Opinion – VAR gets a lot wrong but not in the Arsenal v Leicester City game

It has been a few days since the fall out from the two dropped points against Leicester City and it is clear there is a divide among some Arsenal fans about the role the referee and VAR played in that game.

It is quite noticeable that the level headed Arsenal fans, for the most part, accept that VAR got the big decisions right and the reason Arsenal dropped the points against the Foxes was because of the abject finishing in the first half.

The more unreasonable myopic fans led by the embarrassing Troopz and DT on AFTV refuse to accept that anything less than a grand conspiracy was at play and that Arsenal was robbed.

The initial reaction to Eddie Nketiah’s sending off was nothing short of embarrassing, it was a clear red card but that cannot be accepted by some, they flail about looking for any and every excuse from VAR taking its time, the wrong angle looked at, the rain and of course, Mike Riley.

It was a very dangerous tackle and the young man deserved the red card, it really is as simple as that, and that decision was upheld by the FA.

Then we have the whataboutism, what about Jamie Vardy, what about Jonny Evans, what about the ref doing this that and everything else.

Well, let’s look at Jamie Vardy, it was an accident and not serious foul play, a view backed up by pundits and even some on the toxic AFTV like Claude and Lee Gunner but of course, the toxic pair of Troopz and DT and their followers scream look at his eyes, it was intent.

It was an accidental coming together, nothing more nothing less and has no bearing on Nketiah getting sent off.

Then there is the Leicester City goal. The lack of understanding of the rules is mindblowing. The only way it could be overturned if it was clear and obvious and if there was one thing that was clear and obvious, it was that it was not clear and obvious that there was a touch by Perez or if anyone was offside.

For some, this may be unpalatable but the truth sometimes is, and the truth of the matter is that none of this would even be a discussion if the Arsenal players did their jobs and put the bloody ball in the back of the net.

We should have put that game to bed in the first 45 minutes, and if there was any incompetence on the field that night it was by the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and not the ref or VAR.

When you are aligned with the likes of Troopz and DT then at some stage you must realise you are on the wrong side of being sensible. They cannot even get the facts right when it comes to no English refs at the last world cup.

There was a ref selected, Mark Clattenburg, however, just before the world cup the Saudi FA wanted to spend a fortune and get the very best referee in the world to oversee their officiating and they chose Clattenburg and he took the job. FIFA said it was too late for the English FA to replace Clattenburg and that is the only reason there was no English referee at the world cup finals.

English refs are admired as the best in the world, not by some Arsenal fans of course because that would destroy the grand conspiracy theory and ready-made excuse when Arsenal lose or drop points.

Arsenal is finally getting better under Mikel Arteta and that is where we should focus our attention and stop playing up to the image of Banter FC perpetrated by the likes of Troopz and DT.

We are better than that and should not continuously use deflection and conspiracy when we fail on the field of play.

Tags Arsenal v Leicester City VAR


  1. And Leicester got no yellow card for all the rough play will arsenal had a red and 2 yellow cards.

  2. Look its not a conspiracy stats show that Arsenal have to commit far fewer fouls before receiving a caution than other teams. Eddies was a red no doubt about it he didn’t protest, he knew it was an accident but it was foul play. Where it is a joke and British refs are not reveerd across the globe by the way. Is how James Tarkowski for a much more violent attack on a play has not suffered the same punishment.

    VAR is not the issue, its the people using it

    1. I really mean this, not picking on xhaka but using him to highlight part of the problem. Good tacklers receive less yellow and red cards, poor tacklers like xhaka get card because they cant tackle, mustaffi get a card because he is rash now and again. Vvd is a good tackler, he isnt rash, ferdinand was generally a good tackler, he wasn’t rash. If people cant see our own problems that cause not just yellow and red cards but actual goals as well as penalties, then they are blind to the obvious.

