James Milner outlines problem with VAR in the Premier League

Liverpool kept up their impressive home form when they ousted Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday to extend their undefeated streak at home to 45 games, while also retaining their undefeated run in the Premier League this season.

While the Reds did a fabulous job in marking a stunning comeback after Harry Kane had given the visitors an early lead, James Milner had to be content on watching it from the bench.


The former England International only came on for just over the last 15 minutes, picking up a yellow card in the process and seeing the game through for the Reds.

While VAR didn’t really affect their game, it played its part in the other games by influencing Arsenal’s draw against Crystal Palace and also awarding Manchester United two penalties against Norwich City.

The Reds have faced some obstacles with the virtual refereeing system this season and Milner isn’t exactly its biggest fan.

Speaking to the Guardian, he expressed his feelings on VAR and spoke about the problems its leads to ruining the fluidity to games.

He said, “I’m not a fan at all(of VAR). Yeah. It’s in writing. So we’ll go with that. It might just be the old school part of me but I think there’s still too much debate around VAR.”

Furthermore, Milner also spoke about the differences VAR has to the goal-line technology system. He explained, “Goal-line technology is incredible. Instant decision. Black and white. But it’s very hard to use VAR when you’ve still got opinions on the decisions and the atmosphere is being ruined. You score, there’s an explosion of noise and then it’s VAR. You wait. Is it a goal?”

The 33-year-old used his match-winning penalty against Leicester City a few weeks ago as an example of how VAR can be frustrating to the players.

He said, “I had the experience of a penalty the other week [when Milner scored a much-delayed last-minute spot-kick to win the game against Leicester]. That was a new experience as they’re debating if it’s going to be a penalty.”

”I think there’s use for it – if we can improve it. But football is a game of human error on the field and in officiating as well. They have a very tough job and I’m all for making their lives easier – but not at the expense of the flow of the game.”, he further added.

He also exclaimed that as long as the controversies of the games are taken away, the players can fully support VAR. But he also explained how players are having discussions around it because of its issues.

Milner stated, “If the VAR took away controversy I’d back it 100%. But we’re still having discussions about VAR. I don’t think many footballers feel differently.”

The Englishman’s side are currently six points clear at the top of the Premier League and travel to Aston Villa at the weekend looking to keep their undefeated streak alive.