Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Wenger hits out at Premier League for rejection of VAR

Earlier this week it was reported that the Premier League had decided against the implementation of VAR ahead of next season.

It’s something that Arsene Wenger considers a bad decision, particularly as he felt his side was denied an obvious penalty in the 2-1 defeat to Newcastle at St James Park today.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s shot was deflected over the bar by the outstretched hand of defender Jamaal Lascelles, but referee Anthony Taylor only awarded a corner.

Speaking afterwards, the Arsenal boss said, “The referee is the referee. What you want is to have the referees.

“Unfortunately the Premier League has again decided not to go for VAR and personally I believe that is a very, very bad decision.”

And when asked if he would have brought VAR in, he said, “Yes, because the Premier League has been created with people who had a progressive mind and wanted to be in front of the rest in Europe.

“It worked. Overall I believe that with that decision we are behind the rest in the world and that every big game this season has been decided by mistakes that could have been avoided with VAR, especially in the Champions League with Manchester City and Liverpool.

“The young generation is used to it, and worldwide they might move away from us because they see that in other countries they do it.”

To be fair to Wenger, he has a good case about the handball today, but in general the fact that Arsenal have played five away games in 2018 and lost all five has nothing to do with video technology.

This, while pertinent, feels like a distraction.

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With VAR, how can the anybody (especially the refs) fix the games that easily again?

Dr Zebra

VAR (Very Arsenal Result) does not work Arsene sorry! What you want is the younger generation to not get used to these sort of results!

You see all across Europe, other teams avoid these types of “VARs” with video preparation and defensive training. We’re falling behind the rest of the world. Please lead the change!

Dr Zebra

“every big game this season has been decided by mistakes that could have been avoided with VAR (Very Arsenal Results)..” hehe

Omar Khadine

Zebras are markedly Inferior in cognitive abilities than even the Buffalo ! Your inability to see the wood for the trees is instrumental in you conflating issues here!

You have a valid point in “videos of past games to assist in the training room”. But “VAR” is Necessary to eliminate decisions of Corrupt Refs to “fix results” as it became in Cricket! Those who scream and shout against “VAR” are the very same dishonest or the mentally subnormal who cannot see the wood for the trees.

Far East Stand

Worry less about VAR and more about why the team worryingly often looks a complete shambles. All the VAR decisions in the world aren’t going to counteract our inability to consistently defend as a team.


Honestly think this was a good move in the short term. The process is too slow and if you watch other sports that have it, can be improved. That said, I stopped watching the NRL here in Aus because EVERY FUCKING TRY gets checked. You are happy for a moment when your team crosses the line, and then the wait to see if it was actually a try or not kicks in… by the time they announce it that feeling of elation is gone and you kind of go “hmph, good we scored”. I think each team should be given… Read more »


My beloved Dragons on top. So right now, I dont care either way about the video ref. 🙂 But your right, it seems refs are toos cared to make a decision. Mostly, I think its because they get crucified if they act human and make an error. We fans and the emdia focus too much on a signle decision and not on all the good stuff the ref has done during the game.

Nachos in Montreal

I have always liked the referral system in field hockey;each team gets 2 referrals per game,if you request a video referral about a contentious decision and you were right,you get to keep your referral.If not,you lose one referral.

That way,not every decision is checked,only ones that the other team feels is dubious.


As a hockey player myself, and a supporter of the sport at the elite level, I think its a good system too.


Why limit the correct calls. VAR officials just have to learn to only right the obvious injustices instead of marginal ones. Delaying VAR only means it will take longer to build up the necessary experience.

SB Still

Fully agree with Wenger, the league should have adopted VAR.

A man of such reason, vision and class, wish he had decided to move up to a board role, at least an year ago.

He definitely cares for the club but clearly past it as an Invincible manager.

The post season could turn out to be dirty. Hope we win the Europa league, which will save our season and let Wenger leave with dignity.


Maybe he can discuss this next year….as a pundit.


Wenger may no longer be competent as a top level manager but to place him in the same league as Danny Mills, Caragher, Savage & co is just plain demeaning…

On the other hand, I would have liked to hear Wenger say, “I did not see it” when a VAR result go against him


Not really sure if that’s such a bad decision. In the end, the refs calls for and against us even out. Also if you’re playing good football you needn’t worry about refs influencing the game.


Not having VAR only affects games when two teams are evenly matched.
We hardly give anyone a proper challenge these days.

our level is about that of Burnley. just shows for all of wenger’s astute economics we have wasted a lot of money in building this ‘team’.


It’s ironic that the Premier League and it’s referees “with dustbins where their heart should be” even got this decision wrong.


