London, England — Ange Postecoglou, manager of Tottenham Hotspur, says he is not a fan of the video assisted referee (VAR) system because it confuses matters, after his team profited from an error by the officials in Saturday’s match against Liverpool.
Professional Game Match Officials stated that disallowing Liverpool winger Luis Diaz’s goal in the first half of Tottenham’s 2-1 home triumph was the erroneous judgement, blaming human error. Following the Spurs-Liverpool match, VAR officials Darren England and Dan Cook were substituted for two games this matchweek.
“I’m on record saying I’ve never really been a fan of it since it came in,” Postecoglou, who formerly coached Celtic in the Scottish Premiership, said after the game.
Not for any other reason than I believe it confuses portions of the game that were previously rather obvious. But, at the same time, I can see why technology had to enter the picture. We must deal with it.
“The game is littered with historical refereeing decisions that weren’t right, but we all accepted that it was part of the game because we’re dealing with human beings,” Postecoglou stated.
“I believe many are under the impression that VAR would be error-free. I don’t believe there is any technology since so much of our game is fictitious. It’s all up to interpretation, and they’re still people.
When you put such a high bar on something, it invariably is going to fail. So if people are thinking that VAR is going to be something that at some point is perfect, that’s never going to happen.”
Liverpool were beaten after a Joel Matip stoppage-time own goal, having been reduced to nine men following the dismissals of midfielder Curtis Jones and winger Diogo Jota.
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp, whose side last tasted defeat by Spurs in 2017 and had lost once to them in their previous 21 league games, said VAR’s decision to disallow Diaz’s goal changed the momentum of the game.
The result took Spurs up to second in the Premier League standings, a point off reigning champions Manchester City, while Liverpool are a further point back in fourth after seven matches.
“Who does that help now?,” Klopp said when asked about the referees’ statement. “We will not get points for it, so it doesn’t help. Nobody expects 100% right decisions on-field, but I think we all thought when VAR came in, it might make things easier…
“We scored that goal. It was top, top, top, outstandingly well played. In a game where you don’t get a lot to feel better, you make that, that’s super-important information, that’s how we can hurt them, that’s how we can beat them, stuff like this.
“So it was super-difficult, but the boys dealt extremely well with it.”