West Ham United return to action later today with a trip to St. James’ Park to face Newcastle United, and they will look to pick up all three points in order to further boost their survival bid following Wednesday’s 3-2 win over Chelsea.
David Moyes’ men impressed against the Blues despite seeing Tomas Soucek’s opener chalked off controversially by the VAR.
West Ham were left fuming as Michail Antonio was ruled offside despite lying on the floor when the Czech Republic midfielder scored, and the club’s vice-chairman Karren Brady says they want VAR scrapped by the Premier League as it has been against them all season.
11 VAR decisions have gone against the Hammers so far this term, making them the worst affected top-flight side, and they will definitely not be in a relegation battle were it not for them.
It took almost four minutes before the decision to cancel Soucek’s goal was made, and Brady shared what she heard Sky Sports commentator and pundit Gary Neville say during the long wait.
“Not only has it made mistakes, VAR is also testing the crowd’s patience. Admittedly, the crowd on Wednesday night at London Stadium in these strangest of times, was just 20 directors, the extended subs on the bench and about 100 press,” Brady told The Sun.
“But we waited almost four minutes for VAR to come to a decision about Tomas Soucek’s goal. It’s an unusual atmosphere being in an empty stadium watching a match but one of the few advantages is you can hear Gary Neville’s TV commentary from inside the stadium while you are in your seat.
“At one point during those four minutes, I heard him say to the millions watching at home that if it takes this long for VAR to make a decision, then the goal should stand. Common sense if I ever heard it. But as we are finding out, common sense is not a factor of VAR.”
The Video Assistant Referee system will need to be faster in its judgment given how slow it has been at times.
The new handball and offside rules haven’t gone down well with clubs and fans since they became implemented, and a review is definitely needed.