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Fulham Coach Scott Parker not happy with VAR

last updated Sunday 20th December 2020, 11:29 AM


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Fulham Head Coach Scott Parker
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Fulham Head Coach Scott Parker was proud of his players on Saturday evening, when a combination of skill and grit saw them take a point from a controversial trip to Newcastle.

Fulham were in control on Tyneside and deservedly led through Matt Ritchie’s own goal, but the hosts claimed a point when Callum Wilson netted from the spot after Joachim Andersen was sent off.

“I have nothing but admiration and good words to say about my team,” Parker said. “I thought we were exceptional tonight, certainly first half I thought we showed a real quality about us.

“Probably a fair reflection would have been a couple of goals going in. We missed a couple of big, big chances in the first half.

“And then there’s no denying that in the second half the penalty changes the game, and the sending off. Down to 10 men we had to show another side to us and really roll our sleeves up and show our resilience, which we did, so overall I thought we showed two sides to us tonight.

“One is our quality and how well we can play, and the flip side of that is the last 20 minutes, a real solidness to get out of here with a point, but overall I’m very, very pleased with the team.

“I’m disappointed with the penalty and how it came about, but overall I’ve got real praise for my team.”

Replays showed that Andersen felled Wilson some distance outside of the penalty area. And when referee Graham Scott went to check the VAR monitor, one assumed it was to confirm a free-kick decision.

But apparently the penalty had already been locked in by that point, and the check was to ascertain whether or not to dismiss Andersen.

It’s a decision which does not sit well with Parker.

“I think there’ll definitely be an appeal,” he said. “I’ve gone and looked over the penalty incident, and I’m not saying this with emotion or being biased, I just don’t understand how he’s given the penalty if I’m being brutally honest with you.

“The initial foul takes place outside the box. Callum Wilson then steps in the box and falls over. At real speed I understand why the ref may have given it. I get that, and two years ago, without VAR, it’s one of those things you have to take on the chin that the referee has made a mistake.

“What’s puzzling and concerning, is we have VAR now, he walks over to a screen, I don’t know if he’s seeing a different angle to what I’ve just seen in the changing room, but the initial contact takes place outside the box, he then falls over. That’s what’s concerning.

“The game has changed, I think we all recognise that, the game’s become a bit of a shouting match in terms of any slight contact, any shot in the box that’s hit someone’s hand, everything’s up for appeal in this day and age.

“What’s concerning me is that we brought VAR in to make correct decisions, and yet again I sit here – like a manager or two every week – and am not quite sure how we’ve come to the decision, and that’s what’s puzzling.

“We’ve got every gimmick, we’ve got every slo-mo, we have all this five minutes wait, and yet we’re still – for me - not coming up with the right decision.

“I don’t know if there’s a lack of communication from Stockley Park to the referee on the pitch, or whether there’s an ego involved where he’s thinking he’s given the decision and doesn’t want to really turn it around.

“The game’s changing drastically, we’re evolving things in football and I don’t mind that, if we’re getting to the right decisions. But sitting here, with everything in place and the way the game’s going, and still not coming to the right decisions, it’s criminal for me.

“And that’s what’s frustrating and that’s what’s disappointing.”























Source Geoff Pruce at Fulham FC
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