By Jack Cunningham

18th Oct, 2021 | 3:21pm

Keith Hackett provides his view on the potential foul on Pickford in the Everton game

We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Everton.

Keith Hackett believes Jordan Pickford wasn’t fouled during the 1-0 Everton defeat to West Ham on Sunday.

Rafael Benitez revealed after the game that he thought Michail Antonio fouled the England goalkeeper before the corner that led to Angelo Ogbonna’s winner [Liverpool Echo].

However, Hackett doesn’t think so and believes that Stuart Atwell got the decision spot on.

Speaking exclusively to Goodison News, Hackett said: “I’m amazed.

“Just check the video, Rafa Benitez, before you make a comment. Just check the video.

“Here was a fair challenge; the forward has the ability to jump; he did not foul the goalkeeper, and as the ball went through, it came off the glove of Pickford.”

Hackett makes a fantastic point.

We have to say that if you are giving out fouls for this sort of challenge, then you may as well make football non-contact because even the staunchest of Everton fan should be able to admit that Pickford wasn’t fouled.

The problem is not with the referee here, but the defending from the corner, which was poor and allowed Ogbonna a free header from very close to goal.

We understand why Benitez was annoyed because this was the moment in which they lost a tight game, but it just wasn’t a foul.

Hackett makes a great point here, and we would hope that most Evertonians will accept that Pickford wasn’t fouled.

Imagine if that had been the other way around? You wouldn’t want Salomon Rondon or Dominic Calvert-Lewin penalised for making that sort of challenge; it would be ridiculous.

Therefore, we totally agree with Hackett’s point and would hope that Benitez agrees with it now as well.

In other Everton news, Kieran Maguire reacts to a ground-breaking appointment at the club.

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