Last night we saw more VAR controversy during Tottenham’s 6-1 thrashing of League One Rochdale. It was in the first half where we saw the experiment take centre stage with three different incidents to discuss:
- Erik Lamela’s disallowed goal – In real-time I didn’t see any foul in the buildup; in fact if there was one it would have gone in Spurs favour. So when the goal goes in you’re thinking, 1-0 Tottenham. But then the VAR intervenes.
Now we know the VAR is there and will check every goal, but the problem here is, this was not a clear and obvious error, so why is the VAR getting involved?
If the VAR does think that’s a clear and obvious error, then it’s subjective one, so Graham Scott should be telling Paul Tierney to go and view the monitor. If he does that then I think he’d give the goal.
Graham is refereeing Liverpool v Newcastle this weekend and you’re not telling me that if the same incident happens in that game, he’s not giving the goal.
- We then have the assistant referee signal for a foul outside the area and the VAR overturns the decision into a penalty. Correct decision.
I have sympathy for the AR Andy Garrett here because he wasn’t sure and in that case you give it outside. The VAR can then come in and amend if necessary. Once again though we need to be getting to that decision quicker, I don’t understand why it took so long.
- The resulting penalty saw Son Heung-min cautioned for unsporting behaviour by the referee after he feinted in his run-up. You certainly can’t criticise Paul Tierney for that. If Son feints halfway through then you could say he’s doing so within the Laws of the Game, but his next step, after the feint is to play the ball. So for me Paul was correct to do what he did.
I think maybe a more experienced referee might have been more aware of the encroachment and ordered a re-take of the penalty. I don’t think anyone would have complained about that.
Finally watching last night’s coverage I couldn’t help but notice Chris Foy’s input when being questioned by the BT Sport team. Clearly he’s an employee of the PGMOL and I understand that he will support the VAR as much as he can, but if you are in that role then you should be informing the public straightaway and telling us what should have happened. We don’t want to hear from someone who is just going to sit on the fence.
He seemed to completely miss the questions surrounding ‘clear and obvious errors’ and for me, and I’m sure the watching audience at home, he provided absolutely nothing to the conversation.