Emery lists Arsenal’s wrong VAR decisions – “Who decides this?”


There is very little doubt that there are very few Arsenal fans or pundits that think that VAR gave correct decisions in last night’s game against Crystal Palace at the Emirates, and according to Unai Emery, speaking after the game, these decisions have been going against us on a very regular basis.

This was his quote on Arsenal.com: “Good evening. It’s 90 minutes and a lot of matters to talk about. We can speak about two directions. We can speak about our performance and also the referee’s decision with VAR. We deserved to win. We started very well with our two goals and we didn’t concede a lot of chances in the first half. Maybe we could have also controlled the possession better and got into the box with more chances after 2-0, but usually when you get two goals ahead the opposition want to push more against you.

They scored the goal with VAR, and maybe it was a penalty, so we need to respect the decision. It was amazing to check that penalty. OK, that’s fair enough, but the last match here against Bournemouth, we deserved a very clear penalty, more clear than this evening, but they didn’t check. OK, it wasn’t important in the final result because we won 1-0.

“Last week in Sheffield, we had a very clear penalty on Sokratis at 0-0. It was a very important moment but they didn’t check. We respected it and we lost, OK. Today, I was thinking it was a penalty but the referee decided no. The referee also said Zaha’s was simulation, and I thought OK but then VAR said penalty. OK, perfect, we respect that. In the second half we deserved another goal and our idea was to keep our game plan and take more advantage in our resolve to achieve the three points in a more comfortable way. They equalised and in that moment it was difficult but our reaction was a very good reaction with the supporters and the players.

“We started creating chances again, getting dead balls, taking offensive corners – and we scored a third goal. VAR said it was a foul but I checked it after and it’s a goal. OK, I don’t know who the person is on VAR deciding that. I think this evening is the first time… I mean, for me VAR is positive and we need VAR. But we need to manage that in the right way. At the moment, to us it’s not working well. I think the team deserved to win this evening. We played with speed when they equalised. I can only be a little bit disappointed that we didn’t control the match better at 2-0, to make sure that we could get a good result.”

The Spaniard is not against VAR completely, but it is supposed to stop the referee making errors, not overturning his decisions which are obviously right. As Emery said, we can’t even see the invisible man that is making these decisions and having a very big effect on Arsenal’s results. Emery continued: “For example, we can make mistakes: the players, the coach… That’s our responsibility. VAR is very important, above all for the referees because it’s very important to reduce their mistakes. VAR has come in and we’ve decided to have it for this reason. When the referees use that in the right way, I think it’s going to be amazing because it will reduce the referees’ mistakes.

“Now, we have started not checking a lot of actions because we don’t want to stop the rhythm or the pace of the match. OK, but we also need to check the important ones. For example, against Bournemouth the penalty on Pepe. Last week, the penalty on Sokratis. They were very clear and in the match, it’s a penalty. OK, they didn’t check because the referee didn’t watch it and decided he didn’t want to check it.

“This evening, maybe this week, they are starting to check more because they are thinking they need to check more actions because a lot of difficult decisions for the referee are coming, and they want to take more time to check that. Also, for me the penalty was perfect because they decided it was a penalty. It’s perfect because it helped the referee in this action. But our goal, the third goal, he is not fouled. That is not a foul. Who is the person who checked that? If the referee watched that action on the TV, I am sure he would not decide that it was a foul. In the office with the TV, I don’t know who the person is who decides this.”

This is the crux of the matter – “Who decides this?”. If the hidden VAR is going to be turning over referee’s decisions on a regular basis, who will then check their actions? Do we need another referee watching the VAR and then double-checking his decisions? Where will it all end?

At least in the good old days we were taught to respect the referee and his decision is final. Just get on with the game!


  1. Stop moaning and get on with Emery, ref decision stays. If you go 2-0 up, the team should push and score like Leicester and Chelsea did in their matches, so of you set up your team so bad, stop moaning.

    1. Who is moaning here?, you are not in the right mode to say that. Most Referees in England are cheat but people do ignore it but FIFA don’t, and this account for their number in FIFA competitions. During the time of Sir Alex Ferguson, apart from Man U playing well, they also had a lot of help from the degrees which Arsen Wenger never had. I thought VAR will remove all this controversies but guess what, the crusade against Arsenal from the officials of premier league still continues, why is premier league referee not allow to watch the TV by the Pitch side to cross check VAR decision like in Italy,France, Spain even Germany, l smell a foul play in England. This article is correct

    2. If you really don’t see the referee’s bias that cost us that match, then you must have watched with premeditated sentiment against Emery.

