Bournemouth vs. Liverpool referee in new controversy after Steve Cooper fury

Referee John Brooks will take charge of Liverpool’s trip to Bournemouth this weekend despite new scrutiny from Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper.

The Reds travel to the south coast to take on Bournemouth on Saturday lunchtime, and the man in the middle has received his fair share of criticism in recent weeks.

Cooper called for the PGMOL to review the official’s showing in Forest’s controversial 2-2 home draw to Everton on Sunday, saying: “I’m disappointed with the ref, I’ll be honest.”

“He had too much impact on the game, and because of the performance there were some defining moments,” he told the Nottingham Post.

Cooper added: “That cannot happen at this level.

“It’s not good for the ref either, because he’s going to be gutted with that and it will probably be looked at. It was a pity really that things like that affect games.”

It shines a spotlight on the official, with the Telegraph reporting that it has led Forest to make an official complaint over the standard of refereeing.

This comes just three weeks after he was forced to step down from his duties following a VAR error which cost Brighton a vital goal during their trip to Crystal Palace.

Brooks was removed from any involvement with VAR for two matches, including the Merseyside derby – with the decision to replace him coming just hours before kickoff.

The mistake at Selhurst Park even prompted the head of the PGMOL, Howard Webb, to call a meeting to discuss the decision and a number of other errors over the course of the weekend.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 27, 2022: Liverpool's Fábio Carvalho celebrates after scoring the eighth goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool will be looking to extend their impressive run of form on Saturday at Dean Court, after Sunday’s 7-0 thrashing of Man United made it four wins out of the last five in the league and five straight clean sheets.

Brooks has never refereed a Liverpool first-team game before, though he was in charge of the club’s FA Youth Cup final defeat to Aston Villa in 2021.

This season he has overseen 10 Premier League games along with four in the Championship, four in the Carabao Cup and two in the FA Cup, with two red cards shown and nine penalties given across 20 fixtures.