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Jurgen Klopp and Frank Lampard say VAR can improve

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

10:21 5 Nov 2019

Few issues unite football fans quite like VAR. There has been almost universal derision of the video assistant referee system since its introduction to the Premier League this season.

Ahead of the Champions League action this week, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Chelsea boss Frank Lampard have been lamenting the introduction of a tool that was supposed to reduce the focus on controversial refereeing decisions. Ironically it has had almost the opposite effect.

Klopp sounded hopeful that there is still hope for VAR to succeed in the Premier League:

"I think we all expected a proper improvement. I still think that's possible, we all expected as well that there could be a couple of problems in the beginning.

The Liverpool manager noted there were also teething problems when VAR was introduced in the Bundesliga.

"I was not in Germany when they started VAR but I was still pretty close. In the first year, it was difficult as well there. It's getting better and better and better.

Possibly referring to pitchside monitors, that are not in use in the Premier League, Klopp said "They do some things differently to England as well. It's not better or worse, it's just different.

"There are some moments obviously when it's clear. Clear offside, clear handball and you say ok that's the way we wanted it, we wanted clarification."

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard feels the Premier League should follow UEFA’s lead in allowing referees to review contentious incidents on pitchside monitors: 

"It would be incredible to actually use it (a monitor). When it's there to be used would be a great thing."

"We're in a difficult place (with VAR) we know that."

Lampard has seen the use of pitchside monitors up close in the Champions League already this season.

"It happened with us with a penalty against Valencia where we got one. Where the referee went and checked."

Lampard and Klopp had relatively moderate opinions on VAR, essentially hoping it will be sorted out in time with consultation and evolution of the process.

SKY pundit Jamie Redknapp has not been so measured and blasted VAR for not adding to the game:

"We expect VAR to get it right. It's still only their opinion, it's not a fact and that's where I think they've got to be so careful.

He continued: "Has it added to the game? Has it made football a better game because of VAR right now, absolutely not? I think fans are really not liking it."

The VAR debate look unlikely to abate any time soon.

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