Sheffield United manager, Chris Wilder, has admitted he is getting sick of what VAR is doing to football.
The Blades boss sat back and watched VAR overrule a linesman’s flag when Jonjo Shelvey slotted in a second for the Magpies. The game had appeared to stop, but Shelvey, rightfully, carried on and tucked the ball away.
The goal from Shelvey ensured Newcastle ran out 2-0 winners at Bramall Lane.
But following the game, Chris Wilder admitted he is getting sick of talking about VAR and feels it is ‘sucking the life’ out of the game he grew up playing.
“I played as a 16-year-old apprentice, I’ve managed for a 1000 games. It’s a new game now,” Wilder said (Radio Sheffield).
“A new game that I’m having to learn, and I’m not enjoying learning. And I don’t think I need to or have to. We were told that linesman was going to keep their flag down. He’s raised his flag. Everyone in the ground stopped. Shelvey wasn’t excited or focused on going through. He rolled it in, he never believed he was onside.”
Although Shelvey was indeed offside and VAR was correct on that aspect, it was the scenario surrounding it which riled Wilder.
And he called on the powers that be to look after the fans.
“I don’t know how the supporters feel, football has to look after them. They pay my wages, they attend games,” he added.
“If you ask them up and down the country, the biggest stakeholders in the country, they’d sack it tomorrow. I looked at myself against Man United, charging down the touchline when we scored and I thought ‘I’ve probably made a right idiot of myself here’.”
Wilder well within his rights to complain about VAR
Like most fans, once they come round a bit, the issue here isn’t actually with the VAR, for once.
The problem comes with the fact the linesman has made a monumental error. As Wilder says in his interview, players were told the linesman wouldn’t flag if it was tight. This was as tight as they come. If he doesn’t flag and Shelvey goes on to score, then nobody has a problem.
Communication and consistency with the VAR is the problem. Wilder, rightly, pointed out two further occasions where the linesman flagged afterwards and the referee instantly blew the whistle. If he’d done the same here, would the goal have still stood?
Sheffield United and Wilder have had rotten luck with VAR so far this season. It’s, therefore, no wonder, then, that the Blades boss is calling on the system to be looked at again.