West Ham star Jarrod Bowen has earned praise from former Premier League referee Mark Halsey for the way he handled his incident with Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale yesterday.
Speaking to CaughtOffside, Halsey made it clear that he felt Bowen and West Ham had every right to feel they should have had a free-kick in that situation, even if Bowen was honest and insisted Ramsdale didn’t touch him.
This resulted in Mike Dean giving Bowen a yellow card for simulation, which Halsey felt was harsh on the Hammers forward.
“In my opinion, Bowen’s been very honest in that situation,” Halsey said. “You could say Ramsdale maybe came out in a reckless manner, but Bowen’s also taken his leg out of the way, taking evasive action. In that situation, you can still give a free-kick to Jarrod Bowen.
“Obviously Bowen’s been very honest and he’s gone up to Mike Dean and said ‘he’s not touched me’, which is why I think Mike cautioned him for simulation. I’m not sure he needed to do that, it probably could’ve been handled better by Mike, but fair play to Jarrod Bowen for getting up and saying there wasn’t any contact.
“Having said that, looking at it at a different angle, you could argue that Wet Ham deserved a free-kick because Bowen felt he needed to take evasive action. It’s subjective and Mike Dean saw it that way because of Bowen’s honesty.”
West Ham manager David Moyes was also not happy with Arsenal’s second goal due to a handball by Rob Holding in the build-up, but Halsey has reminded the Hammers boss that this was perfectly within the laws of the game.
“David Moyes was complaining about Arsenal’s second goal, but if there’s an accidental handball in the build-up to a goal – and I do think Rob Holding’s was accidental – if it’s not been seen by the referee then VAR is not going to get involved,” Halsey explained.
“If the ball had come off Rob Holding’s arm and gone straight into the goal, then yes VAR would get involved and they would have seen that the goal should have been disallowed, because that’s the law. Even if it’s accidental, if the same player gains that advantage from the accidental handball, then the goal will be disallowed.
“But if it goes off his arm and then to a team-mate who scores, it’s correct in law to allow the goal to stand.”