Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Emery frustrated at misuse of VAR

Unai Emery says VAR will be ‘amazing’ when it starts to reduce the mistakes of officials but for the moment he thinks it’s not being used in the correct way. 

Facing the media after Arsenal drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace – a game that saw the visitors correctly awarded a penalty by Stockley Park and a potential match-winning goal by Sokratis controversially chalked off by the same officials – the Spaniard claimed replays are being used inconsistently and called on referees to take more responsibility for decisions by using the monitors at the side of the pitch to check incidents. 

Citing a failure to award penalties to his side in recent encounters with Bournemouth and Sheffield United as evidence, Emery told his post-game press conference: “VAR is very important, above all for the referees because it’s very important to reduce their mistakes. 

“VAR has come in and we’ve decided to have it for this reason. When the referees use that in the right way, I think it’s going to be amazing because it will reduce the referees’ mistakes. 

“Now, we have started not checking a lot of actions because we don’t want to stop the rhythm or the pace of the match. OK, but we also need to check the important ones. 

“For example, against Bournemouth the penalty on Pepe. Last week [at Sheffield United], the penalty on Sokratis. They were very clear and in the match, it’s a penalty. 

“OK, they didn’t check because the referee didn’t watch it and decided he didn’t want to check it. This evening, maybe this week, they are starting to check more because they are thinking they need to check more actions because a lot of difficult decisions for the referee are coming, and they want to take more time to check that. 

“Also, for me the penalty was perfect because they decided it was a penalty. It’s perfect because it helped the referee in this action. But our goal, the third goal, he is not fouled. 

“That is not a foul. Who is the person who checked that? If the referee watched that action on the TV, I am sure he would not decide that it was a foul. In the office with the TV, I don’t know who the person is who decides this.” 

He added: ”I think he [referee Martin Atkinson] needed to watch it again. He needed to do that. VAR is positive and it will be better, but only when them and us can manage it better with the rhythm and the decisions. I checked in the dressing room after we finished the match.

“We lost two points to that tonight. The next step is that they will check. We have cameras on the pitch, but here I don’t remember a single referee going to check on the touchline.

“I don’t remember that. The next step will be that. VAR is to help the referees, but also to watch or to take the best decision with your own eyes.” 

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Bob's Mexican Cousin

Not my fault! Not my fault! We don’t deserve to drop points!

We’ve heard it all before. Please sack him.


Gooner for life

I’m EmeryOut too, but he is still right to call out VAR and the guy making that decision. The problem he doesnt see is that Arsenal club should never be in a position to scrap wins over opponents like Crystal palace and Sheffield United.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Completely agree. The whole situation is extremely frustrating and he doesn’t seem to change anything nor acknowledge that it may be his fault. Today it’s VAR, yesterday it was Ozil, last week the youngsters, etc… His *system* doesn’t work, his substitutions are wrong more often than right, his player management is terrible, his communication skills are non-existent, he disrespected the club, he disrespected us fans, he disrespected Arsene, etc… He doesn’t understand Arsenal, he has no class and he’s taking all of us in a toxic direction where Arsenal will all lose; except him, he’ll forget about us soon enough.… Read more »


Well said Bob ?

SB Still

After a long time, a point made by Emery that I fully agree with.


I’m still for #emeryout but the honest truth is that VAR is not inconsistently SHIT and can be abused/manipulated by the unseen VAR officials. Better to also have the referees have their own look and make their own calls as well. Such stolen points can make or mare a team at the end of the season. It was very frustrating and agonizing to see that third goal disallowed by an unseen official that can’t be called out.. Still pissed off by all the unnecessary dramas that took place yesterday at the Emirates stadium.


“is inconsistently”


Yup there was no “var” replay on the tv as well. Unlike all other VAR cases. Which made it very questionable.


Indeed. There should be no reason for TV not to show every little bit of VAR so that people can be fully informed, but their stance suggests they are in on the manipulations too.

arsenal fan


Danger Mouse

Cheated. There’s no reason to disallow the Sokratis goal other than the guy reviewing it desperately wanting to find some reason to disallow it.

Dave M

That stunk badly of rotten fish


Football is fixed.

