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video farce I sympathise with Jurgen Klopp, VAR was supposed to eradicate errors not strip football of its passion


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp argues with match officials after the game with Brighton

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp argues with match officials after the game with Brighton


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp argues with match officials after the game with Brighton

LIVERPOOL manager Jurgen Klopp had every right to express his frustrations after the 1-1 draw at Brighton on Saturday - and those trying to claim he is losing it, simply doesn't understand football.

Klopp's feisty interview with BT Sport's Des Kelly created plenty of headlines, with more than a few cynics claiming the best manager in world football is cracking up. And, yet, we all know that is total nonsense.

How can anyone suggest Klopp's reaction after Saturday's draw was nothing other than natural, given the set of circumstances being thrown at him game after game.

He shows his passion, he says it as it is. That's why everyone loves the guy and even people who should hate Liverpool struggle to dislike the German.

Yet, a catalogue of problems have been thrust upon Liverpool by outside issues and that is hard to take.

Injuries continue to mount and the absence of James Milner will be felt after he did his hamstring at Brighton, with Klopp clearly convinced the TV scheduling is contributing to the number of injuries his players are suffering.


Andy Robertson remonstrates with match officials

Andy Robertson remonstrates with match officials


Andy Robertson remonstrates with match officials

Broadcasters rule the roost in English football, and that is fair enough given the crazy amounts of money they are injecting into the game. But the top clubs are not treated like this in other countries.

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has made similar complaints and so has Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and there's no doubt the time has come to give teams playing in Europe a helping hand with TV scheduling.

If that means putting these teams on the late games on Saturday or playing on Sunday, I can't see how that would be a problem.

The bigger issue coming out of Saturday's game is a story that we are all sick to death of at this stage - and that is the nonsense that has become VAR.

I stated in my column at the weekend that the time had come to get rid of the system after another week of farcical decisions and I'm sure most people would agree with me at this stage.

The point of VAR was to eradicate clear and obvious errors, but what no one realised is that it would be abused in the way it has been.

We didn't want to see repeat of Thierry Henry's cheating when he ended Ireland's hopes of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, and if that is what video technology was used for, we'd all support it.

In reality, the powers that be have taken things way too far and while you can argue that every decision is now correct to within a fraction of an inch, the end result is that the game has been stripped of its passion.


Referee Stuart Attwell consults VAR

Referee Stuart Attwell consults VAR


Referee Stuart Attwell consults VAR

A goal goes in, you wait a minute or so for some guy looking at a VAR monitor near Heathrow airport to make a decision and it changes the course of a game and, possibly, an entire season.

Liverpool have now been on the wrong end of eight VAR decisions this season, which is four more than any other team in the Premier League.

So is it any wonder that Klopp is getting a little frustrated by the chain of events that have had a big impact on his team this season?

If I was stood there as Liverpool manager doing that interview with BT Sport after the joke of a penalty decision against Andy Robertson, my response would not have been fit for daytime broadcast.

I would not have been able to contain my anger, because anyone who claims the referee made a clear and obvious error by not giving a penalty for Robertson's clash with Danny Welbeck knows nothing about football.

That was an accidental clash that would never have been looked at if it was outside of the box, but the VAR officials are looking to get involved whenever they can and football has been ruined by the interference.

Let's just say VAR must only be used to get the big mistakes out of the game and leave the subjective decisions to the referees on the pitch.

If we can't follow that approach, VAR needs to be taken out of football because it is destroying so much of what we love about it.

Klopp will be glad to get away from Premier League officials for a crucial Champions League game against Ajax tonight.

Last week's home defeat against Atalanta will be forgotten if Liverpool get the win they need to move into the last-16, but it will no easy task.

Ajax are probably a better team than Atalanta, and Klopp's mounting injury crisis means he'll have to start getting inventive in his selections.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is close to making a return from his injury, but the right-back berth is a problem with James Milner also in the treatment room.

Fabinho is an option to play in that position against Ajax, with Joel Matip likely to return after he was rested against Brighton.

Klopp might also try to get Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota in his line-up as he looks to win the group with a game to spare - and there is no reason why Liverpool should not be confident of getting the job done.

They are joint top of the Premier League, top of their Champions League group and doing all with half of their first-team squad out injured and every VAR decision going against them.

So if you are looking for a crisis or a manager who is losing it, Liverpool is not the place to find either right now.

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Online Editors