Chris Wilder: VAR has created a 'different game' since its Premier League arrival
"I'm a bit sad with the way it's going... I don't think anyone knows where they are, with anything," says Sheffield Utd boss after defeat by Newcastle
Last Updated: 06/12/19 11:05am
Fuming Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder said VAR has created a "different game" after it helped Newcastle to victory over his side.
United stopped playing when an assistant referee's flag appeared to indicate Andy Carroll was offside in the build-up to Newcastle's second goal at Bramall Lane, but Jonjo Shelvey ran through to score before VAR ruled his strike should stand in what ended a 2-0 win for the visitors.
Wilder's men have found themselves on the wrong side of a number of VAR calls this season, including a marginal offside ruling out a goal at Tottenham in October, and after Thursday's game he vented his frustration with the video assistant, which was only introduced in August.
"I should be really enjoying my time in the Premier League and I am, with a team that's given it a right go, but that part of it, in terms of every pre-match interview that I do, is VAR-based, every interview I do post-game is VAR based mostly," he said.
"I think I've managed close to 1,000 games, and the game's changed. It's a new game, for me, what we're having to deal with, and learn on the job.
"If I'm a defender and the linesman puts his flag up, the referee's about to blow his whistle, I think it's just a natural reaction. It's a different game now, one that everyone has to adapt and get used to.
"I'm not taking anything away from Steve's performance or them, but it's a different game. I'm a bit drained with it, a bit sad with the way it's going. I was a traditionalist at the start, but it's every week. I don't think anyone knows where they are, with anything.
"I could criticise my players for not playing to the whistle but when we were told at the start of the season the linesman's keeping his flag down, and everyone in the ground, even Jonjo didn't give me the impression he thought he was in. Scrutinising it is right, you've seen the clips, it's a difficult one to learn."
Guidance from the PGMOL at the start of the season suggested assistant referees would not raise their flags for tight offside calls, although players were urged to play to the whistle.
Wilder also took issue with the assistant's performance, saying: "The linesman has to learn to keep his flag down. There's a lot of things that need to go in for another footballer to play in the Premier League, out of possession, in possession, playing in front of 30,000 people - but the linesman just has to keep his flag down.
"We'll speak to our boys and it's a harsh lesson to learn, but it's a harsh lesson to learn at Tottenham away, that was a harsh lesson as well, harsh at home to Leicester when a foul should've been reviewed and wasn't, there's quite a lot we're having to go through. It's another one tonight and it might be next week too."