Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has called for improvements in VAR processes in the English game, after a controversial red card for Emerson Royal cost Spurs the North London derby.

Spurs fell to a 3-1 defeat at the Emirates, as Arsenal capitalised on the advantage of having more men on the pitch in the second half after Emerson Royal was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Gabriel Martinelli.

After going in at half-time with the score at 1-1 and Spurs in the ascendancy, it was a crushing blow for the away side to see Gabriel Jesus put Arsenal in front after just five minutes of the second half.

Emerson Royal then caught the ankle of Martinelli on the hour mark, and was given his marching orders for a challenge deemed to be dangerous foul play. Arsenal then scored the decisive third goal just five minutes later to kill the game.

In his post-match press conference (via Football.London), Spurs boss Antonio Conte refused to question the referee’s decision. Conte did however imply that those watching the game in the VAR team could have intervened.

“Honestly, I don’t know what happens later, but in England I have to be honest, it is very difficult because there isn’t the same line.

“Sometimes you see a situation that could be a red card instead is a yellow card or no yellow card, sometimes you see a situation that is a yellow card and you see a red card.

“They have to work a lot about this. In Italy, they go on Thursday and stay together for three days to work together, to look at the video and try and improve.

“I don’t know if they do that in this country but it would be a good idea because the level is so high and we need the level of the referee and VAR the same. The Premier League is a really high level and for this reason every part of this situation has to be top.”

Spurs Web Opinion

We all know the use of VAR in the English game is far from perfect. They intervene when we want the game to flow, offsides are given for the most minute of margins, and there is still an abundance of subjective errors being made week in week out.

Positive steps need to be taken to improve VAR, that’s for sure. With regards to this particular incident though, I’m not sure VAR would have seen enough in the Emerson Royal challenge to change the referee’s decision.

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