Speaking in a recent interview with Football Transfer Tavern, former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has issued his thoughts on Wolves’ recent penalty claim against Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs took the lead on the night, as Tanguy Ndombele fired home from distance after just 57 seconds, to give Jose Mourinho’s side the perfect start at Molineux.
The penalty claim came early in the second half of the contest, as Wolves forward Fabio Silva tumbled over in the penalty area, after claiming he had been fouled by Spurs’ Eric Dier.
Referee Paul Tierney waved away the home side’s protests, with VAR deeming that Tierney’s decision was not a clear and obvious error, with his call remaining in place.
Wolves went on to earn a point late on, as Romain Saiss headed home from a corner, to see the points shared on Boxing Day in a closely-fought battle.
Halsey admitted that he thinks the on-field officials are getting ‘lazy’, and are too reliant on VAR nowadays, before also claiming that he thinks Wolves should have been awarded a penalty for the tackle on Silva.
“The concerning thing is, if you look, the assistant is right there, he’s got a great view. The referee is quite some distance from it, but the assistant is right there.
“I think on-field officials are now getting lazy, they’re relying on VAR too much, and the reason I think that the VAR never got involved was because they’re looking at it saying, ‘Is it a clear and obvious error?’
“Now, had [the referee] given that in the first place, I don’t believe VAR would have overturned it. I think Wolves were unlucky, they should’ve had a penalty.”
TIF’s thoughts on Halsey’s admission on Wolves’ penalty claim, as they were forced to settle for a point against Tottenham Hotspur…
It’s interesting to hear that he thinks it was a penalty, but you can understand his thinking with it. The contact might not have been intentional from Dier, but it’s the sort of decision that we’ve seen given plenty of times already this season through VAR.
Halsey’s comments on referees becoming lazy and being too reliant on VAR is a bold claim though, and some might argue that he does have a point.
But VAR is there for the purpose of helping referees make decisions in the matches that they might have missed, so in our view, it’s aiding them.