James Milner has condemned the current use of VAR, saying the system is ruining the atmosphere within football stadia.
After weeks of watching VAR not really getting involved and with a number of contentious decisions being allowed to stand, a switch was seemingly flicked this weekend, with a whole host of bizarre decisions being made by those looking at the monitors in Stockley Park.
Everton, Arsenal, and Norwich were all on the receiving end of dodgy decisions, VAR overturning the on-field ref’s decision to award Brighton, Crystal Palace and Manchester United highly contentious penalties.
Having been forced to wait while VAR checked a late penalty for Liverpool in their 2-1 win over Leicester earlier this month, James Milner has admitted that he is certainly ‘not a fan’ of the system, and says that ‘the atmosphere is being ruined’ inside the ground.
“I’m not a fan at all,” Milner said in an interview with The Guardian.
“It might just be the old school part of me but I think there’s still too much debate around VAR. 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?
“I had the experience of a penalty the other week [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. 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.”