London — Ange Postecoglou admitted he does not like VAR as the Tottenham boss blasted the replay system’s influence on his side’s “out of control” 4-1 defeat against Chelsea on Monday.
Tottenham had Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie sent off and were denied two goals by VAR in a remarkable Premier League clash.
The dismissals of Romero, for a studs-up foul on Enzo Fernandez, and Udogie, who earned a second booking for chopping down Raheem Sterling, appeared correct on further review, as did Son Heung-min and Eric Dier’s disallowed goals.
Nicolas Jackson scored three times in the closing stages to win the London derby for Chelsea after Cole Palmer’s penalty cancelled out Dejan Kulusevski’s early opener for Tottenham.
But with Chelsea also having three goals chalked off by VAR, Postecoglou was left infuriated by the amount of time spent waiting for decisions to be made.
⚪️ Ange Postecoglou: “I was told when I grew up to respect the officials…”.
“You know what managers do? We try bend the rules”.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 7, 2023
“I felt like I was standing around waiting for things to happen with VAR intervention,” he said.
“There will be a forensic study of every decision out there. That is the way the game is going and I don’t like it.
“Decisions are decisions, you either accept it or you don’t. If you look at all that standing around we did today, maybe people enjoy that sort of thing.
“I’d rather see us playing football but I could be a lone voice.”
‘In the wilderness’
Tottenham’s first league defeat since Postecoglou took charge in the close-season denied them the chance to regain top spot in the Premier League.
And Postecoglou claimed he would prefer the referee and his linesmen to have the final say on crucial decisions, rather than a VAR official who is not even based in the stadium.
“You have to accept the referee’s decision, that is how I grew up. This constant erosion of the referee’s authority is where the game is going to get,” the Australian said.
“They are not going to have any authority. We are going to be under the control of someone with a TV screen a few miles away.
“I don’t like it but I am probably in the wilderness with that because I keep getting told that’s where we want to go. I am too old school.
“It is almost impossible to analyse the game because it just seemed to get out of control for large parts of it.”
— Premier League (@premierleague) November 6, 2023
Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino had no such complaints about VAR as he savoured a victory over his old club on his first return since being sacked in 2019.
“This is football. We won and deserved it. The technology is there and we need to accept. Many things happen on the pitch and you need to verify and check,” he said.
“I’m happy to come back and see people I didn’t get the chance to say bye too. Most important for me is the win. It is Tottenham and it is not more special because of that.”
Pochettino has endured a difficult start with Chelsea following his close-season appointment, making this a much-needed morale boost for the Argentine and his injury-hit team.
“We deserve the credit. Tottenham are doing fantastic but tonight we were the better team,” he said.
“It’s clear from the beginning we didn’t have the whole squad. We need to build this momentum.
“It is amazing for Nicolas (Jackson). There was massive pressure on him but I hope this hat-trick allows him to play more relaxed and be more confident.”