Sheffield United: Chris Wilder calls for VAR review

Neil Swarbrick, the man in charge of overseeing VAR's implementation, might be satisfied with how the system is being rolled-out.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 12:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 3:25 pm
Sheffield United had a goal disallowed by VAR at Tottenham Hotspur: James Wilson/Sportimage
Sheffield United had a goal disallowed by VAR at Tottenham Hotspur: James Wilson/Sportimage

But after watching his team thrust into the eye of a media storm following last weekend's events at Tottenham Hotspur, Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder believes major adjustments are required to avoid the image of video referees becoming irrevocably tarnished in the eyes of fans, commentators and players alike.

Having seen David McGoldrick's 'goal' against Maurcio Pochettino's side ruled-out because John Lundstram's "big toe" had strayed offside, Wilder suggested he remains broadly supportive of VAR but acknowledged the near four minute delay it took before a decision was reached was unacceptable. Even then, many pundits claimed Jonathan Moss had made the wrong call from his review suite at Stockley Park.

"It affects the game, the length of time it takes," Wilder said. "I think we have to have a big look at it in the summer.

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"I think it's here to stay, that's obvious. I think the amount of time it takes, the time it takes to sort out, we need to look at that. It changed the game which obviously is going to create debate."

Although United eventually secured a draw when George Baldock cancelled-out Son Heung-min's opener, the row Moss' interpretation of events caused, coupled with similar problems during Liverpool's win over Manchester City, prompted Swarbrick to perform a series of interviews on Monday morning.

"We have more decisions correct with VAR than without it," he said. "If the mark now is seven - early days - in two years' time I'm hoping for maybe a eight and a half or nine."

"We are open to evolving with this - it's not a case of we're not budging," Swarbrick added. "We will listen to feedback and where we can improve things, we will do."

Wilder, whose squad climbed to fifth in the table following its result in north London, is likely to welcome the 53-year-old's comments after discussing the issue with his Premier League counterparts earlier this month.

But he fears those striving for perfection are likely to be frustrated in their quest because human error has not been eliminated from the process.

"It was always going to be subjective, from someone in Stockley Park," Wilder said.