'Why put him in that pressure cooker?' Mark Halsey slams David Coote

Former referee Mark Halsey slams appointment of David Coote as VAR for Liverpool’s clash with Leicester before Premier League removed him amid fan backlash after letting Jordan Pickford’s lunge on Virgil van Dijk go unpunished

  • David Coote decided not to send off Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby
  • Pickford’s lunge at Goodison Park seriously injured Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk
  • Former ref Mark Halsey believes Coote shouldn’t have been VAR for that game
  • Halsey also criticised the declining standard of officiating in the Premier League 

Former referee Mark Halsey questioned the wisdom of putting David Coote into the ‘pressure cooker’ of a Liverpool match after his controversial VAR performance last month. 

Coote was lined up to be the video official in Sunday’s game against Leicester at Anfield, his first Reds match since his controversial performance in the Merseyside derby.

During the febrile clash, Coote failed to punish Jordan Pickford for a reckless challenge on Virgil van Dijk which resulted in a serious knee injury for the Holland captain. 

Former ref Mark Halsey blasted the appointment of David Coote for Liverpool against Everton

David Coote has been replaced as the Video Assistant Referee for Liverpool against Leicester

However, Sportsmail reported on Wednesday that the Nottinghamshire official has subsequently been withdrawn and will instead take charge of West Bromwich Albion’s trip to Manchester United on Saturday.

‘It’s poor appointing. There was a massive furore about the incident and we had two or three different reasons why it wasn’t picked up; the offside nullified the challenge which was nonsense,’ Halsey told talkSPORT.

‘Why put him in that pressure cooker? There was no need to put him on that fixture list as VAR with Liverpool.’ 

Coote was dropped from refereeing duties the week following the controversy, but since then has taken charge of two Premier League and one Championship match.

Former Premier League official Halsey also hit out about the falling quality of refereeing generally.

‘I hate to criticise fellow colleagues but over the last six to seven years the standard is dropping alarmingly, at all levels,’ he added.

‘We have some great referees out there at the top, and I think Michael Oliver is by far our best referee.  

Coote was the VAR who ruled against a red card for Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby

He has been replaced by Andre Marriner, while Coote will referee Man United vs West Brom

‘Martin Atkinson, Mike Dean, they are experienced guys and they are good referees.

‘Top coaches turn average players into good players, good players into excellent players – it is no different with referees.

‘We have a failing with a number of top coaches who can take our referees forward.’ 

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