There have continued to be contentious decisions made by officials this season and only this week Howard Webb appeared on Sky Sports to speak about VAR in the Newcastle vs Arsenal game.
It was a groundbreaking appearance in the sense that Webb, head of PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited), allowed viewers to hear the audio of VAR in order for them to better understand the process that officials have to undertake in-game, and in the heat of what can often be a very stressful situation.
“It’s a good use of VAR” ?
Howard Webb explains why Newcastle weren’t awarded a penalty against Arsenal ? pic.twitter.com/RYjpuW6xqC
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 15, 2023
It was certainly a brave move on Webb’s part, though one which anyone watching could say was arguably successful.
One of his referees is going to be thrown straight back into the limelight this week, however, because of the controversial manner in which the Premier League has made their match appointments this week.
According to Newcastle World, Robert Jones has been appointed to the Newcastle vs Brighton and Hove Albion fixture on Thursday evening.
Under normal circumstances, that’s an appointment which would pass completely under the radar, however, the outlet note that Jones is from the Wirral on Merseyside, just six miles from Liverpool.
Given that the Reds are hot on the heels of the Magpies with just a point separating them ahead of the Thursday fixture, and with Champions League qualification at stake, it’s understandable why Newcastle might raise an eyebrow at Jones’ selection for the game.
There’s no suggestion that Jones would be anything other than impartial, but if there were to be any contentious decisions that go against Eddie Howe’s side, it’s entirely unfair for the Premier League to be putting the official in that position.
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