Wenger questions ‘frustrating’ VAR delay


Arsene Wenger has concerns over the length of time it took for referee Martin Atkinson to refer an incident to the Video Assistant Referee as the new technology had its second run out in English football during Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-final.

Atkinson asked for two incidents to be analysed. In the first half, he checked whether Ainsley Maitland-Niles had been felled by Victor Moses in the Chelsea box. Then, towards the end of the game, he reviewed whether a Danny Welbeck tackle on Cesc Fabregas should have been a penalty.

On the second occasion, it took a couple of minutes for the examination to take place because the ball hadn’t gone out of play.

“There were only two opportunities for them to intervene, the first one was straight away because the ball went out,” Wenger said after the match.

“But the second one for me it would look a bit strange…if the referee is uncertain maybe he should be able to block straight away.

“If there is no penalty, you give it to the defending team, because it looks a bit strange to go on for two minutes for example sometimes and then to come back… You cannot intervene straight away, it’s frustrating.”

A decision on whether VAR will become a permanent fixture in English football is yet to be made. It will also be used in the semi-final second leg.

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18 Comments on "Wenger questions ‘frustrating’ VAR delay"

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Andris priim

The AMN foul was a penalty… just saying…


If all the pundits are to be belieevd after the Hazard penalty last week, then yes it was a foul and a penalty for AMN.
Personally, I think both were fouls BUT I dont think either are fouls worthy of a penalty, and thats the issue I have. Yes they were fouls, but the punishment of a penalty, and against our Gk’s a 100% chance of a goal, is a huge price to pay for that kind of foul in the area of the boxes where they occurred.

A Different George

I agree completely. It is exactly as Wenger said: if you give those, there will be a dozen penalties a game. There is hardly a corner kick where a defender does not block an attacker’s path without playing the ball, or where someone is not grabbed around the shoulders. Any of those would be whistled anywhere else on the pitch, almost never in the area. This used to frustrate me; now I believe it is right.


” Any of those would be whistled anywhere else on the pitch, almost never in the area.”

Yes, but they should.


No idea why more wasn’t made of this. Overlay studio ref Gallagher’s comments over the Moses on Niles footage and you would think he was talking about the same incident

David C

even Craig Burnley who hates Arsenal said the AMN one was a penalty. When are things going to even out for us a bit?


Because the clearly bent PGMOL are going to take this one lying down, aren’t they…..

Des Lynam

I actually agree with Wenger. Stop play check that shit, carry on. What happens if the other team break and then score before you check the VAR? Scenes. That’s what happens. I bet you we’re the first that happens to as well. Swines.


Wouldn’t it just be more cost effective to blanket yellow card any tumble by Hazard in the box? 50% improvement a season in an instant

Bould\'s Eyeliner

Agreed. There is no sense in checking a play, long after play has already progressed afterwards. Retroactive punishment, during a live match? It’s literally asking for hell in a handbasket. Immediate VAR intervention works seamlessly in sports where play is consistently broken, but obviously this is close to impossible in football. In my opinion, any time there is a potentially significant foul/penalty, and the play is stopped, VAR should be immediately be reviewed already by the fourth official (who literally does jack all except ignore upset managers), and an opinion should then be immediately relayed to the match official. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to streamline this system in a game where stops are extremely common (but irregular, so a little challenge).

I think the FA are also invested in making themselves look incompetent, to appease the public yet protect their vested interests in contentious refereeing. At the very least the latter sells newspapers…

Why Not

Or they could have the var on constantly reviewing the whole game and giving the referee updates when something happens he didnt see. You know like a video assistant referee. The referee would then be able to go about his business as normal and have confidence that what he sees infront of him is the the reality unless he recieves information immediately contrary to that. And for close decisions they can make a brief stoppage.

If its the authority of the referee is what they are worried about this should solve it as they would be backed up by actual evidence.

If its stoppages they are worried about, there would only be one when its too close to see in acouple of seconds by the live var. and would definitely be waaaaaaaaaaaaaay less time than the bitching and moaning we currently see.

They clearly dont know how to integrate this system, or just dont want to and are executing it like shit on purpose.


I too have concerns that when seeing our defence get fucked in the ass by an 18 year old forest striker we made zero adjustments


I think somebody needs a little nap.


It would be so lovely if dullards would stop leaving vituperative anti-Wenger diatribes on news articles that don’t call for it. It’s just so tedious. If watching football turns you into such a blubbering child, maybe it’s not the hobby for you?


Im positive VAR can be a big improvement. There will be teething problems and tweaks in the first years. But it been a big plus in every other sport and has never been rolled back to my knowledge. Theres no reason to think football is exceptional and cant benefit from the technology. So I hope people give it a chance when mistakes are still made, and not say all technology is crap. If more decisions are correct more often then VAR is a win in my opinion.

Also, VAR should fix big, clear errors. Eg the AMN penalty claim was for me a 50-50 call. I would hope that if the penalty was given on field, then it wouldnt be overturned by VAR. Likewise, Im satisfied that it wasnt given on field because there was relatively little contact and he was able to maintain balance on the next step (as much as I wouldve liked a pen). There should be clear evidence that a decision was wrong, VAR is not able to fix subjective interpretations, which will always be part of the game.


Where and when did he say that?

Steve Vallins

If AMN hadn’t jumped Moses leg there would have been contact hence a penalty. A few years back I think the game between Liverpool v Sheffield Utd Stephen Gerrard won a penalty by jumping over the tackle no contact but the referee see’s intent the laws of football change for Arsenal

Why Not

The way they have it set up is pure bullshit. From the way the referee chooses when to the amount of time they take to discuss a fairly simple decision, to the way the rule is written. Only if a clear and obvious mistake was made…..what the fuck.

Its almost like they are designing it to be shit so they can say, hey look we tried it sucked and fucked up the game.

Pure incompetence again by the ruling bodies.

Just turn it into WWF wrestling and be done with it already.