David Coote will referee this weekend’s West Brom game against Manchester United after being removed from VAR duty at another Premier League match.
Coote was the VAR official in this season’s Merseyside derby and controversially decided to not send off Jordan Pickford for brutally scything down Virgil Van Dijk.
The referee was set to return to VAR for Liverpool’s clash with Leicester this weekend but it seems the Premier League have changed their minds.
He will now take charge of Albion’s game against Manchester United when Slaven Bilic’s men go in search of a first league win on Saturday.
Coote wasn’t present at any Premier League game the week after his widely criticised error but he has refereed two top-flight games since the Merseyside derby.
Sky Sports reported confirmation that Coote ‘did not forget’ the rules in the controversial clash at Goodison Park as his mistake was marked down to ‘human error’.
TalkSPORT report that many Liverpool fans voiced ‘their fury’ on social media after it was announced Coote would be the VAR official for their tie against the Foxes and they imply that the fan’s outrage could have forced the league’s hand.
The last thing Albion need is a poor refereeing display against Manchester United as they already face an uphill struggle if they are to get anything out of the game.
Baggies fans will be hoping for no contentious VAR calls that could potentially hamper their side’s progress as they look for a first win of the season.
But fans have every right to be concerned that their side has been given a referee who has been so heavily criticised this season and seemingly not up to facing VAR duty again after his error.
This doesn’t suggest that Coote’s confidence is very high and Albion fans will be hoping for a game free of controversial refereeing decisions this weekend. But with VAR involved, that isn’t likely.
In other West Brom news, Michael Owen has predicted the result of the Baggies’ weekend game against the Red Devils.