Everton’s season has been plagued by controversial refereeing incidents, with a number of times VAR either overruling common sense decisions or even worse, failing to review more obvious situations. The Echo even pulled together a list of ten separate times a decision blatantly went against the Toffees just to prove this season doesn’t quite follow the adage that refereeing decisions tend to work themselves out over the year.
The latest in the series came during a bad-tempered Merseyside Derby — to be fair, when are they not hotly-contested affairs? — when Anthony Gordon was stamped on and pulled down in the box by Joel Matip and neither the referee nor VAR deemed the incident worthy of another look much less a penalty. After the game Frank Lampard was irate, and loudly insinuated that had the incident happened in the other half of the pitch to Mohammed Salah the home side would be getting a spotkick.
He was asked to write to the Football Association after that explaining his comments, and now the Toffees manager has been charged by the organization for ‘improper conduct’. Speaking during his pre-match press conference today ahead of the trip to Leicester City this weekend, the manager was asked about the charge.
“It’s an emotional game, isn’t it? My first job is to protect Everton Football Club for the players, for the club itself, and for the fans.
“I can’t talk about it. I’ve got to reply to the FA and at this point I can’t speak any more about it.”
The Toffees have a separate issue to deal with, this time from the win over Chelsea at Goodison Park. After scoring early in the second half, Richarlison celebrated his goal with usual energy, and then picked up a blue smoke bomb thrown onto the pitch, ran with it before safely throwing it away under the big screen located in the corner of the Gwladys Street and the Main Stand.
It appears now that the FA might have an issue with that as well, but have deferred to the Merseyside Police to continue their investigation before passing down any sort of judgement.
When Lampard was asked about whether he thought he would lose the star forward for any of the remaining five fixtures left this season, he remained non-committal.
“It’s another one I can’t go in to. It’s being looked at by the police at the moment and we as a club are doing everything we can to communicate with them as well as we can, that takes time.”
With goals as scarce for the Blues as they have, they cannot afford to lose Richarlison for even one game so Blues will be fervently hoping that the Brazilian does not face any punishment.