    2. Exactly Man-Utd have had more penalties than any other team in the EPL and they say refs are fair MY ARSE they are

  3. Overall I would say that VAR has been a disaster! As frustrating as it was in the past seeing officials getting it wrong, one could understand some of their mistakes, given they only had one look at a decision, in real time, and only from their line of sight.

    VAR can see EVERY incident, multiple times, from multiple angles, in real time, and slow motion, and yet they still get a lot wrong! Why? Because many of these decisions are still down to interpretation. Except now, some of these decisions can take up so much time! Which leads me nicely onto my second point.

    As fans, we already lose game time through play-acting, set-pieces, etc, but we accept that as part of the game. Now we lose minutes on end, players meanwhile doing nothing, whilst waiting on VAR. I remember seeing one game earlier in the season where around 6 minutes was lost to VAR overall. Sheff Utd’s disallowed at Spur’s took almost 4 minutes! Why isn’t the clock stopped? We pay the highest ticket prices around, and TV subscriptions, to now get even less of the product! If they continue to persist with VAR, then they should stop the clock on decisions over 10/15 seconds.

    Lastly, should the powers to be stick with VAR? There’s two ways of looking at this. Maybe the product is a good idea, but as its still in its infancy, there is bound to be teething problems. With the correct feedback, and some fine tuning, maybe it can be a success. On the other hand, is there even enough options to improve it?

    Because the major problem I always said we would have with VAR, is who decides what decisions to look at? They now have the ability to look at every incident, but don’t. They pick and choose, with even blatant incidents going unchecked. Obviously, if every decision was looked at, we’d hardy get any football, but who decides when to ignore incidents then? I am not talking specifically about the Arsenal game.

    We have complained, and bemoaned the officials in the past, but has VAR really improved matters? Not for me. It’s made it even more frustrating! Especially when they ignore incidents, because there are ZERO excuses for missing any incidents now.

    1. Fans only moan when decisions go against them, they never say a word when it goes in their favour and that is the problem with VAR, there will always be an injured party and they are the ones that moan.

      1. Whilst I agree that you can’t please everyone, but in reality, VAR is far more inconsistent than the refs used to be. As I already stated, there is no excuse for VAR to be so inconsistent, yet it is. I am talking specifically about incidents they decide to ignore. If pulling someones shirt at corner is a pen or foul the other way, how is it that VAR can seemingly miss so many exact same incidents in other games, or even in the same game?

        1. That applies everywhere it is used, I have seen the fall out of var in Spain, Italy and Germany, the reactions are no different than over here it is that we do not see it too often and so dont notice.

      2. We’ve had one recently but the only other VAR decision that went in our favour was Aubameyang’s goal at Old Trafford the season before.

      3. Var is a tool used by referees, the problem is the way fouls and offences are interpreted by officials. I am going to give you one example. When the ball was played to Perez for the Vardy goal, Perez was offside and he attempted to play the ball, so the law states, regardless if he touched the ball or not he was intervering with play in an offside position, which means no goal.

        1. No, it was not clear and obvious and that is the only grounds for turning the decision over.

        2. I thought any part of the body can be ruled offside. Although Vardy’s feet were inside his shoulder was offside. Thinking when Laca was offside at Stoke, Maybe it says “except Arsenal” in the rules

      4. MARTIN as you know only too well, I don’t always agree with you – typical British understatement there – but on this point we firmly agree. The almost complete one eyed bias of football fans everywhere is probably the single most frustating and sheer dishonest thing about top football. If fans can’t be honest,even with themselves, then what hope is there for players and what right do fans have to expect players to be honest, while those fans routinely lie, even to themselves.
        The Ozil saga is typical of this dishonesty, where a minority of Gooners still flatly refuse to see that he is a bone idle, conning fraud who is cheating the club , the fans and even himself. Bias is actually the enemy of truth and as such I despise it.

        1. Rubbish Jon, I’m not even going to bother to explain why and Martin? Your attitude is very similar to Paul Merson, you’ve never said a positive thing about the club. Like Merson you’re not even an fan

    2. I think VAR has been good, i have no problem with it but you will always get human error because every human makes them.

