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Fulham Head Coach Scott Parker:Var killing the game

last updated Friday 05th March 2021, 11:21 AM

Fulham Football Club

Fulham Head Coach Scott Parker

Scott Parker
Scott Parker
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Fulham Head Coach Scott Parker accepted that Fulham’s equaliser was correctly ruled out by the letter of the law, but that didn’t make it any easier to swallow.

The Whites battered Tottenham Hotspur in the second half and thought they’d hit a deserved equaliser through Josh Maja’s sweeping strike.

But VAR showed that the ball ricocheted off Mario Lemina’s arm en route to Maja, and the goal was subsequently ruled out despite the fact that Lemina’s arm was down by his side.

The law indicates that if the ball comes off an attacking player’s arm in the build-up to a goal, it must be disallowed, regardless of the accidental nature.

“I understand why the goal was not given tonight, that’s the rule,” Parker said. “I don’t agree with that rule, because looking at it, I don’t know what physically else he can do. If it doesn’t hit his arm, it hits his thigh.

“But I’m not complaining about that, the referee’s just acted to the law. Maybe just a little bit of common sense in those moments.

“We’ve got VAR, so you can always look back and really work out whether there’s a clear advantage been had in that moment, and I think tonight there wasn’t a clear advantage.

“We are trying to make the game so pure and so sterile, to control every single phase, every single moment to an absolute tee, and that’s where the problem lies for me.

“What do we want to see as fans, as spectators? Goals, excitement, and I’m sorry to say VAR is killing every bit of that. You’re losing the raw emotion of the game we absolutely love.”

The equaliser would have been the least Fulham deserved, after we penned our Champions League-chasing opponents into their own half for pretty much the entirety of the second period.

“We did more than enough to win this game, let alone get something out of it,” Parker said. “We were superb second half.

“For the pressure and relentlessness we showed, anyone who says we didn’t deserve something probably wasn’t watching the same game I was.

“First half I thought we started the game well and then didn’t really stamp our way on the game in terms of what I want from the team. I want us to play like a top, top side and I feel like we didn’t take the game enough to Spurs.

“Second half we did every bit of that to be fair, I thought we were fantastic second half in terms of the way we played, our endeavour, the way we moved the ball, the way we were really dynamic in those moments as we looked to try and get ourselves back in the game.

“We should have got something out of the game tonight. We’ve not done that, and that’s disappointing, but overall it was a first class performance from us.”

The media were effusive in their praise for Fulham’s performance in the post-match press conference, and when it was put to Parker that his team will survive if they continue to play like that, our Head Coach replied: “I honestly think that, and I honestly believe that.

“We’ve played against a fantastic team, a top football club. They’ve got arguably the best front three in the division.

“And tonight, if you were someone who didn’t understand or it was the first time you were watching, I think you wouldn’t know how the two teams are or where they’re placed.

“We’ve got constant belief here, constant belief that we’ll get results with performances like that, and we need to maintain that.”

Source Geoff Pruce at Fulham FC
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