Arsenal Chelsea Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United

Premier League Table with NO VAR: Where Tottenham, Arsenal, Man City and Liverpool sit amid Controversial claims that Spurs CHEATED Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola to PICKUP 4 points with the help of VAR

Howard Webb can only offer so many excuses, I suppose. He’s beginning to sound a lot like Simon Cooper when Jay Cartwright throttled him for slandering some bus riders.

Chief refereeing officer of PGMOL Webb was hoping to make a big impression at the beginning of the 2023–2024 season, but Premier League officials quickly crushed his hopes. During the first month of play, the poor man was made to defend a number of questionable calls while Michael Owen asked the 2010 World Cup final referee inane questions.

A significant portion of the 2023–2024 campaign’s controversy has focused on the video assistant referee (VAR). Introduced to ease the workload of on-field officials, the technology hasn’t produced the increased precision that many had hoped for due to the complexity of the regulations and the seeming incompetence of the people in charge of it.

This season, Aston Villa appeared to be the team most hindered by VAR’s remote control, even though for a spell they might have been a spot or two higher up.

Although the results of each match would have been different, Villa were theoretically denied a goal that would have won three games that they ended up drawing. When Villa’s traveling gear was seen to be on the wrong side of the virtual offside lines away to Bournemouth and Everton, “goals” for Alex Moreno and Diego Carlos were chalked off. After VAR flagged a foul on Sheffield United goalkeeper Wes Foderingham, Leon Bailey also had a strike disallowed. Unai Emery claimed there was “too much VAR” involved following that 1-1 draw with the basement dwellers of the division, which was not surprising.

They would only be ahead by one point in the absence of VAR, as things have somewhat leveled out.

In a non-VAR table, Liverpool and Arsenal are tied on points despite having had their fair share of officiating controversy this season. The Gunners are ahead of them only due to goal differential.

Several non-decisions by the Reds have left PGMOL looking red-faced and the Merseyside club completely frustrated. When the on-pitch assistant referee mistakenly ruled Luis Diaz’s goal against Tottenham offside at the end of September, the nation’s governing body for refereeing was forced to issue an apology for the “significant human error” that had occurred.

Even though Diaz was obviously onside, a poor miscommunication between the VAR officials meant that the match, which Tottenham Hotspur ultimately won 2-1, remained goalless.

Manchester United has experienced both positive and negative outcomes with VAR. Even though Andre Onana collided with Sasa Kalajdzic in the closing moments of the game against Wolverhampton Wanderers, the Red Devils managed to avoid a late penalty call.

Arsenal fans were upset that VAR disallowed Alejandro Garnacho’s possible late winner, but they were also relieved that the Gunners’ penalty was reversed after referee Anthony Taylor examined the pitchside monitor.

When Scott McTominay’s goal against Fulham was called back for a subjective offside, Erik ten Hag flailed his arms in disgust and bemoaned to the fourth official, “So many times now.” But only the scoreline has changed as a result of United’s VAR interventions; the outcome itself remains unchanged.

Although Brighton’s standings this season are unaffected by VAR, Seagulls manager Roberto De Zerbi made his opinions about all referees abundantly evident after his team was held to a 1-1 draw with Sheffield United in November. I find 80% of English referees to be unlikable. It is not a novel concept. They don’t appeal to me.

The national referees did not exactly win over De Zerbi or his captain when Lewis Dunk’s incredible volley against Everton was disallowed due to a thin offside call, depriving Brighton of a goal that could have turned the tide of a match that finished 1-1.

Brighton lost 3-2 at Chelsea in December, but two penalty decisions in the second half went against them. After a foul by James Milner on Mykhailo Mudryk, VAR awarded a spot kick, which Enzo Fernandez converted. In the eleventh minute of stoppage time, VAR overturned a penalty for Brighton. “After the game, I don’t want to talk about the referee,” De Zerbi sighed.

Chris Wilder, the manager of Sheffield United, has not hesitated to express his candid views regarding the Premier League referees. The only team with as many subjective rulings against them as the Blades is Tottenham (5); however, following a 3-2 loss to Crystal Palace in January, one of the on-field referees incited Wilder’s wrath.

Referee Tony Harrington was called “ridiculous” by Wilder, who then turned to face his colleague. “I felt that there was a total lack of respect at that moment because one of his assistants was eating a sandwich,” enraged Wilder. “Perhaps he relished his sandwich as he conversed with a Premier League manager.”

The following month, following more controversy in a rare Sheffield United victory over Luton Town, Wilder was unable to look past the controversial penalties that both teams won.

“I didn’t waste time or energy searching for it, thinking about it, and pulling the bones out of it,” sighed Wilder. “On the way home tonight, after I’ve had about six pints, I’ll probably pick the bones out of it. It will, of course, be somewhat hazy.

Without VAR, the Premier League table would resemble this:

About the author


Leave a Comment