Pundit says semi-automatic offside could help VAR after Arsenal controversy

Former Aston Villa man Alan Hutton suggests the semi-automatic offside could be useful in helping VAR in England after a string of controversies with the use of the technology.

The Premier League has relied on VAR to make offside calls for much of the last few seasons, but the technology has suffered from human errors.

In a recent game between Arsenal and Brentford, Ivan Toney scored a goal that should have been ruled out for offside, but it wasn’t because the VAR failed to draw the line.

A semi-automatic offside tech will find the problem with that goal and is currently being used in Serie A, among other competitions.

Hutton was asked if he thought it could be useful in the Premier League and he said to Football Insider:


“I mean they will have to trial it. I thought in the World Cup those decisions for offside worked really well. They showed pictures, there was no getting away from it so I do not see why that can’t be done.

“It will be interesting to see how that works. The Crystal Palace one against Brighton was shocking, they have actually put the line on the wrong guy which is quite unbelievable.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

VAR inconsistencies have been a major problem for almost every PL club this season and we probably need to scrap the technology for some time.

It is ridiculous that it takes so much time and still returns the wrong verdict in matches.

WATCH – Our Irish friends from the Arsenal Supporters Club DublinArsenal have made another podcast discussing our superb comeback against Aston Villa- It’s a great listen!

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Tags Alan Hutton VAR


  1. The premier league has so much money surely you would think they would lead the way with semi-automatic offside.

  2. How many more times? VAR has not been inconsistent, the people using it have.

    It was interesting to see that Lee Mason left PGMOL a week or so ago “by mutual consent”.

    Either Webb believes Mason is incompetent in a way no amount of “re-training” would fix… or something else is afoot.

    I can’t help but wonder if Webb looked at Mason’s errors and categorised them… number of key decisions involving Arsenal etc.

    1. VAR IS the people who use it. On its own, it is inoperative. All machines and computers need people to operate or programme them, at some level. Unless and until VAR can SOMEHOW become completely independent of humans, it will never be 100% correct. Just as the human condition can never be 100% fault free. You refuse foolishly, to recognise that fact.

      We ALL KNOW that Mason makes errors. He is human,so why are you surprised??!

      To try to separate VAR from those who operate it so comically but tragically, is the big mistake you constantly keep saying.

      1. No. It is not.

        It’s simply replay technology. The PL officials are rubbish without VAR and only a bit less rubbish with it…

        But other leagues and other sports are near-perfect with their version of VAR. Why is that?

        You seem to have missed the point of my post *entirely* – the question is this: is it incompetence or something else??

        The effective sacking of Lee Mason suggests to me very strongly that it’s “something else”. If you weren’t so caught up wasting your time and everyone else’s with your anti-VAR crusade you might see that the real story is unfolding i front of our eyes and you’re missing it.

        There’s no point in re-running the VAR debate that was done to death more than once in the last few days. Please focus on the issue here: why did Lee Mason get sacked? What does it tell us about the poor performance of the VAR officials in the PL?

        NB “Leaving by mutual consent” is business code for “he was given the choice to leave with some shred of dignity or be sacked”.

        1. Great Tread talk guys , Top Top talk 👏
          But IDKWIAC’s explanation of what “ Leaving by mutual consent” means ,as bought my IQ on another 2 points .Thanks buddy 🤡

          1. Uh huh. I see my original reply to the above has been removed. And Herr Drier’s supportive reply to my post.


            The bloke above can post insulting drivel, but a response is deleted? Explanation please.

            1. Yes IDKWIC I can explain.
              When I remove an arrogant, personal rude comment from a reader, then I’m afraid all responses to that thread are automatically disappeared….

              1. My question was: why did Dan Kit’s response above survive that process?

                It’s childish, insulting – and actually started the whole thing.

                1. Uh huh. Not getting drawn into a discussion with the likes of you, you already know my opinion of you…

                  I’m just waiting to see what admin make of that post – seemingly assessed as not being rude at all? Seriously???

                  Or perhaps there might be a belated answer to the question regarding his post (still standing) above?

                  Are there diffferent rules here for different people?

                  1. Actually, I’ll save you trouble. Clearly there are different rules for different people.

                    There’s a few decent folk here but a small cabal of brainless grief posters who spoil it and it seems they’re allowed free rein to do so, possibly just because they’ve been here a long time. I’m all for free speech but I now realise that’s not what’s happening here.

                    This has been a distraction for a while, but I have a company to run and this stopped being a fun way to de-stress a long time ago.

                    I’ll head off and leave you and your grief posters to their own devices. Bye. I won’t be checking back for responses.

      2. More insults from you… getting tiresome. Have some back…

        If there’s a sad, comical creature in the house, it’d be you. In case you hadn’t noticed, there were *very few* people on your side of the VAR debate.

        I notice you’re not publicly clamouring for a poll any more.

      3. So when someone has a car accident, we should ban ALL drivers Jon?
        Of course, most humans are trained to drive said machine in a responsible and correct manner… why is it so difficult to train competent referees to use VAR correctly?
        That’s the point YOU are missing!!!

        1. There’s no getting through to him Ken, his mind is completely closed. He hates VAR and he can’t justify it, but he keeps on and on.

          Even to the point where he’s missing the real point here…

          The timing is interesting re Mason – did you see the news today re Barcelona being under investigation for payments from the club to a company owned by the head of the Spanish refereeing body over many years (from 2011 iirc)? And another large payment after he stepped down.

          That’s the real story here – what looks increasingly like endemic corruption in officials… and all Fox is doing is detracting from discussion of that with his Quixotic anti-windmill crusade.

          Even he accepts that VAR is here to stay, so… why does he bother?

          1. If I say it “looks like” then it is (quite obviously to anyone with two grey cells to rub together)… my *interpretation* of the facts available.

            Once again your logical abilites fail in spades.

            Your knowledge of the law is also flawed. No-one can be sued for libel for stating an opinion – as long as it’s expressed as an opinion (or it’s “fair comment”). If they state something as a fact then they must be able to prove it.

            Clearly, as fans we cannot prove anyting that happens behind closed doors, so we surmise, we speculate… it’s a viewpoint. Of course it is, surely even you can work that out?

            I’ll ignore the rest of your rant. Not worth the time to respond.

            1. Oh and… you’re responding to the thread re the Barcelona payments.

              The allegations over Barcelona are not mine. The Spanish authorities are taking action after revelations by radio station Ser Catalunya. Not my words, I’m only referring to the reports.

              My understanding is that the payments are accepted as fact by all parties – Barcelona are trying to explain them away as being payments for services producing videos.

              I’ll post a link below.

  3. VAR should never get Offside decisions wrong ,the Technology is there infront of them, ours being human error rather than the Technology .
    The bit that I don’t agree on with VAR is the consistency in decisions like handball in the penalty area ,dangerous tackles ,players interfering with play and so on ,all of which are subjective ,how many times does say a penalty get given one week for an incident then the week after the same type of incident it does not ,that’s the grey area with VAR .

    1. I should have added that the ref should always be called to the monitor to make that final decision,he’s in charge of The game he should therefore have the final say .

  4. Lee Mason left not because of his incompetency or that the retraining wouldn’t help ,it’s clear what his intentions were.

    1. Yes, for Mason to be pushed out (as he clearly was) suggests to me that Webb had enough evidence that Mason was left with no choice but to go.

      I’d guess that Webb didn’t want the scandal that would engulf PGMOL if the details became public knowledge; it would seriously undermine their credibility. Every time a ref makes a bad call people would be shouting “Who’s paying him?”.

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