      1. @I think VAR as been good “
        You did see the Man Utd decision last night right ?
        I’m not one for conspiracy theory ,but that decision made me really think what is going on in them VAR rooms ,unless Howard Webb popped by for a cuppa .
        VAR have admitted that all 3 decisions last night was wrong ,I’m sorry but that could be the deciding factor of either getting a champions league place ,getting relegated ,all these cameras was ment to make thing easier ,all it’s done is slow the game up and made it more confusing .

        1. Like i said, i think Var has been good, humans will still make errors but they are far less than they were. Its here to stay and im all for it.

          1. Reggie, iT IS NOT ONLY ABOUT CURING REF MISTAKES THOUGH IS IT! IT IS ALSO ABOUT FLOW OF THE GAME , THE TOTAL FRUSTRATION WHEN REFS ARE UNDERMINED BY PEOPLE WHO ARE KNOW LITTLE OF HOW PLAYERS ACTUALLY FUNCTION, SUCH AS PENS WHICH ARE GIVEN BUT ARE NEVER PENS. ALSO VICE VERSA. To my mind VAR has been a disaster, wrongly thought through, badly administered and worse of all run by folk who know,little about how the game actually works, though they know the rules. MOST FANS HATE VAR and they are right to do so. The whole handball fiasco is a sick joke. I’d bin VAR for ever and do it today, had I the power.

  4. Being awarded dubious penalties can win you trophies, Leicester fairytale but did they deserve more than 10 penalties that awarded some that decided games,the same happening at Madrid ,man utd also to help them reach CL football.In my view there should be a commission of inquiry to investigate all the controversial referee decisions for the last decade in EPL and make recommendation to fifa.We need foreign referrees in England.

    1. I agree Denning. I think I heard during the Villa game yesterday that no team has ever been awarded as many pens as Utd has had this season since the start of the PL. The pen in that game was an absolute joke as well. I also read recently that we have the worst disciplinary record this season and I’m 100% sure we are not the most foul or aggressive side

    2. Oh Lord Denning, my learned friend, right about Leicester, right about Real Madrid right about Manchester United. I said months ago “watch the powers that be get United Champions League football”, I also I said, “Chelsea’s legal team won’t stand for any skulduggery so look out Leicester, they’ll be coming for you” and that’s exactly what’s now happening. What you suggest is what I’ve been asking for, for the last 10-15 years but sadly it will never happen, English football is rotten to the core, corrupted by Sky Sports since 1992 with the vast amounts of money they’ve put in the game, The Premier League, The PGMOL and The FA are all pawns in their game and do exactly as Sky tell them. Sad, a once great game spoilt by money

      1. Those powers that be need to pull their fingers out, how the hell did they allow chelsea and man utd to miss out on champions league football in recent years.

        1. See, this is where you just don’t quite get it Martin. The powers that be can only swing things in your favour, they can’t turn a team like Watford into a Champions League side because they’re just not good enough, however their bias decisions can earn you an extra 10 points at the end of the season . Last year Chelsea and United were so bad that even the powers that be couldn’t swing it. Give me strength.

          1. So by that narrative Arsenal are not a top team and therefore not deserving of this grand conspiracy

          2. KENNY THIS CONSPIRACY THEORY BY THE AUTHORITIES LETS YOU DOWN BIG TIME. Your Arsenal fan bias is obvious and is true of most fans everywhere. Listen to other fan sites of thetop clubsyou mention and you will see it goes on everywhere. ALL fans of top clubs think the authorities hate them but that is nonsense. Riley and his refs indeed ARE grossly incompetant, as refs have been for generations. But they are not actual cheats, despite your personal paranoia. A great shame cos you are a lovely bloke but this obsession lets you down a lot.

    3. I am in full support of commission of inquiry for a proper review and introduction of foreign referees.

    4. Lord Denning, I touted this idea ten years ago about European refs. The five top European leagues should revolve refs around Europe having a different nationality every week stopping, for example, bias Manchester officials doing Manchester games it would also eventually even out the standard of refereeing which would benefit European and world cups.

