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

Keith Hackett has insisted that it was the right decision not to send off West Ham United star Pablo Fornals against Aston Villa.

The Spaniard went on to score in the 4-1 win at Villa Park, only moments after his challenge with Marvellous Nakamba.

Hackett believes it was more of a coming together, with Nakamba being heavily taunted for his multiple rolls in reaction.

Speaking exclusively to West Ham Zone, Hackett said, “I don’t see this as a red card offence.

“It’s two players coming together, and I think the referee is in a good position and he’s judged it.


It was a strange game at Villa Park.

Dean Smith and his team were clearly fuming that Ezri Konsa was sent off for hauling down Jarrod Bowen in the second half.

Even if that one was questionable, Kortney Hause got away with elbowing Fornals straight in the face minutes before that so it evened it out.

You can’t even compare the Fornals challenge to those two because Nakamba also throws himself into the tackle and both players were injured.

It’s brilliant that Fornals recovered, put it behind him and found the back of the net – it was the perfect response.

Aston Villa did the exact same against Arsenal last week, whenever a tackle or foul was committed, they run straight at the officials asking for cards – that can’t be allowed.

Thankfully, common sense prevailed.

In other West Ham United news, ExWHUemployee has shared a special clause that the Irons have to complete a major transfer in 2022

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