Sheffield United: Why Chris Wilder insists he has 'no idea' about how Norwich City clash will unfold

It was the morning after the night before and Chris Wilder still felt thoroughly bemused by the protocols and the purpose of VAR.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 4:43 am
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 4:21 pm

In fact, a little over 12 hours after watching Newcastle claim a video-assisted victory at Bramall Lane - Jonjo Shelvey scoring a decisive second for the visitors when Sheffield United’s defence stopped having spotted an offside flag being raised - Wilder sounded even more confused by the controversial system when he previewed tomorrow’s visit to Norwich City yesterday.

“I don’t have a clue VAR will go on Sunday,” the United manager confessed. “And I’ve never had that as a manager. I’ve got an idea about how my team will go. How they will perform. But I haven’t got a clue about what’s going to happen with this. It’s consistently inconsistent. It’s still subjective.”

Speaking during the immediate aftermath of United’s defeat by Steve Bruce’s side, Wilder admitted he was “drained” by the constant chatter, scrutiny and analysis surrounding VAR.

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Noting how a major television channel now has show dedicated to discussing the issue, Wilder said: “It’s every pre-match, every post-match and it’s on the box every morning. (Former referee) Dermott Gallagher must be getting a right few quid by the way. He must need a holiday now because they’re using him all the time.”

Shelvey insisted he had been informed referee Stuart Attwell would allow the match to continue in the event of a tight offside call. But Wilder, acknowledging VAR official Andre Marriner made the correct decision, added: “It’s changed for the boys and it’s changed for the supporters. And he’s an unbelievable actor, Jonjo, if he’s saying he knew. He thought he’d just take a chance. That could have happened to them. If that was flipped on its head, they’d have reacted in the same way. Of course we have to learn, but it still doesn’t get away from what I feel.”

Newcastle United's Jonjo Shelvey celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Premier League match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.