‘Unbelievable’, ‘strange’ and ‘disappointing’ – is VAR letting the Premier League down?

Antonio Conte felt Tottenham defender Emerson Royal was wrongly given a red card in his team’s defeat at Arsenal.

The Premier League returned on Saturday with its usual cocktail of drama, excitement and controversy – with referee decisions and VAR once again a big discussion point.

after his side 3-1 loss to ArsenalTottenham boss Antonio Conte suggested refereeing and VARs are not at the required level in England, seeing his player Emerson Royal foul on Gabriel Martinelli in the second half.

Elsewhere, Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish questioned VAR’s point, while Fulham boss Marco Silva called a “strange decision”.

“In England, I have to be honest, it’s very difficult because there isn’t a single line,” Conte said.

“Sometimes you see a position that may be a red card and instead a yellow card or no yellow card, sometimes you see a position that is a yellow card and you see a red card “

Here, BBC Sport takes a look at the decisions that generated the most debate.

Conte unhappy with Emerson red card

Conte was furious at Emerson’s decision to take Arsenal 2-1 in the 62nd minute.

“He has a lot of work to do about this,” said the Italian, discussing the standard of refereeing in England.

“In Italy, they go on Thursdays and stay together for three days working together, watching videos and trying and improving.

“I don’t know if they do that in this country, but it would be a good idea because the level is so high and we need to have a level of referee and VAR.

“The Premier League is a really high level, and for that reason every part of this position has to be at the top.”

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Although speaking on the BBC’s final score, former Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin said that Emerson deserved a red card.

“There’s no anger or malice, but I still think it’s a red one,” Dublin said. “The ball is gone and he’s caught it over the calf. I think it’s a red one.”

‘Unbelievable how he stayed on the field’

At Selhurst Park, Conor Gallagher made a brilliant late winner to give Graham Potter’s first win as Chelsea boss But Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira was upset with a crucial decision in the first half.

Vieira felt that Chelsea defender Thiago Silva should have been sent out after the Brazilian deliberately pushed the ball out of his hand on the way to Jordan Ayu.

When contacted by BBC Sport, a Premier League spokesman said officials had given Silva yellow instead of red because they felt he had not denied Ayew the opportunity to score a clear goal.

However, Vieira saw it differently.

Vieira said of Silva, “I find it unbelievable how he stayed on the field,” Vieira said of Silva, who teased Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for Chelsea’s draw.

During the game, Parish, president of the Palace, expressed his dismay at the decision.

However, speaking on BT Sport, Robbie Savage felt that referee Chris Kavanaugh was right to show Silva the yellow card.

Savage said: “Silva wasn’t denying the opportunity to score, he was going off goal and so it was the right decision. Silva is the big deal in the game, but I think the referee got it right.”

‘We find these decisions strange’

Another manager unhappy with a crucial decision in his game was Fulham’s Silva, who looked to his side. Play through majority of 4-1 defeat by Newcastle With 10 men after an eighth-minute red card from Nathaniel Chaloba.

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Referee Darren England initially showed Chaloba yellow for his challenge on Shaun Longstaff, but upgraded his decision to red after VAR’s interference, prompting Silva to call for continuation.

Silva said, “The referee was clearly there. He told me it was a clear yellow card. After so long to find a picture of Nathaniel’s tackle, it’s hard for me to accept it.”

“If it will always be like this, I will accept it. But I am 100% sure that in such moments, there will be a yellow card and that’s it.

“It’s a tough situation to understand. We need to see consistency in these situations or give you a yellow card.

“I think in tough matches over the next few weeks you’ll see moments like this where it’s going to be a yellow card. These decisions seem strange to us.”

Darren England reviews Nathaniel Chaloba's challenge on pitchside monitor
Referee Darren England turns Nathaniel Chaloba’s yellow card red after reviewing the incident’s pitch

Premier League referees show fewer red cards, says study

Ahead of this weekend’s games, a study by data expert Nielsen Gracenote found that Premier League referees show fewer red cards on average than other major European leagues.

The study found that unlike the top flights in France (58), Germany (127), Italy (114) and Spain (77), red cards are awarded at a rate of every 338 fouls in the Premier League.

In the last six Premier League seasons, Red Cards have been awarded 164 and 209 fouls per send, so at the start of the season, they appear to be more generous in this period.

The softness on red cards is striking, given that a yellow card is shown once every 5.25 fouls in the Premier League, the second-hardest card behind Spain’s La Liga (4.96).

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In England referees were found to be awarded far fewer fouls (1,350) than in other leagues.

A little compliment…

While some managers were left disappointed, Brentford boss Thomas Frank praised inexperienced referee Thomas Brammel’s “character and calm head” after his decision not to punish Bournemouth for Christopher Eager’s challenge on Jordan Zemura. remained adamant, although the pitchside monitor was referred.

“I want to commend Thomas Brammel for the work he is doing today. He is a young referee, and every Premier League game is important,” said Frank.

“His character and calm head were key in a very tense moment, when you’re called on the monitor.

“It’s a decisive decision for the game, and nine times out of 10 it’s most likely a penalty.

“But he stands by his decision and it says a lot about him. I don’t doubt it’s punishment, so well done for him.”

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