West Ham boss Slaven Bilic always stays the right side of the line when it comes to his post-match comments about referees. Unfailingly polite, he keeps his counsel on some of the more outrageous decisions that West Ham have endured this season.
But he’s not happy. He wants to see technology to help referees and, like cricket, bring in more former players to marshal the game.
His latest thoughts on the perennial theme came after analysis by former World Cup linesman Glenn Turner showed that the Irons would be second in the table and ready for Champions League football if all the refereeing anomalies had been ironed out.
The most recent saw Andy Carroll penalised for a tackle in the box that led to a penalty that meant Leicester City drew level on April 17. It was no more than a bump, commentators said, and referee Jon Moss was trying to even things out, according to Carroll himself.
Overall, according to the former official who now runs you-are-the-ref.com 84 incorrect judgments had an impact on results in 333 top flight matches. Jon Moss was the worst offender with 13 key “errors”.
“For me there is no other option but technology – but up to some limit,” said Bilic. “It shouldn’t be like hockey, where you wait down there for two or three minutes. But something like goal technology - that you don’t even notice and that there is no pause or stop in the game and they are connected with watches or signals or whatever.
“The sort of technology that is there but doesn’t affect the game. Because if the games loses its flow then I’d rather have these mistakes.”
Meanwhile, Bilic is hoping a European slot comes next season courtesy of a Manchester Utd win in the FA Cup. If United were to beat Crystal Palace the Irons could afford to slip a place down to seventh in the league table and still qualify for the Europa League.
Bilic is still looking for three points away at West Brom on Saturday (April 30) saying: “We are feeling really motivated and good. And, of course, we would like to see Manchester United win the FA Cup to give us a cushion as well.”
“Everything is in our hands, so we would rather do it ourselves than wait a week after the season and be a Manchester United fan.
“Top six is a target and has been for quite a while. With four games to go, we have a little gap but we can’t afford to lose games.”