The Premier League has a serious VAR problem after a shambolic day of decisions


October 19, 2019 will be the day that many Premier League fans gave up on VAR.

We’ve been told that it could take seven years get used to the system but nobody’s willing to wait that long after what happened on Saturday.

There were disallowed goals, blatant penalties being missed and the sheer debacle that unfolded in the closing stages of Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-1 draw against Watford.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche, Aston Villa manager Dean Smith and Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores all had something to say about VAR after their respective matches.

Burnley were denied a point when VAR chalked off Chris Wood’s goal against Leicester City.

Wood appeared to make it 2-2 when he bundled home from close range in the closing stages but after a 90-second VAR check, the goal was ruled out after the New Zealand international was adjudged to have fouled Johnny Evans.

Dyche later said it was “incredible” that the goal could be disallowed.

“There is someone sitting watching on a screen, like I have just done, through 15 different views, slow motion, fast motion and with no emotion to the game,” he said at full-time.

Leicester City v Burnley FC - Premier League

"I find it incredible that after that you manage to find that that is not a goal. I have seen it back probably 12 times from different angles.”

Smith was equally disappointed that Conor Hourihane’s goal in Aston Villa’s 2-1 win against Brighton was disallowed.

After a lengthy review, Wesley was deemed to have fouled Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan in the build-up to the goal.

Aston Villa v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League

But Smith was annoyed that VAR had intervened in a “subjective decision”.

The Villa boss said: “For the first time I believe this season, VAR has got involved in a subjective decision. I must have missed the memo during the international period that we were starting to do that.

“It takes a little bit of fun out of the game now.”

Meanwhile, Watford can feel aggrieved that they only earned a point at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

There were two incidents that led to Sanchez Flores later branding it “weird”.

At the end of the first half, VAR failed to intervene in what appeared to be a clear foul by Jan Vertonghen on Gerard Deulofeu inside the penalty area.

And Dele Alli scored a late equaliser for Spurs despite the stadium screens saying it had been ruled out.

Everyone inside the stadium was left confused when the referee awarded a goal despite the screens saying ‘No Goal’.

“In my opinion there was a foul by [Harry] Kane on [Christian] Kabasele in the build-up [to Alli’s goal],” Sanchez Flores complained.

“It was very weird.

“I thought VAR was supposed to be helping football but if we are talking just about this part of the game it was very weird.”

There wasn’t much more joy at Molineux. Wolves fans chanted ‘F*** VAR’ after having two goals disallowed following its intervention in their 1-1 draw against Southampton.

There were, however, awarded a very controversial penalty.

And in the late kick-off, Manchester City were denied a blatant penalty when Wilfried Zaha bundled Kevin De Bruyne down inside the area.

VAR reviewed the challenge but failed to overturn the decision not to award a penalty.

VAR is proving to be a huge talking point right now - and rarely for good reasons.

Fans took to Twitter to express their disapproval with the way the system is currently being utilised.

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