West Ham midfielder, Declan Rice, has spoken of his frustration with VAR and the decision that cost his team a point last night.
Rice thought he had an assist under his belt when Robert Snodgrass fired in for the Hammers late on at Bramall Lane. Snodgrass’s goal had seemingly levelled things for West Ham.
However, VAR decided to review the goal and, according to the new laws of the game, Rice was adjudged to handle the ball.
It left a bitter taste in the mouth of the England and Hammers midfielder. And following the game, he made a bold statement, insisting nobody really wanted to see VAR in the game anymore.
“It’s not just me. I think it’s the thoughts of every Premier League player. I don’t think anyone in the game really wants it at the moment”, Rice said (Sky Sports).
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“Some of the decisions this season have been crazy. You see at the end there, they’re celebrating VAR like it’s a goal. Football shouldn’t be like that. The emotion there is the West Ham fans celebrating an equaliser”.
The win for Sheffield United put them back into fifth in the Premier League table. The Hammers, meanwhile, remain perilously close to the relegation zone.
Does Declan Rice have a point?
In a sense, he does make a valid point. However, the issue with this decision does not lie with VAR. The VAR, on this occasion, simply applied the rules of the game to a decision.
Rice really should be bemoaning the handball rule in general. It was only changed in the summer and has already had an impact on a number of Premier League games this season.
Of course, Rice is bound to feel aggrieved. His comments on the emotional side of things are a fair point.
However, Sheffield United fans will feel they deserved one tonight so won’t be complaining at all.