Tottenham’s Danny Rose brands VAR ‘complete nonsense’ as backlash against the system continues to grow

Tottenham's FA Cup fifth round replay win over Rochdale was paused for no fewer than ten VAR consultations, something Rose described as 'ridiculous' 

Luke Brown
Thursday 01 March 2018 13:00 GMT
Danny Rose was unimpressed with the use of VAR
Danny Rose was unimpressed with the use of VAR (Getty)

Tottenham full-back Danny Rose has described the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) as “complete nonsense”, as the backlash against the system continued to grow after Tottenham’s farcical 6-1 victory over Rochdale in an FA Cup fifth round replay last night.

What appeared to be a perfectly legitimate opening goal from Erik Lamela was ruled out for a minor infringement by Fernando Llorente, after a two-minute wait during which none of the fans in the stadium had any idea what was going on.

Lucas Moura was then denied a penalty after going down in the box under contact from Harrison McGahey — despite the incident being refereed to VAR — before Kieran Trippier was awarded a spot-kick by VAR after referee Paul Tierney initially awarded a free-kick.

Son Heung-min's penalty was then disallowed after he paused in his run-up. This was also after Tierney had consulted with VAR, which Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino later declared was “embarrassing”.

A confused Rose later described the series of decisions as “very frustrating”, adding that the confusion took some of the sheen away from a convincing Spurs victory and valiant performance from Rochdale, who currently sit bottom of English football’s third-tier.

“It was interesting, very frustrating and just confusing more than anything,” Rose said.

“That has just overshadowed a good performance by us and a good performance by Rochdale. There is no word to describe it except frustrating, even though we won 6-1.

“But we managed to score six goals and luckily we are not on the losing side complaining about VAR. I just feel for Rochdale, some of their players were saying that it is their first time at Wembley and that has now been completely overshadowed. It could have been a nice occasion for them.”

The defining image of the evening... (Getty)

Rose said that the majority of the frustration stemmed from the long pauses in the game while Tierney consulted VAR, although when asked how he would improve the system he admitted: “I honestly have no idea”.

“It’s just complete nonsense if you ask me, waiting around and not knowing what is going on,” he added. “It’s ridiculous. Ridiculous.”

VAR is currently being trialled in the FA Cup, as well as Italy's Serie A, Germany's Bundesliga, the Portuguese league and other competitions around the world.

But it is been involved in a series of controversies, with former Premier League referee Mark Halsey criticising mistakes in the application of the technology after Tottenham’s win, which sets up a quarter-final against Swansea.

Son Heung-min tries to discuss a decision with Paul Tierney (Getty)

When asked about Lamela’s disallowed goal, Halsey said: “For me it wasn't a clear and obvious error. I thought it was a perfectly good goal. I don't know why it was referred (to the VAR) in the first place."

He also criticised Tierney for ruling out the Tottenham penalty, saying he should have used his experience and had the spot-kick retaken for encroachment.

“He could have handled it better,” Halsey added.

One game, ten reviews

Every VAR review during the match​

Seven minutes: Fernando Llorente misses a chance for Spurs, presenting Erik Lamela with the chance to poke the ball into the net. Paul Tierney consults VAR for two minutes before Llorente is adjudged to have fouled Rochdale defender Harrison McGahey.

22: Lucas Moura bursts into the box and is blocked off by McGahey. Tierney initially waves play on. With the ball by now at the other end of the pitch, he consults VAR for around a minute before it is decided there was minimal contact. No penalty is given.

23: Son gives Spurs the lead with a fine strike from the edge of the box. There is a delay of a minute as VAR is consulted to see if any players were stood offside, obscuring Rochdale goalkeeper Josh Lillis’ field of vision. The original decision stands.

25: Kieran Trippier is fouled by Matt Done a fraction outside the box. A free-kick is awarded. VAR is then consulted and after a long wait the offence is judged to have continued into the penalty area. A penalty is given.

29: Son scores the penalty for Spurs. Tierney then blows his whistle and consults VAR. Son is deemed to have ‘feinted’ on the final step of his run-up to the spot-kick. The goal is overturned and a free-kick given to Rochdale. Son is booked.

31: Rochdale’s Stephen Humphrys scores an unlikely equaliser for the away side. There is another short delay as VAR is consulted, but no reason is found to disallow the goal.

45+5: Lamela clatters into Callum Camps on the stroke of half-time and is shown a yellow card. Tierney then consults VAR to see whether a red card should have been shown. VAR finds no reason and the original decision stands.

47: Llorente scores with a sublime chip over the onrushing Lillis. VAR is consulted. The goal stands.

53: Llorente doubles his tallies and again VAR is consulted. Once more, no reason can be found to disallow the goal.

65: The tenth VAR related delay to the game comes after Tottenham’s fifth goal, Son’s second. No reason can be found to disallow the goal.

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