Dave M

Sadly, watching that farce it is really hard to argue with your comment. There is nothing even resembling conclusive evidence to indicate that was a foul. And of course this is the EPL so there is now next to ZERO video footage of the incident on the internet to show it.

Pure cover up – Zero accountability – impunity to act as they like.


And here i was thinking i was alone in the world…. 🙂


Was Mike Dean on VAR this match?

He’d love it, bad decisions against us and anonomously.

Dave M

Aparently it was some Aussie ref that has never done an EPL game and has a total of 7 games experience in English league football. Well done English FA.


Well done in finding that info.

The thing is that VAR is anonymous and we all blame “VAR” not the person himself. At least on field refs are brave enough to face the crowd.

This guy looked only at the bit he wanted to and not the push on Chambers which could have been a penalty – if Papa missed, would he have gone back on it? I think not.

Atkinson’s performance was crap throughout the game but we are just focussing on the VAR decisions.


Yes, VAR is also responsible for no creativity in our play


Here we go….. blame this, blame that, blame the other. Why not look at your own inadequacies first, you clueless idiot. This club has backed you to the hilt, spent a fortune and under your feeble excuse for coaching, we’re going backwards. Leave and leave now! #emeryout


The referee should also look at the footage before he give the final decision, not just trusting some guy in a room to make a judgement call.
But lets face it, we wont depend on VAR so much if we actually have a system that can create chances for our strikers. It pains me to see Auba had to collect the ball from deep to get the ball everytime.


With VAR as a tool, isn’t it similar to a student using Google. You become reliant on something and don’t have the motivation to be the best when you can just ask someone else for the answer. Hawkeye is good technology. And they could ask the company to develop offside technology. As for penalty and red cards and unsporting conduct they should have a video review panel who retrospectively discuss in a transparent manner for referees and summaries of the discussion should be made available for media. Suspensions and warnings should be decided with time. Penalties are always going to… Read more »


Officiating was terrible. But this game was top-to-bottom, in-and-out, a conplete farce. The club now have to act quickly and sort this situation out before we fall too far behind.


The referees in EPL are puzzlingly bad. The play has developed colossally the last 20 years, but the referees are still in the 1980s. The FA should radically improve education, payment and status for the referees and throw out VAR.


Not Emery’s fault VAR has been poo for us.

He is however at fault for many things, team selection and an apparent lack of drive being the most obvious.

The Arsenal

You know what That’s Sheffield United manager that blamed his goalkeeper for the mistake against LIverpool and got shit for it is starting to look like he was right. When you take responsibility off the players you get responses like Xhaxa today.


Var had a shit day overall. Even in the manutd match the first penalty decision was bordering on ridiculous. Var seems to have taken things over board with the definition of contact. Soon we will play a non contact sport in EPL

Arsenal fans are frustrated at the misuse of Arsenal’s attacking talents…


David Hillier is a complete tosser. Commentating on ArsenalPlayer, you’d be forgiven into thinking he was Atkinson’s agent. Fault of VAR he said because it took so long, not Atkinsons. Atkinson spot on. VAR last I check Hillier means Video Assist Ref. The word “assist” would suggest the ref has the final say. I don’t care if they took 3 added minutes so long as they got it right. On the penalty against us, I thought they did. BUT for Sokratis winner, I can’t for the life of me see what Chambers may have done wrong. At very least that… Read more »


Well said Santori.


What about handball for sokratis in aston villa game and handball for kolasinac in man utd game?

They should have a penalty against us

Why emery not blame the VAR too?



This one is about VAR and not Emery out. He’s absolutely correct in his view, VAR is misused big time, but this time the opposite way than early in season. In the beginning, you could get away with murder, now it down to evaluating very small actions from the players. Have seen the situation over and over again and can’t see that Chambers do anything wrong, VAR letting total anonyoumus person(s) without any direct responsibilty decide the result of the matches.For all I know it was a Spurs fans sitting in that chair. Kills the joy of the game


I have my suspicions too. The VAR system is being abused, corrupted and hijacked by unseen forces with no Oita of responsibility for their farce decisions. Those hidden faces should be exposed and called out. We need to know to what/whom their loyalty lies and if they’re being used to achieve certain goals, aims or objectives.


