Enough is enough, something has to be done about VAR – opinion

Arsenal comprehensively beat Leeds United this afternoon despite a terrible decision by the referee and his use of VAR.

Over the last couple of months, I have been embarrassed by some of the constant complaining by some of our own fans over decisions made by the officials, both on the field and off via VAR.

I do not subscribe to all these conspiracy theories being spouted and I do not blame the officials for our overall inconsistent performances this season, that, in my opinion, lies solely at the door of the manager, however, that does not mean that the officials are not slowly bringing the game into disrepute.

You see, I have witnessed some outrageous calls against many sides this season, not just Arsenal and that tells me there is no conspiracy against our club, it tells me that incompetence is rife.

Today was a humdinger, Bukayo Saka was clearly fouled by Leeds’ Liam Cooper and the referee Stuart Atwell, rightfully gave a penalty, only to go to the monitor and overturn his own decision.

That was a scandalous call, one that I simply cannot fathom and this is not me being tribal, you will find no articles on here from me attacking the referees, this is the first one I have done, that is how strongly I feel, in fact, I am not even going to attack the referee but those in authority that refuse to act in the face of so much evidence.

I do not feel that Premier League refs are any worse than the other top five leagues, I see these sort of incidents in La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 and that points to a massive lack of training in interpreting the rules and use of VAR.

It is us the fans that are suffering more than the actual players and clubs. All clubs at the highest levels suffer at the hands of the officials which means all fans are being short-changed and that is not right and something must be done for the sake of the game we all love so much.

I am a fan of VAR and want it to stay, but not how it is being implemented right now.

Tags VAR


  1. Enough with the pseudo-conspiratorial nonsense…even Saka will tell you that he went to ground too easily on that occasion…I know you’re trying to suggest you care about the greater good for all fans, but considering our recent history this is just an attempt to persuade those who believe we’re specifically being treated harshly to come out of the woodwork and vent endlessly about issues not-related to the real issues that VAR needs to properly address moving forward…hopefully rational thought will win the day so that we can find the same balance between the pursuit of technological perfection and the intended “spirit” of the rules which should be left to on-field officials

    1. True buddy…….comparing Luiz’s red card and a penalty issued,appeal overruled,Southampton vs Man Uniteds foul on Martial,penalty and red card which on appeal was then overturned then the foul on Bukayo given by the same official who denies it again after a whisper from the VAR…..spectacular!

  2. Saw nothing wrong with the decisions, in fact I want to see more of the referee calling out his own decision a monitor.

    Much prefer it to twAts who have no knowledge calling it out on social media or in a studio. We need to focus on winning and stop making bloody excuses.

  3. I thought it was a stonewall penalty, until i saw it on VAR. While i think it wasn’t a penalty i didn’t think it was a 100% mistake by the ref because there was a coming together, so maybe it wasn’t an obvious error. Whatever, i didn’t think it was a penalty after seeing it on VAR, like i did without it.

  4. I think it was soft, I’ll be angry (just like I was when Luiz was shown red) if such is awarded against us. All we are asking for is consistency, no one is asking for cheap penalty, just consistency, if Luiz penalty was awarded, on that scale, Saka should got the penalty but on a general scale, it was too soft, and I think Saka took a wrong decision, he should have shoot

  5. VAR is a catastrophe that has ruined football It was ill conceived even before it actually started .

    Unlike the vast majority of Gooners I have faith in the integrity of all ref, though I do find many not good enough.

    But that is always going to be the case while we have humans in charge, just as with human players you will get mistakes. TECHNOLOGHY IS MERELY RUN AND INTERPRETED BY HUMANS SO NO WONDER IT IS A MESS. A MESS WE SHOULD NOT HAVE.

    Intead of aiming for unrealistic ref perfectioin, we should accept the lack of perfection and not question it.

    What DOES need to change is our own arrogance toward thinking we know better than professional refs. And for that matter, also professional managers like MA who are constantly criticised by knowalls who don;t even know every law in fine detail, as refs do. And who have never coached in their life.

    Opinions are fine but when it crosses the line of unfair criticism of those who are far more qualified, then I do not accept that arrogant self entitled attitude that so many display. THEY SHOULD ALL GROW UP!

    In short we all should be less arrogant and more sporting.

    Just my take but I have thought this for all my life about supporting, not questioning refs, and long before VAR – a ridiculous idea – was ever mooted!

    1. Jah Son,why didn’t you moan about how he put his life and body on the line yesterday defending all the brutality thrown at him yesterday? Such a shame some pathetic humans never considers the positive aspects of others but always duel on their mistakes and short comings.

  6. Vieira, no way nowadays to go too easily down. Did you sleep in cryobox last 5 yrs ? Kane, Salah, Vardy, Alli, all the Sapniard’s going down at minimal contact and penalty is giving….

    1. That doesn’t make it right or help whatsoever when trying to fix the glitches in the current system…the fact is with VAR there should be ample opportunities to give more yellows for simulation, thereby safeguarding the “spirit” of the rules and helping to justify the very existence of VAR itself…sorry go to go, I’m micro-dosing in my cryobox tonight

      1. One thing is that you are right, I agree.
        It should be so…
        BUT last time when media, all the pundits, english fans and all the PL-stuff critised diving player was….. Luis Suarez.
        Vardy, Alli, Son, Fernandes(!!!!!)…. no one word of shame for them.
        You’re definitely living in the another better football world. Even if I agree with you.

