West Ham news: Pundit fumes at 'massive blow' as controversial Aaron Cresswell footage analysed
Noel Whelan has slammed the inconsistency of refereeing after Aaron Cresswell’s red card for West Ham against Lyon on Thursday.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 32-year-old would not have even been penalised on another day.
Cresswell received a straight red card after being adjudged to have pulled Moussa Dembele down as the last defender, with BT Sport posting footage to their Twitter account.
However, Whelan insisted it was never a sending off and was left furious with the “conflicting decisions” from officials.
Assessing the footage, Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Look, I think it’s a natural instinct when you put your arm across a player.
“Sometimes it can be in the chest, sometimes can be in the face. You’re basically trying to fend them off. It’s not aggressive nature, it’s just a natural instinct of what you do when you’re turning.
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“You’re trying to put your hand across the body to stop them going forward. I didn’t see it as a red, I really didn’t. When you get international, continental referees, they see it completely different.
“It’s really frustrating because you’d probably get a yellow on one hand and other times, you’d get nothing. They’d probably tell you to get back up and play on.
“This again is where we’re getting conflicting decisions from referees week in, week out. Now he’s obviously suspended for the second leg.
“It’s going to be a massive blow because you saw the quality that he gave West Ham from free-kicks and dead-ball situations.”
Jarrod Bowen scored for the Hammers as the game finished 1-1.
The Hammers face Brentford on Sunday before travelling to Lyon for the second leg.