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ALDO'S VIEW John Aldridge points finger at VAR official and passes judgement on Jordan Pickford

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Virgil Van Dijk’s defensive presence helped Liverpool to their first Premier League title (Paul Ellis/PA)

Virgil Van Dijk’s defensive presence helped Liverpool to their first Premier League title (Paul Ellis/PA)

PA

Virgil Van Dijk’s defensive presence helped Liverpool to their first Premier League title (Paul Ellis/PA)

John Aldridge does not believe Everton keeper Jordan Pickford was malicious in the challenge that left Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk with a serious knee injury, but he has questioned the role of VAR official David Coote in the incident that is the talk of the game.

Van Dijk looks set to miss the rest of this season after Pickford's lunge left him with cruciate ligament damage, yet it was the decision not to punish the Everton No.1 for his role in the incident that has become a huge talking point.

VAR official Coote did not ask referee Michael Oliver to check the TV screen at the side of the pitch to assess whether Pickford should be sent off, with Aldo telling sundayworld.com that referee Oliver has been let down by the man who should have been assisting him.

"The best referee in the Premier League was made to look like a fool by VAR man Coote and there is no excuse for him not asking Michael Oliver to look at the replay on that challenge," Liverpool goal scoring great Aldridge told us.

"I don't think Pickford was malicious in that challenge as he is a keeper who makes a lot of mistakes and appears to panic at moments like that. It was a clumsy challenge rather than a reckless, but everyone agrees it was worthy of a red card.

"The idea that the VAR official was too distracted by the tight offside decision to see the challenge on Van Dijk is a joke and this needs to be a moment when we look at who is in charge of the VAR decisions.

"Maybe we need to get more experienced referees in because Coote has a history of missing big calls and now he has missed another massive one.

"He was in charge of the Man United v Liverpool game last season and missed a clear foul on Divock Origi in the build-up to the United goal and was also at fault for missing a horrible challenge in the Chelsea v Spurs game last season.

"There is no excuse when you can see these incidents from so many angles and while VAR is useful for some aspects of the game, there is a huge problem if the technology is not used in the right manner."

Premier League referee Coote has taken charge of 30 Premier League games since he was promoted to the top division of English football in the 2017/18 season, but was left off the VAR list for a period last season after he missed a stamp from Tottenham's Giovani Lo Celso on Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta that officials later confirmed should have been a red card.

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