Friday 24 January 2020

Brighton boss Graham Potter unconvinced VAR is necessary

The Seagulls were one of several sides to have goals ruled out for marginal offside decisions at the weekend.

VAR ruled out Dan Burns’ header for Brighton against Bournemouth because he was marginally offside (Martin Rickett/PA)
VAR ruled out Dan Burns’ header for Brighton against Bournemouth because he was marginally offside (Martin Rickett/PA)

By George Sessions, PA

Brighton head coach Graham Potter has waded into the current debate surrounding VAR and questioned whether decision needs to be right following a controversial weekend for technology in the Premier League.

The Seagulls were one of several sides to have goals ruled out for marginal offside decisions along with Wolves, Crystal Palace, Norwich and Sheffield United.

While managers of Championship clubs and in the Scottish Premiership have urged VAR to be implemented in their respective divisions, Potter does not feel it is needed.

Ahead of hosting Chelsea on January 1, the Brighton boss said: “I don’t think my position has changed at all. I think we are talking about offside because that is the most recent thing.

“When it was clear and obvious, it was clear and obvious and if you go back to two years ago before VAR we were probably talking about a referee or linesman decision and saying ‘we need the technology because it’s the 21st century’.

“But I just think it is football culture and football mentality in a way. I want to support it because it’s here, but we are looking at the problem in the wrong way.”

Potter saw VAR rule out Harry Kane’s effort against Brighton on Boxing Day because the Tottenham forward was marginally offside, but he believes everyone in football would much rather see that type of decision be a goal.

He added: “We bring it in because we want correct decisions and everything to be consistent and to be right, but football is a game of mistakes played by human beings and they will get things wrong.

“If you accept that I am not sure there is a real need for technology, but in the culture of blaming somebody – before it was the referee and the linesmen for losing and now it is VAR – it is the same.

“The next thing we will do is get rid of the referees and linesmen because we want everything to be correct, but I don’t understand why we want that?

“If we want everything correct in the end do away with linesmen and referees and put drones up, use computers and artificial intelligence and I am sure we will get all decisions correct, but I don’t think anyone will like football anymore.

“Football at times is really unfair and that is what is so good about it. It is like life. Sometimes you’re on the wrong end of a bad decision, but you have to get on with it and if we take that away from the game we are changing the game.”

Potter will hope VAR is not required too prominently against Chelsea and also recognises Brighton need to perform at their best to get a result against Frank Lampard’s side.

“I think away from home they have been really good. At home they have had a couple problems, but it shows how tight and competitive the Premier League is,” he said.

“We need to try and play well and understand Chelsea will come with a good team and try to win because they are a top team, so we know it will be tough.”

PA Media

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