Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou has expressed his concerns about the increasing influence of VAR in football, stating that it is leading to a “constant erosion of the referee’s authority.” Postecoglou’s comments came after his team’s chaotic 4-1 defeat to Chelsea at home.
Tottenham took an early lead through Dejan Kulusevski’s deflected goal, but the match quickly turned in favor of Mauricio Pochettino’s returning side. The turning point came when Cristian Romero was shown a straight red card in the 33rd minute, resulting in a penalty that was converted by Cole Palmer.
Despite being reduced to ten men, Tottenham still had a chance of salvaging a point or even a victory until Destiny Udogie received a second yellow card ten minutes into the second half, leaving Spurs with only nine men on the field. Postecoglou himself was also booked by referee Michael Oliver.
Late in the game, Nicolas Jackson scored a quick-fire hat-trick, sealing a comprehensive victory for Chelsea and leaving Postecoglou to reflect on his team’s performance. Speaking to Sky Sports, he said, “It is pretty hard to process. It is almost impossible to analyze the game because it just seemed to get out of control for large parts of it.”
Despite the disappointing result, Postecoglou expressed pride in his players’ efforts, stating, “They gave everything, and that is the positive we will take. We were very close to getting an equalizer a couple of times, and it shows their spirit. It was just a bridge too far today.”
The Australian manager also criticized the role of VAR in modern football, saying, “There will be a forensic study of every decision out there, I think that is the way the game is going, and I don’t like it. If you look at all that standing around we did today, maybe people enjoy that sort of thing, but I’d rather see us playing football.”
Postecoglou continued, “You have to accept the referee’s decision, that is how I grew up. This constant erosion of the referee’s authority is where the game is going to get – they are not going to have any authority. We are going to be under the control of someone with a TV screen a few miles away. The decision is the decision. In 26 years, I have had plenty of bad decisions, I have had plenty fall in my favor. It is what it is.”