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Newcastle shouldn’t blame VAR… they should hold those working at Stockley Park accountable

Newcastle would be wrong to blame technology for their VAR injustice to Crystal Palace… they should hold Stockley Park staff accountable instead

  • Newcastle were saddened not to win their 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace
  • Lucky Tyrick Mitchell evaded an own goal at St James’ Park
  • Michael Salisbury initially missed the goal before Stockley Park intervened
  • VAR official Lee Mason sent Salisbury to the monitor who reversed the decision

The look on Tyrick Mitchell’s face – a ‘guilty’ GIF waiting to be cut – should have been the biggest clue to the not-so-super detectives at Stockley Park as to what had just happened in the box.

As well as committing a punishable foul, the Crystal Palace defender injured a teammate and opponent. Oh, and he’d scored an own goal too.

Mitchell did not cry out injustice. He had lost the run of Joe Willock entering the six-yard area, shoved the Newcastle midfielder – who collided with goalkeeper Vicente Guaita and left both dazed – and then was helpless as the falling ball bounced off his shoulder and into the net . The camera cut to Mitchell, an expression that betrayed his remorse. Goal. At least that’s what referee Michael Salisbury thought.

Tyrick Mitchell conceded an own goal against Newcastle before the decision was overturned

Tyrick Mitchell conceded an own goal against Newcastle before the decision was overturned

Except, 300 miles south, a guy in a darkened room thought he saw the light – Willock had soiled Guaita.

In fairness, given the pile of bodies, it was worth a second look.

Lee Mason, the VAR official, sent Salisbury to his monitor. There he would have seen Mitchell’s jab. Salisbury, a Premier League newcomer, not only had not made a “clear and obvious error”, he had not even made a mistake.

So what made him decide to reverse his decision? Pressure from the more experienced Freemason? An absence of angles? Or just incompetence on the part of everyone involved?

Referees and officials have a tough job. They should not be abused. Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe set an example this week – seemingly treated twice unfairly – by delivering a dignified and considered response to what he and the majority of the others believed to be officiating errors.

VAR official Lee Mason sent referee Michael Salisbury to the monitor to review the decision

VAR official Lee Mason sent referee Michael Salisbury to the monitor to review the decision

But that sort of mistake – coupled with refusing West Ham to score at Chelsea – is what puts VAR back in the spotlight.

Match reports like this should be about football, not an unnecessary intervention that likely cost Newcastle a well-deserved three points.

Before the volume for VAR scrapping grows, let’s remember that the people behind it, not the technology, were the culprits here.

The officials assumed that Joe Willock had previously fouled goalkeeper Vicente Guaita

The officials assumed that Joe Willock had previously fouled goalkeeper Vicente Guaita

VAR usage has improved significantly and his presence as a metaphorical cop on the bridge has aided game flow, reducing dangerous challenges and disruption from set pieces.

All of this will be of no consolation to Howe and his players, who should also look at the fact that they haven’t scored from 23 shots.

Her best chance came from £60m home debutant Alexander Isak, who had an effort on goal in the first half but found Guaita. The look of the striker also betrayed great regret. But that was nothing compared to Mitchell about an hour later.

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-11179425/Newcastle-not-blame-VAR-hold-working-Stockley-Park-responsible.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Newcastle shouldn’t blame VAR… they should hold those working at Stockley Park accountable

Maureen Mackey

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