Man City should have had a penalty at Liverpool and VAR is too inconsistent – here is my five-point plan to improve it

By | 10th November 2019

MANCHESTER CITY should have had a first-half penalty when Trent Alexander-Arnold handled inside the box.

I felt the right-back had his right arm in an unnatural position, made himself bigger and deliberately moved it out to stop the ball going to Raheem Sterling.

VAR has not been used in the same manner in every game and it is causing problems

Therefore I disagree with the Premier League statement which claimed it did not meet the considerations for a deliberate handball.

In the statement, there was no mention of Bernardo Silva’s accidental handball in the build-up, so presumably the PGMOL were happy with the City winger’s actions.

Referee Michael Oliver may have been blocked by Sergio Aguero and you cannot guess so it went to VAR.

On Saturday, the VAR official took almost four minutes to check an offside at Tottenham but this crucial decision, with the game goalless, was checked by Paul Tierney in just 46 seconds. That seemed super quick to me.

I can understand Pep Guardiola’s frustration at not getting a penalty and it was compounded by Liverpool scoring 22 seconds later. Mo Salah grabbed their second and there was debate over whether he was offside from
Andrew Robertson’s cross.

You can only go off what the official broadcasters showed.

Sky highlighted John Stones playing Salah onside and VAR checked it in 60 seconds and got the decision spot on.

Sterling appealed for a second-half penalty when his shot hit the left arm of Alexander-Arnold.

I felt Oliver got this one right because the defender had his arm in a natural position down by his side and he did not make himself bigger.

MY FIVE-POINT PLAN FOR VAR

  1. Follow the IFAB protocol and only intervene on a clear and obvious error by the match officials.
  2. Using the monitors is a must. The on-field referee must make the final decision — then everybody would accept it.
  3. Limit the length of time for checks on offside decisions to one minute. If the VAR official cannot decide by then go with the referee’s original call.
  4. There are too many grey areas including camera angles, which frame has been used and an inconsistency over when play is reset.
    IFAB needs to implement the communication between the on-field referee and the VAR, so everybody in the stadium knows and it is transparent.
    The fans are just as important as the players.
  5. There should be no active referees working at Stockley Park — because VAR is a totally different profession. The current officials are being overworked by doing both live games and VAR on the same weekend. A panel of ex-players or former top-flight officials should be included.

WE have had three months of VAR in the  Premier League — and its implementation has not been good enough.

I’m a big advocate of VAR and I would loved to have had the facility when I was a referee.

We all know it remains a work in progress but we must be doing better than we’ve produced so far.

Is this system fit for  purpose in its current state? At the moment, you have to say it isn’t.

When I first saw Sheffield United’s goal was disallowed at Tottenham, my instant reaction was, ‘What’s wrong here?’

Initially, I wasn’t sure if it was Eric Dier’s knee or head that played John Lundstram onside. It looks like his head to me.

We know the technology is not 100 per cent and the camera angles we are  seeing need to be parallel with the offside incident — this wasn’t the case here.

Also, the offside occurred in the previous phase of play, so it should not have been checked  as Spurs had the time to reset.

This aspect within VAR has also been inconsistent.

Burnley had a ‘goal’ correctly ruled out for offside when Chris Wood headed  in Dwight McNeil’s cross. It was tight — but Wood was a fraction ahead of West Ham right-back Ryan  Fredericks and VAR official Lee Mason got it spot on.

Leicester should have had a penalty in the first half of their win over Arsenal when Caglar  Soyuncu was pulled back by Matteo Guendouzi.


It was a clear holding offence and while ref Stuart Attwell would not have seen the incident, VAR should have picked that up.

I’ve heard claims it was not given because Soyuncu was unlikely to reach the ball but that doesn’t come into the decision making.

It was another case where the match official should have been allowed to view the monitor.

This post written by Jamie Gordon originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.

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