Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish criticises VAR during match in which the England international dived embarrassingly

Jack Grealish

Grealish blasts VAR

Jack Grealish has taken to social media to complain about VAR after Aston Villa had a late equaliser ruled out for offside. Ollie Watkins’ arm was deemed to have been in an offside position as he made his run into the box to score Villa’s second of the match.

“As for VAR, I’ve shared my views before and it’s now just getting borderline embarrassing with some off the decisions. Ruining the game,” Grealish wrote.

The England international was not the only one to publicly speak out about the video assistant. Villa keeper Emi Martinez also tweeted after the game.

The Argentine was supported by his manager who argued that the decision to rule the goal out is contradictory.

“We’ve had a goal disallowed for a part of his body that can’t actually put the ball in the net anyway,” said Smith. He also spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live and said, “The only reason his arm is out there is because he’s getting fouled, so it’s either a goal or a penalty” 

Former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon however felt that it was wrong for people to be questioning the decision making the important comment that, by the letter of the law, Watkins was in fact offside.

The debate as to whether VAR should be ruling certain decisions in different ways is sure to continue, however, it does feel that there is a tinge of irony that the calls from the Villa players have come after a loss. Similar to James Milner’s tweet after Liverpool’s lead was eradicated after VAR awarded Brighton a penalty.

The ironic dive

There was a level of irony for Grealish to speak out after the game to describe the VAR as the ’embarrassing’ part of the fixture. The England international was caught diving during the match and the video has now been shared throughout social media.

Darren Bent spoke to TalkSport about the incident and said that the dive was poor from the Villa captain.

“It was poor, it doesn’t look good,” said Bent. “It looks worse because he has this stigma that he goes down easy. Because he wins a lot of free kicks but when you see that, it’s poor.”

However Bent did defend Grealish. “Don’t get me wrong, most of the times he’s fouled it is a foul.”

The VAR official David Coote who didn’t know he could send off Jordan Pickford and his history of decision-making blunders

VAR drama: Arsenal and Manchester United see handball decisions confuse coaches, pundits and fans


This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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