  5. I agree with some parts of the article.

    All decisions were quite debatable. If it was a clear red card for Eddie, then the VAR would have instructed the ref to give a red card, as you see almost all the time. This time the VAR instructed the ref to check himself. This means the VAR wasnt sure at all.

    The Vardy incident didnt really look like a red card, as it was an accident. But even those can be red cards imo. It could have been given, but it wasnt.

    Their goal was also difficult to see. I could live with both decisions tbh. But the thing that bothers me is that all these debatable decisions go against us. Its not just this game, its been like this in every game since the restart. From small fouls to big decisions.

    Lastly, what bothers me the most is that people blame Laca every game. Laca was for me the best player on the pitch along with Ceballos and Tierney. He had 2 good chances. 1 where he did everything right but the goalie made a world class save. Pure bad luck for Laca. The header was a difficult one but he should have done better. Because Auba scores 1 simple tap-in, people dont see that he has been the worst player on the pitch that game and somehow he never gets stick for this. Laca can do 20 briliant things, then misses 1 chance and they only judge him by the chance he misses. Thats what bothers me the most

    1. MrLucky a strikers objective is to score goals not do twenty good things. Put the dam ball in the back of the net! Even if you do a hundred good things and fail to burry a single chance and the team goes on to loose or draw a game because of that chance you missed. What difference does it make? Laca needs to be scoring more and that’s it! Whenever he fails to score it hurts the team in the end

  6. Sory Martin but you’re sounding more like Jon Fox every day. Like Jon who says, “there’s a lot wrong with our incompetent refs but they would never be bias”. You say “there’s a lot wrong with VAR but they never make mistakes when it comes to Arsenal”. I’ve never once heard you say Arsenal got a bad decision from VAR. Well if there’s so much wrong with both bodies would you agree in getting rid of ’em, that’s all I’ve been asking for

      1. Not this article Martin but I’ve can never in the past remember you saying Arsenal got a bad decision from VAR

        1. I have of course called VAR out when it needs it, but the truth is that it has rarely happened in Arsenal games. That does not mean it has not but not in every decision in every game as some would claim.

          1. Perhaps the point you are missing is that the rules (and VAR) are not applied consistently to all teams. It doesn’t take a great amount of research to prove that. You may believe that Arsenal aren’t treated particularly harshly (I would disagree) but the fact is other teams are treated more leniently or given more benefit of the doubt. call it what you will. there are only two possible explanations for the vast difference in the way teams are treated. It’s either deliberate (for whatever reason) or sheer incompetence. Either way, it is unacceptable and should be dealt with.

            1. Exact same complaint every single other teams fans make when decision go against them.

          2. Ad MARTIN, well said on your comment below about other fans of other teams saying it too. Most Gooners have an unfair self delusion that refs are aginst us, So do fans e everywhere It is the nature of the fan beast!. The truth is that refs are not cheats; incompetance on a grand scale for sure but not cheats. But convincing biased football fans of that truth is a hopeless task. Most fans do not actually want the real truth; they just want to air theirown biases. Sigh!

  7. Heads up for the writer, you might believe not me no not me, but all fans are wrong on occasion and play the blame game. Not sticking up for anyone, but I’ve never known a fan to not have a whinge from time.

  8. I think in general var sucks, pointless . It would be better if there was time limit and a panel of judges to decide on calls .

  9. VAR to me should be restricted to certain aspects of play such as goal line debates and offside.The rest should be left to the refs,good or bad.The utter inconsistency of VAR when it comes to the subjective decisions on fouling penalties , shirt pulling etc creates justifiable criticism from fans and you only have to look at the shocking decision to award a penalty to Man Utd in last night’s match against relegation threatened Villa as a glaring example of its failure.As far as timekeeping is concerned, for years I have been advocating the simple “clock” system used in both forms of Rugby,whereby it is stopped in the event of injuries, substitutes and VAR deliberations.Why such a simple system has not been introduced is beyond me, but logic and those in authority are rarely on the same wavelength in my experience.

