NINE contentious VAR decision’s in Arsenal’s last 3 games – how many were correct?

Happy Wednesday!

Whilst the Premier League is having a mid-week game week, we are sitting on our thumbs waiting for a Europa League game tomorrow.

The home tie against PSV was cancelled due to “policing issues” following the Queens death. The re-arranged fixture postponed the Manchester City match that we were supposed to play this week.

Have any PSV or Manchester City fan been compensated? Probably not. Shows once again that the authorities do not care about those fans that spend their hard earned cash following their team over land and sea.

Over the last 10 days there has been a lot of talk about how Arsenal are getting the “rub of the green from VAR”.

Even when commentators are agreeing with the decision that the refereeing team come to, they are still saying “Arsenal got lucky there”.

But are Arsenal getting the rub of the green? Or is this it just the onfield officials and VAR working together to come to the right decisions? Let’s investigate:

Emerson Royal red card
Onfield decision: Red card
VAR decision: Red card
Notes: Emerson was late, from behind, scrapping down Gabriel Martinelli’s Achilles. These sort of challenges need to be red cards. They can no only be a red when it leads to a broken ankle.
Correct decision

Saka offside
Onfield decision: No offside
VAR: No offside
Notes: Technology could not conclusively overule the onfield decision, so it was correct they stayed with the linos decision.
Correct decision

Gabriel Martinelli challenge on Trent
Onfield decision: No foul
VAR decision: No foul
Notes: It was not a tackle. Trent attempted to block Gabriel’s cross and got caught by the Brazilian’s foot during the natural motion of him kicking the ball.
Correct decision

Gabriel Jesus penalty
Onfield decision: Penalty
VAR decision: Penalty
Notes: Challenge on Jesus came in from behind, with Thiago Alcantara kicking him in the leg. Alcantara was no-where near the ball. Just because a challenge is not enough for a player to “naturally” go down, does not mean it is not a foul. Often players in this situation have to go down highlight the contact others the referee will never give it.
Correct decision

Gabriel handball
Onfield decision: No penalty
VAR decision: No penalty
Notes: As soon as the ball comes off Gabriel’s chest, it can not be given as handball. Had the referee given the penalty, VAR would have overturned due to it rolling off the Brazilian’s chest.
Correct decision

Bamford goal dissalowed
Onfield decision: No goal
VAR decision: No goal
Notes: Clear push by Patrick Bamford
Correct decision

William Saliba handball
Onfield decision: No penalty
VAR decision: Penalty
Notes: Was a handball by Saliba. Questions can be asked about the offside in the build up, but that led to a cross which Arsenal cleared and started a “new phase of play”.
Correct decision

Leeds non-penalty
Onfield decision: Penalty
VAR: No penalty
Notes: Patrick Bamford clearly fouls Gabriel prior to the coming together between the two. The coming together was 6 of 1, half a dozen of the other.
Correct decision

Gabriel red card
Onfield decision: Red card
VAR decision: No red card
Notes: Lino advised referee that Gabriel had kicked out Bamford and a red card should be issued. On review it was clear that Gabriel did not kick out. Red card reduced to yellow card.
Correct decision

So of the 9 contentious decisions we have seen across the last 3 games, the joint decision making of VAR and the onfield officials came to the correct decision every time.

Of the 3 occasions VAR overturned the onfield decision, 1 went against Arsenal and 2 for. The 2 that went for Arsenal were part of the same incident and it was the linesman’s decision making that was overturned, not the referee.

Just because decision’s go your way, does not mean you are “lucky” if all those decisions are actually correct.

You could also argue that one of the biggest errors in the last 3 games went against Arsenal.

The linesman should have flagged for the Leeds players being offside in the build-up to their penalty.

This is the disadvantage of “keeping the flag down” as it means that if a new phase starts, the decision not to flag “in case a goal is scored” is not reviewed.

Leeds gained an advantage due to the offside.

The Leeds player was free to cross the ball in, unchallenged. Arsenal were then at full stretch trying to clear and the ball went straight back to him. 2 passes later and the cross went in which led to the penalty.

If VAR did not exist, the linesman would have flagged for the offside. It was a clear and obvious. Ne need to keep the flag down “just in case”.

My final thought is those that are saying VAR is winning us games; with no VAR the first Leeds penalty would not have been given and the second would have been given. What do they say about bad decisions equaling themselves out?

Casting our minds back to our only loss of the season – Manchester United away – and we will all remember that VAR ruled out our “opener”. So we could easily argue that VAR is costing us games rather than winning.

Tomorrow it is PSV at home. Remember if you are not going, sell the ticket on the TX. Give someone else a chance to go.




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