Andy has fouled the keeper, but bizarrely the referee gave the goal and the assistant flagged up from 35 yards away and you never see that, so why is that? Then, with five minutes to go, the assistant was five yards away from Matt Jarvis being fouled and he didn't give but the referee did.
"Communication between the officials is something we have talked about at League Managers' Association level, saying that they need to be a threesome and be together all season so the communication and understanding gets better. It's clear it's a big problem for us, because it doesn't happen, and they are still part-time and do their job and go home.
"At this level, it's all right having goal-line technology which has made some fantastic decisions, but some of the decisions made by the officials are not.
"I think the referee found it very difficult and the two decisions you could say were really controversial were our goal and the second penalty. For our goal, Andy might have got a hand on Mignolet and might have put him off.
"I've no problem with the first penalty, which is a penalty, but the second one Adrian plays the ball and Flanagan takes a dive over his hand to try to get the penalty and he succeeded.
"We still might not have got anything out of the game because they might have scored in open play, and that's fine by me. I'd sooner lose a game that way. In the end, with all Liverpool's talent they had to rely on two penalties to beat us."
Meanwhile, former Premier League referee Graham Poll disagreed with Allardyce over Liverpool's second penalty, and told the Daily Mail that it was fairly awarded.
Poll said: "Andy Carroll’s challenge on Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was described as 'borderline assault' by my colleague Jamie Redknapp.
"While I’m not sure I’d go that far, it was a clear foul by the West Ham striker.
"The infringement was clearly seen by assistant referee Stuart Burt, who instantly told referee Anthony Taylor that it was a foul.
"Unfortunately, Taylor insists that he has also seen the incident and tells Burt that he needs to be convinced that he was wrong. In my experience, this is when linesmen can often back down, and this looks to have happened here.
"Supporters are entitled to ask why Taylor needed to run over to Burt. In this day and age, the officials are supposed to be ‘miked up’ to negate the need to run 50 metres! What also didn’t help was the fact that the big screen showed the incident. These replays do the ref no favours at all.
"The conspiracy theorists out there will say that Taylor gave the goal to ‘make up’ for awarding Liverpool their first penalty, but I don’t believe that Taylor did that here. In fact, no referee in the top flight worth his salt would do that.
"Both Liverpool’s penalties were correct decisions.
"The first spot-kick was a blatant handball and James Tomkins was lucky only to be booked. He could easily have seen red because he denied Luis Suarez a clear goalscoring chance.
"And, yes, West Ham keeper Adrian got a piece of the ball in the second half but he then cleaned out Jon Flanagan. Penalty all day long."