VAR for Merseyside Derby 'didn't know' he could send Pickford off
David Coote was the official overseeing VAR
The fallout from an ill-tempered Merseyside Derby on Saturday continues to roll on, with Jordan Pickford's dangerous tackle on Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk the biggest talking point.
The Everton number one barrelled out of his goal to close down van Dijk in the first half. He missed the ball, however, and clattered into the Dutch centre-back, forcing him off with an injury.
In the following hours and days the true extent of that injury was laid clear, with the 29-year-old now facing surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament and months on the sidelines as he recovers. It is unknown whether he will return to action before the season ends.
Pickford escaped punishment for the challenge, and it has now emerged that David Coote, the official overseeing VAR for the fixture, may not have been aware that he could have sent Pickford off for it.
Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford will not be punished for his tackle on Virgil van Dijk pic.twitter.com/qPAdLvbDN5
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) October 19, 2020
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the fact that van Dijk was offside meant that Coote was under the impression that Pickford's challenge could not be punished.
The offside, the Mail was told, left Coote thinking that the foul was null and void, when in fact he would have been well within his rights to take action against the England goalkeeper.
Much debate has taken place over whether Pickford should face retrospective punishment (he won't) and what that punishment could or should be.
Some have called for him to suspended for the same amount of time that van Dijk is unavailable, which is frankly nonsensical, but it's fair to say that he was very lucky to escape without any punishment whatsoever.
Liverpool have since asked the Premier League to review the decisions made during the game, which also saw Everton forward Richarlison sent off late on for yet another horror tackle, this time on Liverpool midfielder Thiago.