Shkodran Mustafi says he’s frustrated at the lack of communication between officials and players in English football and believes the introduction of VAR hasn’t done much to rectify incorrect calls during matches.
The Germany international appealed to referee Craig Pawson for a foul in the build-up to Manchester City’s opening goal at Wembley on Sunday but saw his calls fall on deaf ears as Sergio Aguero raced free on goal to net past David Ospina.
In the aftermath of the match, Mustafi was heavily criticised for the way he focused on complaining rather than defending, particularly by Gary Neville with whom he’d worked at Valencia for a short period.
On whether he still felt a sense of injustice about the way the situation played out, Mustafi said: “It is how it is. In the Carabao Cup, you have the video assistant referee as well. It seems that it is not helping that much or maybe we are just complaining too much.
“In my opinion, there were a few situations where it could have been a different decision from the referee. But at the end of the day you have to accept it. You have to accept the decisions and hope that they are going to improve as well.
“Obviously we are looking to improve but I think it is important that referees look at themselves and try to improve because sometimes, you know, I have been playing in a lot of leagues all across Europe now and it seems like the referees in England, they don’t even want to talk to players. It is something that is very important to have that connection with the referee so he can explain why he decides something that you see differently.
“Here, if you go to a referee, it seems like he doesn’t even want to explain to you why he took a decision or to tell you how he saw the situation. I don’t want the referees to give me everything but at least they can try and explain why they make certain decisions.”
While it’s hard to defend Mustafi for what was a poor performance on his part last Sunday, the issue he raises about the officials is one that Petr Cech also brought to the fore earlier in December.
You’ll remember our veteran keeper was incensed at the way he was booked by Mike Dean at the Hawthorns when he simply asked for an explanation about the award of a penalty -given to West Brom when Calum Chambers was adjudged to have made a handball; a clearly wrong decision that cost us two points.
We’re not suggesting officials hold a round-table convention each time they make a decision, but treating the players like adults from time to time, wouldn’t hurt.
As for VAR…right now it seems like only the Beast from the East is a more disruptive influence on English football.