Using VAR in cases where there is any scope for disagreement on whether there was a foul will lead to controversy (and already has done). This is a good example. Although the ball definitely hit his hand, it’s not completely obvious that the handball was “deliberate”. Newcastle would argue it was accidental / ball-to-hand (having a hand in an unnatural position is not definitive, despite what pundits say). There are actually relatively few decisions that are 100% clear cut. I think I’d like VAR to be introduced, but more work is needed to make sure (1) it doesn’t just lead… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

I’d like it to verify goals or penalties given. I don’t like it being used for something that was not given when the play has already continued beyond that point. This would not be one of those occassions, as a corner had been given, so it would be verifying that decision, although I’m dubious as to whether it would stand up to this kind of a decision (I’m not convinced that was a penalty, myself – I had to try to remember what decision Blogs was referring to when he referenced a penalty we should’ve had in the blog this… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

Oh, and I meant to say that offsides for goals given/not given (after the ball ends up in the net) should be fair game for VAR. It’s just the subjective decisions like (deliberate) handball or a fould tackle that I’m dubious about (I don’t think that penalty given against England the other week was a foul, for example).

A Different George

But it turns out that even offside decisions are not always clear-cut–at what moment precisely did the ball leave the foot? For me, if it is very close–which can be ascertained by the VAR official without ever relaying it to the on-field official–there should be no review. We have seen in the various trials of VAR this season that this has not been the case–even if the official standard is an “obvious” error which, by definition a close call cannot be. I have no confidence in the self-restraint of VAR officials.

Crash Fistfight

I would say the moment the passing player’s foot touches the ball is the point at which the pass is made. From what I’ve seen, the decision-making re: offsides has been pretty spot on.

A Different George

Anyone who is familiar with North American sports should be very wary of VAR. No matter what the official standard, it becomes legalistic hair-splitting with stop-action replays from different angles and lengthy delays. In almost all cases, whether the original call is upheld or reversed, the same degree of uncertainty and controversy remains after the VAR process, which means there was no benefit to using it. Yesterday, a play-off ice hockey game was decided in “sudden-death” (golden goal) extra time–but the excitement, elation, and dejection were all damped when the goal was then reviewed for a much earlier possible offside.… Read more »


VAR in Germany is not popular with fans (the customer) and in my own view is fairly rubbish. Big delays and still some wrong decisions as well as goals being disallowed for issues much further back in play, like a handball at the halfway line. In the stadium you don’t even know what has happened (or not) half of the time

Ya gooner

The clear answer is to use it for fouls in and around the box and offsides, nothing else. It’s easy to say oooh it doesn’t work and give up. There are always solutions to every problem and with a clear guideline teams can’t complain (as much).

Just pens and offsides var would cut out 80% of crap decisions (97% a stat I didn’t just make up), plus 2 calls per match from each team stops overuse.


What a shame a few Luddites are ruining the fun for all. I would love to see the big decisions going the right way and VAR adds to the entertainment too. Nothing worse than Robben style penalty awards.


fuck VAR.

The only difference will be the same gobshite managers moaning about that instead of the calls as they currently are made.


I can’t understand why people are hesitant to use video technology that time and time show referees make wrong decisions. We all see the replays on tv when a wrong call is made and it’s infuriating. The ultimate goal of the officials should be to make the correct call, if it slows down the game for one or two minutes that should be the lesser concern to having the true outcome of a match.


This is one of the most even sided debates we’ve had on this website evident from the upvotes/downvotes. That being said, there’s many pros and cons to VAR which don’t seem to outweigh each other atm. Sure it’ll get the decisions right when necessary, but it needs to not be heavily relied upon as to “slow” the exhilarating pace of the game. Sure you’ll catch off the pitch infringements and the perpetrator, but the satisfying moments of sneaking a revenge kick as Costa and getting away with it while he cries ironically in vain for justice. It’s all about what… Read more »


If it’s an even debate, then Wenger will lose because his defence of anything at the moment is rubbish! Personally I’ve always hated the idea of VAR because – refs will just cop out of decisions, – players will surround refs demanding video ref is consulted, – only positive situations can be changed i.e. goals disallowed due to offside but no correction possible if offside was incorrectly called. Foul/no foul for penalty may be the exception here. – time delay in Rugby games is ridiculous and goes back to distant parts of the move. – if manager/captain is allowed a… Read more »


VAR exposes the referees to greater scrutiny which is the only reason why I see the EPL voting against it. This questions greatly what their standpoint is in the first place.


He was and is always ahead of the game.


if VAR comes, thats at least another 10 points a season for Arsenal. This biased hate-filled rigged and fixed refereeing is the biggest weapon harming us for almost a decade now.


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