“Damaged English football” – Pochettino slams “unbelievable and ridiculous” VAR decision

Mauricio Pochettino thought he’d seen his side beat Aston Villa late on, but VAR took the goal away. Benoit Badiashile was adjudged to have pushed Diego Carlos before swinging a cross in for Axel Disasi to score from.

He was understandably fuming at full time, and in his post match interview with TNT Sports he went in pretty hard on the whole framework of VAR.

“I don’t want to talk bad about the referee but it’s unbelievable and ridiculous. It’s difficult to accept. In the FA Cup semi-final I was humble and when VAR said no penalty, but this is painful and has damaged the image of English football,” the coach said in a pretty measured way.

A win tonight would have been massive, coming back from 2 down a great answer to a midweek crushing. Instead we get an unsatisfying draw.

VAR the villain

Whether or not you thought it was a foul – most of the pundits did, albeit a soft one – the whole idea that a referee can be overruled by someone off the field to take away an exciting 96th minute is so backwards. Why on earth has so much entertainment for a marginal increase in accuracy?

This must be extra infuriating for Pochettino given he has also had to put up with a no-call in the FA Cup semi final last weekend. He’s right – he did keep pretty quiet about that, and this was another blow. It does seem mad that a referee would be asked to look at the monitor for something he saw clearly like today, and not sent there for the handball.

Pochettino also knows he can endear himself a little to the fans by blasting the refs. We wonder how much punishment they’re willing to take from him. A charge can’t be far off.

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