FORMER LIVERPOOL AND Ireland striker John Aldridge says that referee Howard Webb should never officiate a game involving the club again.
The South Yorkshire official has come in for criticism following his performance in Liverpool’s 2-1 FA Cup fifth-round defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
With the visitors trailing 2-0, Webb awarded a penalty to Liverpool when Luis Suarez was felled in the area by Lukas Podolski, but shortly afterwards he failed to award a second spot-kick when the Uruguay international was seemingly barged over by Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain.
It is not the first time this season that Webb has been at the centre of controversy when officiating Liverpool, after he took charge of the club’s 2-1 defeat at Chelsea in December.
In that fixture, Liverpool were aggrieved that Suarez was denied a penalty for an apparent foul by Samuel Eto’o, while the Cameroonian also escaped punishment for a lunging challenge on Jordan Henderson.
And Aldridge believes that Webb is continuously costing Brendan Rodgers’ side points.
Writing in his column in the Liverpool Echo, he said: “He (Webb) cost us (against Arsenal).
“I was still angry about Howard Webb’s woeful decisions from the Chelsea game in December.
“I was still furious that he didn’t award a penalty when Luis Suarez was brought down in the area — and seething that he failed to send Samuel Eto’o off for a career-threatening tackle on Jordan Henderson.
“So the events of Sunday afternoon at the Emirates Stadium left me raging. Webb gets too many big decisions wrong.
“He gave us a penalty when Suarez was clipped by Lukas Podolski but then, for reasons nobody in the country can understand, he failed to award a spot-kick when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain clattered into Liverpool’s number seven.
“It was more of a penalty than the one he gave. I thought Brendan Rodgers showed real restraint and composure to describe the incident as mildly as he did, especially on the back of the Chelsea debacle less than two months earlier.
“How many of these wrong decisions does Webb have to make before action is taken?
“For a start, he should never referee a Liverpool game ever again. The Reds can go back in the archives and use a long list of games to help state their case.
“When he refs us, we do not get the big, big decisions and with Liverpool chasing at least the top four, we must hope he does not officiate our games between now and the end of the season.”