"It's sucking the life out of me, the players and the supporters" - Chris Wilder on VAR after Sheffield United's defeat to Newcastle United

Chris Wilder says he doesn’t recognise the game anymore after a controversial defeat to Newcastle United, which was helped in no small part by VAR.

Thursday, 5th December 2019, 10:59 pm

The Blades were a goal down but dominant when in the second half Jonjo Shelvey latched onto a through ball with the assistant referee flagging for offside, deeming Andy Carroll to be the culprit.

Sheffield United defenders stopped, as did goalkeeper Dean Henderson and Shelvey ran on and somewhat sheepishly slotted it in.

VAR then intervened, overruled the assistant and the goal stood. Much to the anger of everyone associated with the Blades.

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder during the Premier League match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

A clear exasperated Wilder told Prime Video afterwards, that VAR was ‘sucking the life’ out of the game.

He said: “We were told (at the start of the season) that the linesman would not put his flag up. He put it up, the ref was going to blow, everyone in the ground stops.

“Even Shelvey nonchalantly walks up to the goal, his body language said to me he saw the linesmen put up his flag and its offside.

“It's a new game. This is a completely different game now from when I was a 16-year-old at Southampton, to a average career as a player and so many games as a manager.

“I don't know where its going - its sucking the life out of me and the players and more importantly, the ones we have to look out for, the supporters.

“It's fabulous, he added sarcastically. “We'll all learn.

“He's put his flag up. If we are going to be spot on with it, keep his flag down.

“It's tight, he's come back on you can see how tight it is.

“The game's changed and it sucked the life out of our players. I feel sorry for them. Even after going a goal behind we kept going the way we wanted to play.”

“I'm not going to speak to (the referee). I get mixed messaged all the time.”

Goalscorer Shelvey said afterwards: “The ref said before the game if you are through on goal and the lino puts his flag up just to carry on because that's obviously the benefits of having VAR now.”