Howard Webb admits Michael Oliver will be ‘disappointed’ with NLD error, but not the one Spurs fans want

PGMOL boss Howard Webb has admitted that it was a major error by Michael Oliver to have missed Declan Rice’s foul on Ben Davies before VAR intervened to hand Tottenham a penalty.

Some Spurs fans were left aggrieved about a number of decisions that went against their side in the North London derby.

Many were quite confused by the decision to chalk off Micky van de Ven’s goal for offside, even though two Arsenal players got a touch on the ball before it fell to the Dutchman’s path.

Some were also not happy that the referee did not blow for a foul on Dejan Kulusevski in Arsenal’s box before the away side counter-attacked and netted their second through Bakayo Saka.

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Michael Oliver will be gutted with NLD mistake – but not that one

However, one instance where VAR did intervene was after Rice hacked down Davies in the box, with Oliver signalling to the spot after being asked to re-watch the incident on the touchline monitor.

Webb believes that the referee would have been quite disappointed to have missed the initial foul.

He said on the latest episode of Match Officials Mic’d Up about the incident: “I know Michael [Oliver] will be really disappointed. He had a really good game. He’s one of our top referees, he’s one of the top referees in the world. He’s been selected for the Euros in Germany this summer, together with seven other English officials, and he had a really, really good game in the way he managed it.

“But I know you’ll be disappointed he misread that in the moment and we all can misread things in the moment. I did that many times myself. But thankfully we’ve got VAR that can look at these situations very quickly. You’ll hear Jarred Gillett at the VAR check it, stop the game in a neutral zone so nothing else can happen.”

“For example, we don’t want a goal scored at the other end and then having to take that away as well. Stop the game as soon as possible. Michael went to the screen, looked at it, quickly saw the error and gave a penalty. And as you say, without VAR this would have stayed as a non-awarded penalty. It would have been hugely controversial. So a really good use of the VAR facility here.”

Spurs Web Opinion

It was a major howler from Oliver to have missed that foul, particularly given that he was in a perfect position to see it. These are the sort of incidents that VAR is for and the system worked well in this instance.

While the critics of VAR certainly have a lot of understandable complaints, they fail to acknowledge the number of howlers that are reversed on a weekly basis because of the technology. Overall, I am in the camp that VAR has been a net positive for the game.

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