MARCO SILVA felt referee Sam Barrott lacked the experience needed to handle today’s game between Newcastle United and Fulham – and felt VAR should have checked a possible elbow from Jamaal Lascelles before Raul Jimenez was sent off for a foul on Sean Longstaff.

Jimenez was initially booked after recklessly catching Longstaff in the head with a mistimed lunge, but the yellow card was upgraded to a red after VAR instructed Barrott to check his pitch-side monitor.

Silva did not challenge the decision to send off Fulham’s Mexican striker, but he was clearly unhappy with VAR’s refusal to reassess Lascelles’ challenge which went unpunished a few minutes earlier.


Silva said: “In my opinion, it was a strange and poor performance from the referee, from the first minute to the last. I am not talking just about the red card, it was the way he managed the whole game.

“He gave the first decision for Fulham with 21 minutes gone in the game. All the challenges, all the moments before the red card, they were against Fulham. It was really strange.

“Before the red card, Lascelles did a clear elbow on Raul. If they go to VAR, it is a clear elbow, but it was not even a foul. I am not saying whether that should be a red card or not, but the VAR did not even stop the game to check. That is strange.

“It is a clear foul on Raul, but in the opinion of the referee, it was not a foul. After the elbow, Raul has to be much more calm. Do not go to challenge in that way. The ball was not there to challenge, although the way he jumped in at the player, it was not a serious challenge for me.

“The decision from the referee was the most assertive one, but the VAR wanted to decide something different. Two minutes before, the same VAR didn’t even check the elbow. Everything was strange in terms of the decisions.”

Today’s game was Barrott’s eighth match in charge in the Premier League, and Silva questioned whether the Yorkshire-based official was experienced enough to be overseeing a game in front of the partisan St James’ Park support.

He said: “Newcastle are a very good side, but before the match, I really thought this was a good moment to come and match them and fight them.

“But at the same time, you have to come with a referee with the right experience and ability to be able to handle the pressure. In my opinion, this afternoon, that was not the situation.

“Was the referee not experienced enough to handle the situation? In my opinion, that is clear. It is clear. There are no doubts about that.”