    1. Totally agree with your post Grandad

      The VAR award to ManU came at a time when they were lacklustre. They may have won regardless but that decision virtually took it away from Villa

      1. Isn’t it clear Grandad if a simple system is introduced, who is going to influence the games.

  10. OT.. Thinking ahead to Sunday… With Michael Oliver officiating, so soon after not awarding the spuds a penalty v Bournemouth (Maureen called him Bournemouth’s motm) and chalking off Moura’s goal v Sheff Utd… we’re definitely up against it and I will be absolutely flabbergasted if the spuds aren’t awarded a penalty, even more so after seeing this on twitter:
    Mourinho’s “everyone knows that’s a penalty” rant today was directed at VAR official Michael Oliver, who will be in charge of the NLD on Sunday and who has an odd record of awarding the opposition penalties when he referees Arsenal matches (10 for opponents, 2 for Arsenal).

    1. We’ve had 8 sending off’s in the 10 games he’s done so expect another one at the weekend

      1. I reckon it’ll be a feisty affair, Kenny… I’m nervous already!!

        We’ll find out on Monday morning if City are successful with their appeal or not… some are expecting them to be!

      2. Sorry make that 8 penalties against us in the last 10 games Oliver has refereed us. Sending offs? I’ve lost count

  11. I bet all the people on here who are saying ” get rid of VAR ” are the same people who used to slag off the referee when he made decisions that they didn’t agree with. Yes, get rid of VAR, but then everybody, supporters, players, pundits must accept the referees decision without any of the shenanigans like surrounding and pressurising him and trying to get him to change his decision. Also, not have Sky show incidents a 100 times from different angles just to prove a decision was wrong. Referees are human, they have to make a decision in a split second and they will make mistakes just like a player will who misses an open goal or defender who fails to clear the ball., yet they don’t get all the abuse a referee does.

    We didn’t win the game against Leicester because of VAR, it was because we didn’t take our chances in the first half.

  12. No matter how well you played as a striker, your primary assignment is to score goals. The rest is secondary… Auba miles ahead of laca

  13. There was no harmful intent too from Nkeihta just like Vardy. His youthful exhobetance just got the better of him. He just wanted to get to the ball before his opponent. Truth is if it wasn’t Arsenal that red card probably could not have been given.

      1. Why did you delete my comment?
        It was not abusive and l tell you ADMIN Martin, it was my perspective of the writer. VAR now at FIFA’s guide

  14. It was a red and he should accept and learn from it. Worry defenders and be a pest by all means but no more knee high, studs up tackles. If that had occured in the box it could have cost us the game. I don’t buy the ‘young and enthusiastic’ argument, he’s experienced enough

  15. It’s part of a learning process for Nketiah who will I am sure realize that his enthusiastic challenge cost his team two points.

  16. Arsenal failure to kill-off the game in the first half of the match shouldn’t be an excuse for the Pgmol match officiating officials who officiated in the match on the field of play and at VAR to conspire to rob Arsenal of 2 vital PL points on the night as us the Gooners have seen. This is a pathetic grand conspiracy match officiating coming against Arsenal from Mike Riley’s managed PGMOL. The Mike Riley who is well known in the football circle world-wide for his anti-Arsenal stance. The stance he doesn’t hid but in his unrepent arrogance keep implementing to the letter unreservedly.

    But having made my above truthful statement, the Gunners too have their own share of the fault that cost them 2 dropped points against Leicester City. Since they couldn’t or have failed to score more goals to kill-off Leicester resistant in the game, at least they ought to have hold their fort very tightly to not allow Vardy or any Foxes to breach their defense-line to score the equalizing goal they scored to share the spoils. This is terrible defending against Leicester by Arsenal. Would the Gunners say they don’t know the threat and danger that Vardy could pose to Arsenal during the match? But yet the Gunners gave him chance to score.

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