After Liverpool failed to beat Burnley at Anfield in their last match, full-back Andy Robertson was heard berating the officials at full-time.
Perhaps the lack of an expected win was behind his ire, though the Scot tore into the referee and his assistants for not awarding a penalty for a challenge on him by Johann Berg Gudmundsson towards the end of the match.
His foul-mouth rant was picked up by TV cameras and according to the Daily Star, Robertson has since apologised.
However, he isn’t going to let the matter drop easily, and without hammering home his point.
“I believe the referees are relying on the VAR but the VAR isn’t really overturning any decisions so we’re in a kind of limbo,” he was quoted as saying by the Daily Star.
“I’d prefer not to have it and let the referee call it. If the referee calls it the same then you go, ‘OK, he’s seen it differently’ but the fact we have 40 cameras and 40 different angles to look at certain situations, I believe the decisions should be right.
“That one I believe was wrong and I think a lot of football people believe it should have been a penalty.
“[…] I spoke to the ref and all the officials in the tunnel afterwards and he explained what he had seen, which I respected as not all referees do that.
“I apologised to him for the language that I used but I still believe he is in the wrong. I still believe it is a penalty.”
The flaws of VAR have been well documented, and it’s clear that the application of the technology is what’s needing to be looked at.
Unlike other top European leagues, Premier League referees appear unwilling, or perhaps unable if the directive from PGMOL is such, to go to the pitch side monitor to look at a particular situation.
Even if a decision isn’t overturned, the mere fact that the on-pitch official has taken a moment to review would at least give teams peace of mind, even if they still disagreed.
The way things are at the moment, Robertson’s outburst is understandable if unpalatable.