Tottenham’s Danny Rose brands VAR ‘complete nonsense’ as backlash against the system continues to grow
Tottenham full-back Danny Rose has described the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) as “complete nonsense”, as the backlash against the system continued to grow after Tottenham’s farcical 6-1 victory over Rochdale in an FA Cup fifth round replay last night.
What appeared to be a perfectly legitimate opening goal from Erik Lamela was ruled out for a minor infringement by Fernando Llorente, after a two-minute wait during which none of the fans in the stadium had any idea what was going on.
Lucas Moura was then denied a penalty after going down in the box under contact from Harrison McGahey — despite the incident being refereed to VAR — before Kieran Trippier was awarded a spot-kick by VAR after referee Paul Tierney initially awarded a free-kick.
Son Heung-min's penalty was then disallowed after he paused in his run-up. This was also after Tierney had consulted with VAR, which Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino later declared was “embarrassing”.
A confused Rose later described the series of decisions as “very frustrating”, adding that the confusion took some of the sheen away from a convincing Spurs victory and valiant performance from Rochdale, who currently sit bottom of English football’s third-tier.
“It was interesting, very frustrating and just confusing more than anything,” Rose said.
“That has just overshadowed a good performance by us and a good performance by Rochdale. There is no word to describe it except frustrating, even though we won 6-1.
“But we managed to score six goals and luckily we are not on the losing side complaining about VAR. I just feel for Rochdale, some of their players were saying that it is their first time at Wembley and that has now been completely overshadowed. It could have been a nice occasion for them.”
Rose said that the majority of the frustration stemmed from the long pauses in the game while Tierney consulted VAR, although when asked how he would improve the system he admitted: “I honestly have no idea”.
“It’s just complete nonsense if you ask me, waiting around and not knowing what is going on,” he added. “It’s ridiculous. Ridiculous.”
VAR is currently being trialled in the FA Cup, as well as Italy's Serie A, Germany's Bundesliga, the Portuguese league and other competitions around the world.
But it is been involved in a series of controversies, with former Premier League referee Mark Halsey criticising mistakes in the application of the technology after Tottenham’s win, which sets up a quarter-final against Swansea.
When asked about Lamela’s disallowed goal, Halsey said: “For me it wasn't a clear and obvious error. I thought it was a perfectly good goal. I don't know why it was referred (to the VAR) in the first place."
He also criticised Tierney for ruling out the Tottenham penalty, saying he should have used his experience and had the spot-kick retaken for encroachment.
“He could have handled it better,” Halsey added.