West Ham’s hand stitch up is making VAR a farce
PUBLISHED: 12:30 15 January 2020
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Chanting VAR like Sheffield United fans did is not what this was brought in for
For the second time this season, West Ham were denied a goal by a ridiculous handball decision, hand in hand with the farce that is VAR.
Last time it didn't matter. Michail Antonio's goal at Southampton would have made it 2-0, so the Hammers won anyway.
This time it mattered a great deal. A point at Bramall Lane against a decent Sheffield United would have kept David Moyes unbeaten since his return, instead his honeymoon period seems to be over.
I was all in favour of VAR when it was introduced. I remember some of the dreadful decisions that were inflicted upon the Hammers in previous years.
Statistics suggest that if VAR decisions had gone their way, the Hammers would be in 13th place.
But this is a travesty, it is not how it was supposed to be. Someone kicking or heading the ball into someone's arm is not a foul and it never should be.
When the Sheffield United fans are chanting 'VAR' after a goal they never questioned is chalked off, then something is seriously wrong with the game.
I was at Brentford v QPR on Saturday and though there was a penalty shout that may have been corrected by VAR, at least I knew I could celebrate the goals without some faceless man not even in the stadium overturning it.
In the end it was a bad night for the Hammers and not just because of the disallowed Robert Snodgrass goal.
This was a hugely disappointing display, especially in an attacking sense where Felipe Anderson, Sebastien Haller and Manuel Lanzini failed to impress.
Add to that the injury to Lukasz Fabianski, a recurrence of the one he suffered earlier in the season and the mistake by David Martin which cost the winning goal and it all adds up to something of a disaster.
In reality, West Ham did not start playing until Snodgrass came on as a second-half substitute.
Straight away his free kicks put the Blades under pressure suggesting he should have played from the start, while Pablo Fornals, the other man in form, was left on the bench for 84 minutes.
Those were both Moyes mistakes, while playing Aaron Cresswell in central defence, just as he did the last time he was in charge, may well be another one.
The manager, though, was fairly happy with the display.
"First of all, I'd like to say how well I thought my players played," he said. "I thought they were terrific and I'd say we didn't deserve to lose and we might even have been disappointed to have drawn in the end.
"I think if we had come here and taken a draw, we'd have been happy because it is such a tough place to come to."
The biggest talking point was that disallowed goal, which has been reverberating ever since it happened.
"I thought we scored a good goal to equalise," said Moyes. "I'm a football man and I watch football and I thought Declan Rice did brilliantly well to break through the middle with good power and strength.
"I think it's a really good goal and for that to happen from my point of view it's not right."
It isn't right and it is about time it was stopped, but as long as pundits like Gary Neville continue to support it by saying they are the rules, deal with it, then this game is surely doomed.
Nobody wants this farce, so why do we still have it in the best league in the world?