Alan Shearer has slammed the inconsistency in decisions made by VAR this season following Everton’s defeat to Arsenal.
Speaking to Premier League Productions, the pundit was extremely critical of the decision not to award the Toffees a penalty after Abdoulaye Doucoure went down inside the box.
After an extremely dominating half an hour of football from Arsenal, Doucoure offered the hosts a huge chance against the run of play as he burst into the box and looked to get a shot away. However, the midfielder was brought down when he felt that William Saliba had caught him after sticking out a leg.
The VAR quickly dismissed any question of a penalty and the game continued, before Leandro Trossard’s second half goal claimed all three points for the Gunners.
While Everton rarely looked like scoring, a penalty for them in the early stages could have changed the game. While Shearer doesn’t seem to think it should be given, he was left very frustrated after a similar incident occurred between Newcastle United and Brentford on Saturday.
“I look at the decision Newcastle got yesterday,” said Shearer. “It was deemed as an inevitable collision (between Anthony Gordon and Mark Flekken).
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“The goalkeeper tried to get out of the way and stopped himself. Very much like the defender (Saliba) did there.
“But there is still contact. The consistency that you are looking for. I don’t want to see that given as a penalty. But one is given and one is not.”
Everton penalty claim is more about the inconsistencies in VAR decisions
While many fans were very vocal about the decision not to give Everton a penalty, Gary Neville claimed on Sky Sports that Doucoure had actually dived and there wasn’t enough contact to warrant a spot-kick for Sean Dyche’s side.
Whether Doucoure should have been awarded a pen is questionable, but Shearer is correct in criticising the inconsistencies in decision-making this season.
It has happened to pretty much every team in the Premier League over the last month and it is baffling how they are coming to some of the decisions they are making.
It may not matter quite as much now, but these calls could be the difference between staying up and being relegated in the final months of the campaign.