The Watford head coach claims he doesn’t currently “know when it’s a penalty or not” and is unsure whether the introduction of Video Assistant Referee is helping the on-pitch official.

Javi Gracia has rarely spoken out against referees in his time at Vicarage Road, but he chose to express his concerns after being asked about an incident in the 1-0 defeat at Everton when Gerard Deulofeu went down under a Yerry Mina challenge in the 18-yard box during the first half.

The Hornets appealed for a penalty, the Toffees defender claimed the Spaniard had dived but on-pitch referee Lee Mason gave a corner. Replays showed this was incorrectly awarded, but the decision remained no penalty after the incident had been reviewed by VAR.

This followed another big talking point in Watford’s opening day defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion when Roberto Pereyra was adamant a spot-kick should have been awarded after his free-kick struck Glenn Murray on the arm as he jumped on the end of the defensive wall.

“I think today and in the last game there were many referee’s decision that were wrong in my opinion. In this moment I don’t know when it’s a penalty or not.

“Last week one player on the wall touched the ball there (gesturing to his arm) and it’s not a penalty. I don’t know in this moment if the VAR is helping the referees because after watching these images I can’t believe they don’t decide another thing.”

Gracia added: “After Gerard got into the box Yerry Mina doesn’t touch the ball. There will be different opinions, but my opinion at this moment is I don’t know when it’s a penalty.”