Journalist: Liverpool’s VAR Controversies Leaves More Questions Than Answers

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Liverpool’s Title Pursuits: When Controversy Shapes the Game

Contextualizing Liverpool’s Plight

Sam McGuire of Anfield Watch raises compelling arguments about the integrity of Liverpool’s recent Premier League campaigns. In his critique, he outlines a series of refereeing decisions that have arguably hindered Liverpool’s title chances, especially in the current season. McGuire’s perspective is unyielding: if any Premier League season deserves an asterisk for controversy, it’s this one.

Decoding the Reds’ Run

Liverpool’s journey has been nothing short of a rollercoaster. After a historical 2019/20 season where they secured the title early on, despite the pandemic’s disruption, Liverpool’s current season tells a different story. As McGuire points out, “Liverpool have collapsed at the worst possible time,” with crucial points dropped at key moments due to questionable officiating. This season, they find themselves trailing behind Arsenal and Manchester City, a situation exacerbated by these contentious refereeing errors.

Photo: IMAGO

Refereeing Decisions Under the Microscope

The spotlight intensifies on several pivotal matches where the officiating was less than favourable for Liverpool. McGuire mentions, for instance, the West Ham v Liverpool match where referee Anthony Taylor and the VAR team overlooked clear fouls and game management errors. “Taylor then made a right mess of a situation in the second half,” McGuire notes, referring to an incident where Liverpool’s Cody Gakpo was disadvantaged by an untimely whistle. Such decisions have sparked outrage among fans and pundits alike, yet the consistency of these errors has numbed the reaction from the wider football community.

Are Errors Becoming the Norm?

The acceptance of these refereeing blunders as ‘part of the game’ might be the most alarming trend. McGuire elucidates a pattern of oversight in critical matches, including the handling of penalties and fouls that directly affected Liverpool’s outcomes. He quotes, “Jeremy Doku of Man City has admitted his challenge was risky against Liverpool,” highlighting another moment where a penalty might have shifted the momentum of the title race. Yet, these incidents have settled into a disturbing silence, overshadowed by the regular flow of the game.

Liverpool Shafted: A Tale of What Ifs

In concluding his analysis, McGuire emphasizes the gravity of the situation: “Liverpool have been shafted big-time in four games.” These misjudgments have not only cost Liverpool valuable points but also the potential to be in a much stronger position as the season nears its climax. The cumulative effect of these errors could be the difference between lifting the trophy and finishing runners-up. This paints a stark picture of a season marred by inconsistency and controversy, leading many to question the integrity of the sport’s governance.

As we reflect on Liverpool’s challenging season, it becomes apparent that the impact of refereeing decisions is profound and potentially game-changing. Whether this will prompt a shift in how games are officiated or how errors are addressed remains to be seen. For now, Liverpool’s fans and players must grapple with the ‘what ifs’ of a season defined as much by the referees’ whistles as by the players’ efforts on the pitch.

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