  7. I think ours was a 50:50 call, but there one was more of a penalty than ours in all fairness.

    Nice to see them both not called though, it’s a contact sport after all.

    P.s. easy to say this because we won the match

  8. Referees are human, VAR is inhuman. The refs word should be final and not overruled by some biased muppet 100 miles away. VAR is anti football.

    1. The problem with VAR is Mike Riley and implementation in England, which differs from elsewhere in Europe.
      There doesn’t appear to be the same number of complaints from the other Leagues.

    2. Declan You and I seen to be almost the only ones on JA who against VAR body and soul. The whole ridiculous concept of a further(video) referee to question the validity of the actual refs decisions is incredibly harmful to the natural authority and unquestioned decisions that ALL refs need in order to do their job properly and without interference.

      They have gone in exactly the polar wrong direction by bringing in this nonsense at all. In my considered opinion, far from questioning refs decisions, the game SHOULD be far harder on all who quarrel and dispute refs decisions.

      Divers who cheat should be sent off, PLUS get an automatic six PREM games ban, doubled if repeated and then doubled again if necessary. That would cure the problem. IN ALL OTHER SPORTS THE REFS DECISION IS FINAL. BUT FOOTBALL ALONE ALLOWS AND ENCOURAGES DISPUTING IT.

      Were technology as in cricket and tennis and indisputably correct, not done by human interpretation, then I would have a different opinion. But it does not!

  9. I thought it was a penalty. It’s ironic that var has been introduced since betting companies are now sponsors of many comps and teams. No conspiracy against arsenal but dont hold yr breath for consistent decisions from var because I think it’s pretty obvious why we have var now

  10. In my opinion the saka challenge was too soft to be a pen and it looked like he went down easy. BUT if Luiz tackle was a pen then this is a pen if not there is no consistency which is the biggest failure of epl refs. How many time have incidents like the pepe red card not resulted in a sending off.

    The way I see it most of the times when there is a 50-50 decision we get screwed by the ref. That crap has been going on since Wenger.

  11. Can’t be a conspiracy as we got a pen later in the game .
    So is there was a conspiracy, that would have been overruled ?

    1. Plus the penalty denied Leeds United. Basically incompetence of English officials, being the reason they don’t get appointments to International matches.

  12. Please forgive me, but I truly believe what I am about to say. It is my opinion that VAR was introduced for one reason only. It’s intent was to create breaks in the flow of the play. Have you noticed that whenever there are complaints about the use of VAR, FIFA keep changing the rules to try and make it work. There is never any talk of them dropping it though. Remember in the summer months we had water breaks. Another introduction that breaks the flow of the game. Even silly things like when the ball hits the ref and the opposing team gets advantage, the play is stopped. Now 5 substitutions are allowed in European matches. It should be noted that the successful TV sports in the US all have copious breaks in the play. It is my contention that, at the upcoming World Cup in the US, the following changes will also have been introduced by FIFA. A time clock will be used. The game will be broken into 4 25 minute quarters. It is possible that Managers will be allowed one or more flags, which they can use to cause a play to be reviewed via VAR. There may be any number of substitutions allowed, as well as blood (a player gets a cut, goes off to have it seen to, then comes back on) and concussion substitutions . These changes are being pushed by TV companies, particularly in the USA. TV makes it’s money thru advertising, but currently Football does not have sufficient breaks where adverts can be run. The 10 minute half time break is already 15 minutes.
    I hope I am wrong about this, but my fear is I may be right. This could also be the recipe for the European Super League (which will might ultimately play as many games in the US as it does in Europe).

  13. Great result! The VAR decision for the disallowed penalty was spot on. Maybe the OP should book a visit to Specsavers?

    Somewhat off topic: The Mourinho roadshow has given what looks like a pointless season some excitement. I can forgive Arteta for almost anything if he can bring home the St. Totteringham trophy this season. It’s a sign of how far we’ve fallen, but a great consolation nevertheless!

  14. Very interesting response JW.You may well be correct with your views on the aims of FIFA.Like Jon F, I am against VAR on the basis that any decisions made by referees with regard to fouls will always be subjective.VAR should be restricted to checking goal line issues of similar debate as to whether the ball was in or out of play.I am totally in favour of introducing a stop clock which works so well in other sports , but my pet hate at the present time concerns the time wasted during melees in the six hard box at every corner.There is of course a very simple solution which requires a rule change, whereby no attacking players should be allowed to enter the six yard box until the corner kick is taken.A simple, logical solution to an ongoing problem.

    1. Yes Grandad, you have floated this corner idea before and it is a sensible one.
      The existing free for all with holding, pushing etc is anti what our great sport should be about. A simple change that would help much but too obvious for the bird brains who run world football to consider(FIFA).

      How the refs constantly use flexi time so as never to blow the final whistle in the middle of a key move is, frankly, cheating time and cheating the play. The time is not the refs, to manipulate. A TIMEKEEPER, NOT THE REF SHOULD DECIDE FULL TIME/ HALF TIME!

      Were I in a position to change football, I would immediately bIn the whole retrograde instigation of VAR. I woud instigate far stricter obeying of ALL refs decisions, as in cricket, and other sports too,where real sportspeole accept all refs calls as final.

      Diving cheats I would severely ban for a minimum of six Prem games, doubled if repeated and doubled again, if necessary. This would drive out cheats, but at present, to merely book a cheat is a travesty and only condones it,in practice, as there is no REAL punishement . And there OUGHT to be!

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