February 24, 2024

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher believes Robert Jones was ‘too quick’ to give a penalty against Wolves on Saturday.

Wanderers lost 2-1 to Sheffield United, with the Blades picking up their first win of the season in controversial fashion.

Referee Jones awarded a penalty to United right at the death after deeming Fabio Silva to have fouled George Baldock.

It was almost identical to the incident that saw Hwang Hee-chan penalised against Newcastle United the weekend before.

Baldock was already going to ground, but the penalty was awarded. VAR then upheld the decision – which was branded ‘stinking’ by Gary Lineker – leaving Wolves fans aghast for a second game running.

Now, Gallagher has pointed out a key mistake Jones made…

Dermot Gallagher shares where Robert Jones went wrong in his awarding of a penalty against Fabio Silva and Wolves

Sheffield United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

Silva’s ‘foul’ on Baldock was discussed earlier today on Sky Sports’ Ref Watch show, which looks at controversial decisions from the weekend.


Inevitably, this incident was going to be looked at by the team.

In the eyes of Gallagher, Jones was simply far too quick to point to the spot and did not give himself any time to actually think about what he’d seen.

He said: “I think the referee gave it too quickly. The best players in the world create time on the ball. The best referees in the world create a little bit of thinking time. Unfortunately for Rob Jones, whether he wanted to get in quick because he just wanted to make a decision I don’t know, there was no need to rush. If he’d have waited two seconds and seen how it unfolded, he’d have probably made a different decision.

“Once it’s given, because there is physical contact albeit minimal, the VAR is never going to overrule it. But for me, it’s best left alone.”

It felt like he couldn’t wait to give it

Jones blew up very, very quickly.

Sometimes you do see referees just wait a couple of seconds to give themselves the chance to consider what they just saw.

There was no danger of that with Jones. He gave the impression that he actually couldn’t wait to give a foul against Silva. Perhaps the deafening claims of the crowd pushed him to whistle.

What is bad about this incident is that if you watch it back, Jones is right there around 10 feet away with an unobstructed view.

As Gallagher says, even Baldock jumps straight back up to his feet. Had Jones just waited, this actually may have stopped him from blowing.

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