May 25, 2024

Chris Sutton has lambasted Wolves manager Gary O’Neil for his criticism of the referee and VAR following a disputed disallowed goal in the 2-1 loss to West Ham at Molineux.

The event occurred when Max Kilman headed in a late equaliser from a corner, only to have it disallowed because an offside player impairs Lukasz Fabianki’s vision.

This judgment sparked much outcry, including from Gabby Agbonlahor, although Sutton has maintained that the referees made the correct call and that O’Neil would have preferred it if it had gone the other way.

On the It’s All Kicking Off podcast [8 April], Sutton said, “I think we’re in the minority with the way we think about this. Some of Gary O’Neil’s words.

“Imagine if you turned that; if it had been the other way around, I’m sure Gary O’Neil would have complained that his goalkeeper’s eyesight was obstructed.

“I understand that you were frustrated. The referee goes to the monitor and, by the letter of the law, makes the correct decision. How can we criticise him for this? If he doesn’t make that decision, he will most likely be called out.

“I believe Gary O’Neil has gotten this wrong. Imagine if his team concedes a goal like this next season; the premise remains the same.”

Chris Sutton hits out at Wolves controversy v West Ham

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The call has proved divisive, with Jamie O’Hara and Jason Cundy discussing live on talkSPORT, with O’Hara insisting the goal should have stood, while Cundy agreed with Sutton that the VAR made the correct call under the letter of the law.

Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey, on the other hand, felt that the referees got the call “drastically wrong” since Fabianski would not have touched the ball even without the offside player’s presence, as he fumed on talkSPORT.

West Ham fans have rightly been angry by the decision, which has diverted attention away from what was a remarkable away victory, but repeated wrong rulings are becoming tough to ignore at this juncture.

However, the verdict will stand and nothing can be changed now, therefore O’Neil’s loud complaining and moaning since the game will go unheard while fans and commentators debate.

In other West Ham news, James Ward-Prowse has stunned Neil Lennon.

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