Tottenham legends Graham Roberts and Micky Hazard have both taken to social media to have a dig at Michael Oliver before he takes charge of the North London Derby this a.fternoon
Oliver has been arguably responsible for not one but two VAR blunders that went against Tottenham over the last week.
He was the VAR official in charge during Tottenham’s 3-1 loss at Bramall Lane, where Harry Kane’s equaliser was ruled out after Oliver decided that Lucas Moura had handled the ball when he was going to the ground before it ricocheted to the England captain.
He was once again the man in the Stockley Park hot seat during Tottenham 0-0 draw against the Bournemouth on Thursday, where Spurs were denied a clear cut penalty when Kane was bundled to the ground by Josh King, as he was about to make contact with a far-post corner kick.
Jose Mourinho was left fuming on the touchline on both instances, which was understandable considering that both decisions were potential major turning points in those games.
With Oliver being appointed as the referee for the all-important North London Derby on Sunday, it was presumed that Mourinho would let his displeasure be known at the decision to appoint him for the match.
However, in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Arsenal game, the Tottenham boss refused to talk about the officials before a match (Football.London).
Unlike the Spurs head coach, Hazard and Roberts certainly did not mince their words, with the former questioning if Oliver was good enough to be a VAR official and the later calling for the 35-year-old to sit a few games out after his recent howlers.
So instead of me having a go at Var today I think it’s appropriate to call into question Michael Oliver’s decision making as a Var official. Is he good enough to be a Var official after what was the most blatant penantly ever seen. It’s just not acceptable full stop COYS
— Micky Hazard (@1MickyHazard) July 10, 2020
So Michael Oliver who has made two of the worst calls of the season gets a 3rd bite of our games this weekend. When a player makes a bad mistake he gets dropped maybe a good idea for Oliver to sit the next few games out ?
— Graham Roberts (@GrahamRoberts4) July 10, 2020
Spurs Web Opinion
To be honest, I have never really had a major problem with Oliver beforehand as I consider him one of the better referees in the Premier League. However, there is a legitimate concern that Micky Hazard raises about the demands of being a Video Assistant Referee.
Just because someone is very good at officiating games, does not necessarily mean they make a very good VAR and vice versa. So perhaps question marks need to be raised the next time Oliver makes a blunder at Stockley Park. Hopefully, the derby on Sunday passes without any major incident.
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