West Brom manager Tony Pulis admitted he is “concerned” by the lack of consistency from Premier League referees after seeing his side controversially reduced to ten men early in Saturday’s defeat to Man City.
Barely two minutes had been played at the Etihad Stadium before Gareth McAuley was mistakenly sent off by referee Neil Swarbrick for a foul actually committed by team-mate Craig Dawson.
The official paid no attention as McAuley desperately protested his innocence, and the early dismissal made for a totally one-way contest as the defending top flight champions secured a comfortable 3-0 victory.
Pulis was left fuming following the final whistle, with the boss also insisting City’s second goal should not have stood after Fernando clashed with Saido Berahino in the build-up.
“The inconsistency [from referees] is concerning,” said Pulis. “How in God’s name he sends off the wrong person is just beyond me.
“Their second goal shouldn’t have been allowed. Fernando kicked Saido in the face while jumping, and if that’s not dangerous play with a high foot, I don’t know what is.
“Those decisions just killed the game and I was just thinking about the 30,000 people who have spent good money to come and watch a spectacle, only for it to be all over within two minutes.”
Pulis also added his voice to the growing furore over the introduction of video technology within football, saying that, for the good of the Premier League, referees must be given a helping hand to wipe out high profile errors.
The Welshman said: “Refereeing is a very, very tough job, but people within the professional game have been very concerned about the standard this year.
“We’ve got to find a way of helping the referees. I’d have two challenges for each manager, which can eradicate the mistakes that have affected games and results.
“We don’t want to be talking about referees after the game, we want to be talking about the football.
“The Premier League is a worldwide product, it’s the greatest sporting product in the world, without a shadow of a doubt, and we have to try and improve it.”