February 26, 2024

Frank McAvennie cannot believe the “incompetent” state of referees in the Premier League and was left shocked by the decisions made in the clash between West Ham and Sheffield United on 21 January.

Oli McBurnie scored the last-gasp goal for the Blades at Bramall Lane on Sunday (21 January) dispatching a 103rd-minute penalty to rescue a point after Alphonse Areola was adjudged to have fouled the Scotsman in the box.

And having been made to wait to take it, the forward smashed his effort beyond substitute stopper Lukasz Fabianski with Areola forced to leave the pitch after receiving treatment.

West Ham had been cruising towards a 2-1 victory after James Ward-Prowse’s successful penalty in the 79th minute.

Maxwel Cornet had given the Hammers a first-half lead with his first goal for the club before Ben Brereton Diaz equalised on the stroke of half-time on his Premier League debut.

The drama continued even after the Blades’ late equaliser, with the Hammers wanting a late penalty of their own after Jarrod Bowen went down in the area which VAR strangely did not check.

Speaking to West Ham Zone, McAvennie said: “The state of refereeing is embarrassing, it really is.

“I used to think they were very incompetent but it is even more embarrassing now, even with VAR, they’re getting it wrong.

“It looked as if the guy was all over Bowen and when you look at it, his hands were all over him so that should have been given, because Bowen could not have fallen if not under the foul of the Blades defender.

“But the Areola one was never a penalty, no way. The keeper actually got hit in the face, it’s so wrong, my God, it’s just unbelievable, even that rule where the refs can’t put the flag up until the phase of play has ended.

“It just beggars belief, I can’t stand it sometimes. I always thought the refereeing and VAR were gonna get better in this country but it’s only getting worse.


West Ham

“I don’t even think we’ve got that many good referees in Scotland or England and to put half of them into a box making decisions is ridiculous and even with the machines, they’re not doing it right.

“Get people in there that know how to use the technology, they can put me in there if they want!”


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