Ange Postecoglou on the major ‘misconception’ about VAR & the ‘problem we fail to grasp’ 

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Ange Postecoglou says the introduction of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) in pursuit of “errorless” officiating in football has ultimately led to the game becoming more complicated.

The comments come in the aftermath of the Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO) confirming a “significant human error” was made during Tottenham’s 2-1 win over Liverpool, when a Luis Diaz effort in the 34th minute was incorrectly ruled out for offside.

Spurs claimed a dramatic three points after Joel Matip turned Pedro Porro’s cross into his own net in the sixth minute of stoppage time to continue the hosts’ flying start under new Australian head coach Ange Postecoglou.

Referee Simon Hooper sent off Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota either side of half-time, but Liverpool were left aggrieved by the first-half decision to rule out a Diaz 34th-minute effort.

Mohamed Salah played Diaz through and the Colombian rifled into the bottom corner, but the offside flag was raised and a quick VAR check by Darren England at Stockley Park deemed the Liverpool attacker was offside.

Still images of the incident appeared to show Cristian Romero play Diaz onside and Spurs took the lead two minutes later when Son Heung-min poked home.

Cody Gakpo did level before half-time, but Matip’s last-gasp own-goal inflicted a first Premier League defeat of the season on Jurgen Klopp’s men.

“PGMOL acknowledge a significant human error occurred during the first half of Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool,” a PGMOL statement read.

“The goal by Luis Diaz was disallowed for offside by the on-field team of match officials.

“This was a clear and obvious factual error and should have resulted in the goal being awarded through VAR intervention, however, the VAR failed to intervene.

“PGMOL will conduct a full review into the circumstances which led to the error.”

The 2-1 result sent Tottenham into second place as just one of two remaining unbeaten teams in the league, alongside North London rivals Arsenal.

Postecoglou was pressed for his opinion on the use of VAR in football in the aftermath of his side’s latest stoppage-time winner, to which he responded: “I think I’m on record saying I’ve never really been a fan of it since it’s come in.

“Not for any other reason that it really complicates the areas of the game I thought were pretty clear in the past. But I can see at the same time why it was inevitable technology would come in.

“The problem I think we have, or we seem to fail to grasp, is no form of technology is going to make the game errorless.

“We used to understand errors were part of the game, including officiating errors, and you’d have to cop it. Some people copped it better than others, but that was part of the game. 

“The game is littered with historical refereeing decisions that weren’t right, but we all accepted that was part of the game because we’re only human beings.

“I think people are under the misconception VAR is going to be errorless – well I don’t think there’s any technology (that can be errorless), because so much of our game isn’t factual, it’s down to interpretation, they’re still human beings and they’re going to make mistakes, the same way managers make mistakes, the same way players make mistakes. 

“I think when you put such a high bar on something, invariably it is going to fail. If people think VAR is going to be something at some point that is perfect, that’s never going to happen.”

The PGMOL statement was put to Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp post-game, to which he responded: “Who does that help now?

“We had that situation in the Man United game (against Wolverhampton). Did Wolves get points for it? No. We will not get points for it, so it doesn’t help.

“I think what everybody wants (is that) nobody expects 100% right decisions on-field, but I think we all thought when VAR comes in, it might make things easier. 

“Are (the referees) that much under pressure? Today the decision was made very quick for that goal. It changed the momentum of the game, so that’s how it is. We score that goal, it was top, top top, outstandingly well-played… it was super difficult. But the boys dealt extremely well with it.”