Manchester City’s 3-0 win over West Brom on Saturday lunchtime brought about another controversial refereeing decision when Neil Swarbrick appeared to send off the wrong player.
Craig Dawson made the initial tackle on Wilfried Bony, and BT Sport showed footage and sound of the whistle being blown for the tackle. Gareth McAuley would then make a fair challenge after the whistle but it was he that was shown the red card and left the field.
The most important point is that the referee got the decision correct, it was a foul, it was a red card, but it’s the mere point that he sent off the wrong man that should have been fixed on the field.
After the game, former Liverpool and England goalkeeper David James had a very interesting view on bringing technology in to sort out issues of mistaken identity:
"The beauty of football is that we can go and debate the fact the referee's made his decision, if you clear this up with technology, then we don't have anything to talk about."
He went on to say that referees should be allowed to be human and make mistakes. It’s fair to say that Twitter was not impressed with his point of view.
Remarkably, though, there was to be a second incident on Saturday afternoon that set the same alarm bells ringing, with Fulham’s Cauley Woodrow initially dismissed for deliberate hand-ball against Huddersfield Town before the match officials finally concluded that Shaun Hutchinson was the man deserving of an early bath.
#btsportextra tell David James tech to be used for objective decisions not subjective decisions. Identifying a player is right or wrong.— Ian (@IanSingo68) March 21, 2015
David James has real balanced views. Hopefully for the sake of football he doesn't ever get a job in running the game. @btsportfootball— James Knight (@Knightersjames) March 21, 2015
What a stupid comment from David James, just let all the referees make mistakes and let the wrong team win. Let them see replays! #BTSport— Kyle Jervis (@mimster2) March 21, 2015
Listening to David James on BT sport is bringing me close to a mental break down. Absolute Pratt.— bobby (@brl93) March 21, 2015
David James "Let refs make mistakes and we'll talk about it afterwards" But that mistake can cost teams massively. #logic— TOE (@TAKTIKT0E) March 21, 2015