He should be frustrated at his ineptitude to coach a football team

American Gunner

It didn’t appear that the ref had any questions or doubts about the goal neither did Palace. I did not see any Palace players yelling and crying about a possible foul, so why in the hell was the VAR ref reviewing the play in the first place? Did I miss something and every goal is now reviewed? That fool cost us the game (though in all honesty we never should have been in a position where this one goal was make or break).

A Different George

Yes, every goal is reviewed, but I thought that the standard, for fouls, was that the referee had made a clear and obvious error. Not so for handballs, which–in England only, as far as I know–will cause a goal to be disallowed, no matter how minor or how unintentional. The same is true for offside, which the FA views as an “objective” determination and so not subject to “clear and obvious.” (This is quite stupid, but the subject for a different discussion.) That is why when the second Sokratis goal was chalked off, I (and others) assumed it must be… Read more »


Referees are appointed to a list by the FA/PL on the basis of their expertise and experience. How can an Aussie with apparently 7 games experience in England be allowed to dictate to that highly qualified referee?

Are still referee assessors at games? Is there an assessor at Stockley Park? Will we know if action is taken against him?

On field ref must be the one in charge and not abdicate his duties to an anonymous drone.


We outsted Arsene Wenger because his romantic football – the big freedom he gave the players to form their own roles in the team – did not work any more. We wanted clearer roles, clearer directives, a formula, a style. We have to a certain extent got exactly that. In the first half Sunday, Emery spoke a lot to Chambers, which was the only player near enough to hear. The directives were about his position on the field. Chambers was either to high up or too near his own box, too wide or to narrow. Emery also tried to micro… Read more »

A Different George

Yeah, that guy is named Pep.


Can we experiment Mikel Arteta pls?


Jarred Gillett was on VAR and you can view some YouTube footage of him reffing a game mic’d up.

Per that footage, he actually seems like a really good ref.

Unsure what he’s seen there, though.

Red Arrow

It’s a shame that the Xhaka incident and the hatred by some towards Emery has taken the spotlight away from the fact that VAR has cost us badly – there was nothing wrong with the third goal. I hope those 2 points don’t cost us a top 4 place in the end.


We feel your pain, Unai. We’re frustrated with the misuse of VAR too.

We’re also frustrated with your misuse of the talent at your disposal.


Blogs, can we have an article titled “Fans frustrated at misuse of players”

I’m getting fed up of hearing Emery moaning about everything, but the truth. His incompetence as a Manager, not knowing the players, formations or even foreseeing the drama making Xhaka captain would bring (not condoning the fans behaviour yesterday, that was a low I never wanna see again from this fanbase).

I was reading a newspaper article saying the board have faith and will be giving him time to fix the situation, i fear it’s only going to get worse


And yes, he’s right about VAR, but still, we shouldnt of been in the position where we had to rely on that “goal”


Once, VAR didn’t existed. After that, sporting people discussed about it as a positive possibility. Then VAR was tested and after that implemented. Before in the present and in the future there will be tons of discussions about VAR (in any meaning). Let’s not forget that we have to play football. Redirecting the attention to VAR is totally useless. There was a football match, for some VAR may be a robbery for others justice. Emery, just face the pure facts, ask yourself what football was (if you have forgotten) then see some Arsenal games before you came here, and then,… Read more »


A long time under AW we realised that officials are not kind to Arsenal. A blog did a 2 seasons long review of refs for each game and lo and behold, there was much unkindness to Arsenal. Now this has started up again. Refs are manipulating games under orders to dictate how the PL is presented to the world on TV(and probably for high secret betting purposes too, who knows). Its time that blogs highlight these BAD decisions and demand that the FA does something to resolve the silly ref situation. 4 or 5 refs that manage almost every game,… Read more »


I think Arsenal and players are well aware of how the refs and officials are. Remember that auba goal when he showed a sort of challenging, come on then pose; i am sure that this was a match won that we should(was meant to) have lost. Then came the Utd match and i was ready for Arsenal to be hard done by refs, but i supposed they laid low until this match.
When i hear the phrase that “PL is the best league”, i now cringe and think, best at what?

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