The time for interactive decision-making is upon us, says Sam Allardyce. Goal-line technology does not go far enough for the West Ham manager who, seething after a red card for Carlton Cole with his team's match against Everton poised at 1-1, called for the introduction of real-time challenges to refereeing decisions, as in tennis.
Big Sam would press a button, the ruling would go to the video referee in the stands, who would then proceed via slow-motion replays towards the truth.
Allardyce pointed to the discrepancy in Anthony Taylor's decision-making which resulted in red cards for West Ham's Carlton Cole and Everton's Darron Gibson yet nothing for Victor Anichebe, who appeared to commit the same offence by challenging James Collins with a raised foot.
"Not many will remember the Anichebe incident because it comes and goes without punishment," Allardyce said.
"I go straight to my laptop – we record the game so we can look at any incident immediately – and Anichebe has volleyed James Collins in the neck. Nothing happened, so nobody remembers it. The other two get straight reds. This is the problem. The difference is far too great.
"The only way to make things better for us all is to bring technology into it. We should be allowed two or three challenges a game. Forget about your old Platinis, who are antiquated. I know they are in strong positions and they affect the game but they are not doing us any favours by not allowing technology to come into play. The technology today, like they have in tennis, means it is all done in two minutes at the most."
Allardyce makes a reasonable point. If technology is available, aids officials and contributes positively to outcomes, then there is no sane argument against its introduction. Whether it would ease the pain of a manager in defeat is another question.
Allardyce focused on the decisions of the referee to explain the result when a more profitable route might be to examine how Everton play the game. Video recordings of Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar would show how they controlled the tempo of this match through intelligent movement and the playing of ball to feet before the loss of Cole for a high challenge on Leighton Baines in the 67th minute.
Too often the default option for West Ham was to seek the right foot of Mark Noble to launch a long, diagonal punt in search of quick rewards. It rarely came off. Everton's slick approach work did not always bear fruit either, but on balance they created more chances and looked far easier on the eye doing so. Indeed, West Ham went ahead in the 14th minute using that very template, Matthew Taylor finding Cole, who cut inside John Heitinga to score.
Anichebe had already headed Everton level before Cole departed. Yes, Pienaar and Osman combined beautifully to edge Everton in front with 17 minutes remaining, but twice in the last 10 minutes Kevin Nolan fashioned chances to score. In the second of those, in added time, Nolan had only the goalkeeper to beat and missed the target completely. No laptop review was required to identify that error, yet there was no mention of it from Allardyce.
Naturally, the Everton manager, David Moyes, thought the worst decision of the afternoon went against his team when Osman's header was ruled out for an infringement on the goalkeeper by Anichebe. The video replay showed the linesman to be right about an arm holding on to Jussi Jaaskelainen. Perhaps referees should join in the call for a laptop law to prove to managers that they get the majority of decisions spot on.
West Ham: JAASKELAINEN 7/10, TOMKINS 6, COLLINS 7, REID 7, O’BRIEN 7, O’NEIL 6, TAYLOR 7, NOBLE 7, JARVIS 8, NOLAN 6, COLE 8
Everton: HOWARD 7, BAINES 7, DISTIN 7, JAGIELKA 6, HEITINGA 5, OSMAN 8, PIENAAR 9, NEVILLE 7, GIBSON 6, ANICHEBE 6, JELAVIC 7
Goals: West Ham United Cole 18 Everton Anichebe 64, Pienaar 73. Subs: West Ham Maiga 6 (O’Neil, 58), Spence (O’Brien, 80), Collison (Jarvis, 88). Everton Naismith (Neville, 84), Oviedo (Pienaar, 88), Duffy (Anichebe, 90). Booked: West Ham Maiga. Sent off: West Ham Cole (67). Everton Gibson (90). Man of the match Pienaar. Match rating 8/10. Possession: West Ham 38% Everton 62%. Attempts on target: West Ham 5 Everton 8. Referee A Taylor (Greater Manchester). Att 35,005.