  2. Had our third goal been approved, Emery would be in a better position. But it will not hide the team’s inability to dominate Palace at home

    Had Ceballos played as no 10 or as deep-lying playmaker instead of Xhaka, I believe we would have controlled the game. But Emery strangely assigned him as an LW and reduced the number of midfielders by playing two strikers

    The good thing about that match is we might not see Xhaka play for a long time and Torreira, Chambers, Willock or Ceballos has to replace him. That is if Emery survives another EPL match

    1. Thank God, Ozil was not playing, Thank you Emery for freezing out Ozil and not giving us better results. It seems the problem is not with Ozil, Mustafi or Xhaka, it is with the manager! Emery MUST go.

    2. I’m sorry to say but you are a moron. You keep telling us teams don’t use numbers 10 anymore to justify why Ozil should not play and now you are saying had Cebellos played numbers 10. Will you try and be consistent and don’t act smarter than everyone else.

  3. I think I will agree with Emery on one thing that VAR needs to be consistent and not selective. Simulation can also be with contact in the box if initiated by the diver. If every contact in the box is a penalty, then why was Arsenal not awarded one against Bournemouth and another against Sh.United? I think VAR referees need to be retired referees who probably are not actively involved in officiating matches. Those VAR decisions made the match referees look very stupid and senseless.
    I advise the English FA to borrow a leaf from the Italy/Spain leagues on how a VAR aids the Referee but not make VAR look as if it is part of betting syndicate. That results so far ticks the boxes for (2X),(2) in the last 2 arsenal league matches.

    1. Exactly right Keno; however Mike Riley is a law unto himself and won’t implement the system used in the rest of Europe.
      Unfortunately these poor decisions contribute to coaches losing their jobs, so Emery is right to raise these issues

  4. I understand we didn’t play great and we should be winning after going two goals up especially at home, but I can’t really understand this var, who ever is in that room is clearly doing everything within his power to see us drop point. I watched many matches where bar review were been cried out for yet ignored I watched some refree interviews and they said it was to keep the pace of the game and allow refree to be the one in control that it’s becomes immenent/compulsory when it leads to a goal i said ok I understand there logic, but yesterday var steps in a over ruled refree decision on zaha and awards them a PK. and then cancelled a clean goal the officiating and var in yesterday’s match was funny it showed the correct meaning of fixed match. I said last season when epl was saying they will be adapting var this season.
    To me it was another means of bringing more corruption to already overly corrupt system. English officiating is one of the worst if not the worst in whole of Europe. Most times it kills the joy of the match and the exciting league. I watched var at world cup and that’s what using bar is clean and simple

  5. A lot of people are failing to realize that our lovely game has been taken over by betting syndicates. VAR is just another tool to assist match-fixing. There will be a lot more tears this season I assure you.

    1. The problem is English fa. I said why on earth was our match against Sheffield moved over on a Monday night when there is one match playing on sunday. I said no way arsenal will win that match I wanted us to win but I placed my money on Sheffield to get at least a point against us, even thou arsenal has not been great or playing great knowing epl officiating they can always make life difficult or easy for you depending on who there money is on

  6. In my opinion, there should be an explanation accompanying the call, either by the ref or VAR official. For example, in American Football the ref turns his mic on and explains his verdict to the crowd. Fair and square.

    The third goal, it baffles me too. Isn’t Chambers the one fouled? It’s at best 50-50, and the ball already passed back by the time they fell to the ground. Does the VAR official think that there were two Palace players down and they couldn’t block the shoot? But it was their own doing lol

  7. All the decesions were going against us yesterday. It came as no surprise to me when they decided to cancel a perfectly good goal without any clear and obvious mistake. If they disallowed this goal, why did they allow Man Us goal last week after Origi was fouled in the build up leading to the goal?

    Anyway, the atmosphere at the Emirates is becoming toxic again and eroding any kind of home advantage for the team. It was bad what they did to Xhaka but the fans were frustrated at the result and took it out on him. Wenger is the one who made Arsenal fans so bitter, angry, frustrated and impatient about everything. Now when the fans see we are going back the Wenger route with poor results they just can’t control themselves. Wenger clinging on to power had a far deeper effect on the fans than we will ever realize.

    1. There was so much made of Granit Xhaka captaining Arsenal, but it’s unlikely he will take the armband again. He took his shirt off, gestured and swore at the fans before storming off down the tunnel.

