Belfast Telegraph

Murphy aims swipe at VAR's stifling effect

Video nasty: Danny Murphy
Video nasty: Danny Murphy

Former England midfielder Danny Murphy says VAR is ruining football as a spectacle and wants it scrapped.

The Premier League welcomed the Video Assistant Referee system on its opening weekend, with the new technology providing several talking points.

"Something doesn't feel right at the moment when we're watching football," Murphy said.

"I know the majority of what VAR did at the weekend was good - corrected some decisions that would not have been - but if you gave me the choice I'd knock VAR on the head."

Murphy was highly critical of Manchester City having a goal disallowed in their 5-0 win at West Ham through the tightest of offside calls. VAR adjudged Raheem Sterling to be offside by just a matter of millimetres before setting up Gabriel Jesus.

"Do we really want to see goals disallowed for an offside that's an armpit ahead of another armpit by four millimetres?" Murphy said.

"He might be offside by four millimetres by the letter of the law. But it's an entertainment business, isn't it? And the Sterling goal that was allowed, there was muted celebrations.

"You could see he was thinking 'Is this going to get taken away?' and the Man City fans were clapping. It was like applause at the end of the ballet!

"I went to the (VAR) conference and it was helpful. I like the fact that they are really going to set the bar high in terms of overturning anything unless it's a really bad decision.

"But it's creating too many areas of chat, and I'd rather be talking about tactics and players."

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