Howe right to seek VAR answers after Burnley nightmare


Eddie Howe admitted his Bournemouth players were “psychologically spent” after last weekend’s VAR debacle, with clarification needed about the system.

After years of debate about the possibility of replays being brought in to aid the on-field officials, it was finally introduced at the start of the season – with mixed results.

While there have been some notable successes when obvious offsides or handballs have been initially missed, the fact that much of the debate after games has been about the system proves there is still work to be done.

The Cherries were on the wrong end of a bizarre set of circumstances last Saturday in their 3-0 loss at Burnley.

With the score 1-0 in the favour of the Clarets, Bournemouth broke the length of the field for Harry Wilson to net what he thought was an equaliser.

However, the Stockley Park official deemed Adam Smith had used his upper arm to control and clear a Burnley cross in his own area at the start of the move.

That meant the goal was disallowed and, from what looked like being 1-1, Jay Rodriguez netted from 12 yards to give Burnley a 2-0 advantage.

Howe and his players were exasperated at the time and after the match, with the manager telling Friday’s press conference that he has spoken to the powers-that-be this week in order to clear up a few issues.

“We’ve had dialogue with the authorities in order to get a better insight into the processes involved,” he said.

It seems incredible, with plenty of time to bring in the new system, that it has not been a smoother transition although it did take time for the cricketing authorities to get their ‘DRS’ to a position where it now gets 99% of decisions correct.

VAR will evolve and it cannot come quick enough for the south-coast outfit who need things to go their way in the battle against relegation.

The dynamic at grounds has now changed, with fans and players alike reluctant to celebrate a goal until it has been cleared by everyone concerned.

Perhaps the grass was not greener and the authorities should have left things as they were as post-match ire, traditionally aimed at the referee or his assistants, is now directed towards VAR as a whole.

Football is and always has been a game of opinions, but until there is more clarity about the use VAR, it will continue to clog up the column inches of the Sunday newspapers.