      After that it seems the fans turned on Emery as they chanted in support of a player who has been left out of the team:

      Crowd singing “We’ve got Mesut Ozil” en masse. Pretty pointed message to Emery, that

      Ozil is an interesting one, it always feels like the Arsenal fans blame him when anything goes wrong because of his body language and fairly relaxed playing style. Now that he’s out of the team, it feels like they think he’s a potential saviour and want him to play as much as possible.

      The result leaves Arsenal only three points ahead of Man United who have been criticised from all angles this season, so it might not be enough for Emery to plead for more patience and to trust his processes.

      He faces a tough choice over Ozil, if he brings him back then it undermines his authority, but the longer he leaves him out it reflects badly too. It’s like that situation is exactly the same as the one he’s engineered for the team on matchdays – you just can’t figure out how he’s going to win.

    2. Why Wenger again? Emery was appointed to fix it and get a better result. He has more players of his own choices this season, yet so far it looks worse than the team last season, when he had to use most of Wenger’s main players. Now, no Ramsey, Iwobi, Monreal, Koz, and also Ozil and Mustafi, as they’re not used anyway. Even last night, he started with 7 of his own. Blame Wenger and his legacy for the result last season, but it doesn’t make sense for the result now. 18 months already and it clearly shows that Emery is not better, if not worse, than Wenger.

      1. Emery is never going to be as good as Wenger. While I wanted Wenger out, I didn’t realize how shit we might become when someone else took over. I would take Wenger back in a heart beat now!

        1. Wenger can’t keep coaching forever and he had to leave one day.
          Sir Alex Ferguson has been found, thus far, to be irreplaceae at Manchester United; however the EPL is much more completive, since these two went head to head.

    3. All I could say is that, I guess VAR people are anti-Emery fans,they are working to see him sacked. Who would want him sacked anyway with his team selections.

  8. I smell conspiracy the last goal was a clean goal even the penalty was not a penalty. I think Arsenal board should protest to EPL board or else this injustices will continue.

  9. Two things were clear yesterday. Firstly, we were robbed by VAR. If Arsenal is a serious club will take up the case with fa to review the var decision. Secondly, we played ‘shitty’ football again. After the two early goals and Laca shot on target we did nothing until after they scored their second goal.

  10. Look no further why English referees don’t make it to the world cup, employing people who never kicked a ball in there entire life to watch after a football match, how on 🌎 earth would they know when a player is stimulating or cheating. There just read a script of paper containing football rules and there are referees no epl referee can even stand in a Brazilian league stand as a fourth official let alone a match refree that how bad they are. ✋ wait this var that is deciding games is it a machine or a human. If his a human then he/she is rich can control a game with his computer in his office without no one’s knowledge of who is making such decisions this is complete day light rubberey how on earth is that possible but yes it happens in epl oh my goodness can it be sir Alex Ferguson at bar yesterday, Jose morinho no I believe its a programmed machine/robot hahaha epl is starting to look more like watching a video game

  11. As we were watching the game yesterday, some strange things happened & some questions need to be answered; as soon as Zaha went down, why did they{VERY ARSENAL RESISTANCE} use the camera which is slightly on the right hand side of Leno after the penalty had been awarded and scored? I think that angle was vital in final decision penalty.

    1. I thought as much.

      I saw bar giving a goal to man city when sterlingwho was offside clearly blocked to keepers view for the goal

  12. The decisions yesterday won’t make a bolt of difference to Arsenal’s season.
    Arsenal will not finish in the top four regardless of the score yesterday.
    Emery will see to that.
    The worst manager in decades.
    We will look back on Wenger with nostalgia.
    Under Emery there will be mid table mediocrity…

  13. I believe that gambling is becoming too strong and beginning to control the premiership football. If care is not taken premiership league will die in a few years to come because of corruption and gambling.
    Results of matches played are been predetermined before the outcome., this was what killed Italian football that today they are no longer a force in Europe.

  14. I am still in support of Emery. The poor officiating of yesterday’s match robbed us of that match. Emery is here to stay and he’ll only get better. Our defence will take time to gel, the midfield without Xhaka will do better. It’s obvious that Xhaka’s style of play may not change despite his effort to play safe. He should be coming from the bench when needed. The frustrated crowd jeering him were wrong, but Xhaka as a professional and the team’s captain should’ve done better. He’s human with emotions and prone to mistake, but why hasn’t he apologized?

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