VAR continues to be a heated topic in the Premier League
The latest weekend of fixtures in the 2022/2023 Premier League on 3 and 4 September were surrounded by shocking Video Assistant Referee (VAR) decisions. It is unfortunate that all the talking points are focused on the VAR decisions and not focusing on another win for Erik Ten Hag as Manchester United beat Arsenal 3-1.
There are some fantastic managers in the Premier League which include Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Antonio Conte, and Erik ten Hag. Some of the best players in the league include Harry Kane, Mo Salah, Kevin De Bruyne, and Erling Haaland.
It is unfortunate that the standard of the referees does not match the standard of managers and players. VAR came into the Premier League in 2019 to help referees identify clear and obvious mistakes, but now in existence for three years, there have been multiple controversial incidents to question its effectiveness.
Here are some horrendous calls that have taken place from the last round of play.
Everton vs Liverpool
The first decision happened when Conor Coady scored for Everton in the 69th minute from close range. It turned out to be for nothing as VAR called it back. Liverpool midfielder James Milner made a clear attempt to play the ball as he blocked Neil Maupay’s cross which ended up deflecting onto Coady at the back post.
After a lengthy delay, VAR decided to disallow the goal. Milner blocked the cross, meaning the goal should have stood. The controversy didn’t end there as Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk put in a late tackle on Everton midfielder Arnadou Onana in the 75th minute. After going to VAR they decided not to upgrade his dangerous tackle to a red card. Frank Lampard said that van Dijk should have been sent off.
Brentford vs Leeds United
Right decision by VAR to award Ivan Toney a penalty as Leeds winger Luis Sinisterra stopped Brentford striker from heading the ball from a long throw in. Jesse Marsch’s men lost out on a penalty despite the Brentford player clipping Leeds forward Crysencio Summerville in the box.
VAR looked at it and made their decision very quickly. It was remarkable that they didn’t suggest the referee Robert Jones to look at the foul on the monitor. The final VAR decision from this game was to award Bryan Mbuemo goal for The Bees. It showed on camera that Robin Koch headed the ball backwards which resulted in the attacking players being onside.
Newcastle vs Crystal Palace
This was another terrible mistake by VAR. Newcastle winger Joseph Willock headed the ball towards the goal but when he did that the Palace defender Tyrick Mitchell pushed Willock into goalkeeper Vincente Guaita and the ball ended up in the net. Referee Michael Salisbury awarded it as a goal but after another long delay VAR disallowed the goal. This was an embarrassment as it should have been a penalty for Newcastle due to a foul by Mitchell on Willock.
Chelsea vs West Ham United
West Ham thought they equalized late on as Jarrod Bowen squared it to Maxwel Cornet to roll into an empty net. Referee Andrew Madley awarded the goal but yet again VAR disallowed the goal after a massive delay. They disallowed it due to Bowen catching Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. Bowen lifted his foot over the goalkeeper and never touched his foot. Mendy made it worse due to rolling around on the ground. Despite the call, Bowen did not foul the goalkeeper, nothing being wrong with the play.
Mistakes still prevalent across other matches
Referee Simon Hooper blew his whistle for offside before Philippe Coutinho’s shot occurred. As a result, the VAR could not review it due to Hooper blowing his whistle too early. Alexis Mac Allister scored a contender for goal of the season at the Amex. However, it did not stand due to a high foot. Anthony Debut was excellent against Arsenal but The Gunners were unlucky as their goal in the first half should have been awarded.
The Premier League said at the start of the season that they would let things go and let games flow. However, inconsistency is ruining football when it comes to VAR decisions.