I don’t often take any notice of what Jurgen Klopp has to say but after yesterday’s match between his Liverpool team and Toots, he was right to criticise both referee Paul Tierney and VAR. Harry Kane got away with a shocker of a challenge on Andrew Robertson. Tierney gave Kane a yellow card for a reckless, potentially ankle breaking studs up challenge and VAR were clearly too busy scoffing mince pies and cream to care. A cursory review and all was deemed acceptable. Much later in the game though, VAR were wide awake when Tierney booked Robertson for a bad tackle on Emerson Royal and didn’t hesitate to send the referee over to the pitch side monitor for another look at the incident. Yellow went to red and Liverpool we’re down to ten.
Asked if Kane’s punishment should have been stronger, Klopp told Sky Sports:
Definitely, stronger. We can give Robbo a red card, it’s not the smartest challenge of his life. But that’s definitely a red card, no doubt about it. So we have a VAR sitting there, and he has a look again at the Robbo situation. Fine, that’s what he’s there for. What did he do in the Kane situation?
It’s a valid question but who from the PGMOL will give an answer? No one and nothing will be done about it either whereas a huge mistake like that should have repercussions for Tierney and whoever was operating VAR. If Liverpool had played much of the game against ten men, I’m sure they’d have won and imagine how they’ll feel if they lose out on a Premier League title by two points, or even one.
Ok, the bad decisions, including a handball for Liverpool’s goal perhaps and a penalty which probably should have been given for a foul on Jota, had an impact on yesterday’s game but it also has an impact on the rest of the team’s fighting for a place in Europe. I don’t care about either team or the result from yesterday, although the draw was good for ourselves, but West Ham, Crystal Palace and Southampton, Toots next three opponents, should be facing a team which doesn’t have Kane in it. Whether he’ll make a difference in any of the matches is unknown but he shouldn’t even be having the chance to do so.
It’s all very well Sky Sports running a ref watch on a Monday morning with Dermot Gallagher but what’s the point when it does nothing but spark a debate on television? What good does it do to find out the day after that the officials made a mistake when it’s clear and obvious at the time?
This isn’t something new either as it’s happening every week and has done for years. Arsenal have certainly been on the receiving end of more than a fair share of shocking decisions. Mostly against us and I’d put my mortgage on it that had Granit Xhaka made the kind of tackle Kane did, not one referee or VAR operator would have allowed him to carry on playing the match. A red card would have been out of his pocket in seconds. Just as it would for any other Arsenal player I’m sure.
The standard of officiating in England is dreadful. It’s inconsistent and VAR seem to be quite selective when it comes to making big decisions. What goes around comes around, is something I’ve often read online but it doesn’t and it shouldn’t. The rules are there for a reason and they should be applied at all times and for all clubs. And regardless of which country that player plays for.
See you in the comments.