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video shocker Time has come to get rid of VAR - it's taking the joy out of football

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp argues with the match officials after the Premier League clash with Brighton

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp argues with the match officials after the Premier League clash with Brighton

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp argues with the match officials after the Premier League clash with Brighton

THE joy has been stripped out of football by VAR technology and I believe the time has come to get rid of it.

This is not a bitter Liverpool man speaking after Brighton were given a joke of a last-minute penalty to take a point in a 1-1 draw at the AMEX Stadium yesterday.

No, this is a football fan looking at the game we all love and questioning whether we are enjoying it any more.

When your team scores a goal, the natural reaction is to jump up and celebrate, but we can’t do that any more – and it breaks my heart to see it.

Liverpool have come out on the wrong end of virtually every VAR decision this season, and the same pattern continued yesterday as two goals were ruled out by video reviews, followed by Brighton being awarded a last-gasp penalty.

Let’s start by putting in on the record and stating that Liverpool did not deserve to win yesterday’s game. They were below par and didn’t get out of first gear for long periods.

There were flashes of brilliance from Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota, but Jurgen Klopp’s side were off colour and would have been fortunate to get away with a 1-0 win.

Yet that is what they should have got as, in my view, Andy Robertson’s late challenge on Danny Welbeck is never a penalty.

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Brighton and Hove Albion's Pascal Gross scores

Brighton and Hove Albion's Pascal Gross scores

Brighton and Hove Albion's Pascal Gross scores

If that challenge takes place outside the box, no referee looks at it, but you know what is going to happen the minute the VAR official, Kevin Friend, tells referee Stuart Attwell to look at his TV screen.

Back in my days as a player, a challenge like that would never have been a penalty in a million years, but it feels like officials in the VAR room are trying to find ways to award spot-kicks these days.

Apparently, Welbeck said he didn’t think it was a penalty, yet the decision went against Liverpool once more – and captain Jordan Henderson was quick to suggest after the game that he wants to see the back of VAR, and I agree with him.

I was all for technology coming into football when it was introduced because, let’s be honest, the standard of refereeing is so bad that they need some help.

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But they are not helping themselves now, that’s for sure, and it’s time for some common sense, because this is pure nonsense.

The way VAR is being used has taken the passion out of football. If we did a survey of fans and asked them whether they wanted to kick it out of football, I bet most would say yes. I am sure of that.

We have had elbows, toes, eyebrows and every part of the anatomy you can imagine being used to rule out goals this season, and I’ve had enough of it.

This is not just a Liverpool issue, as there have been so many crazy decisions this season for all teams – and something has to done to end the madness.

Everything went in Klopp and Liverpool’s favour last season, so maybe fate has turned against them now, but VAR is the star of every game at the moment and it’s horrible to see.

Klopp did his best to pretend he wasn’t seething after the game, but there is no denying the draw at Brighton was a big kick in his nether regions.

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Liverpool's Andy Robertson argues with the ref

Liverpool's Andy Robertson argues with the ref

Liverpool's Andy Robertson argues with the ref

After the 2-0 home defeat against Atalanta in the Champions League at Anfield on Wednesday night, he made changes to his side as Joel Matip was rested and Sadio Mane was left on the bench.

In truth, the players who came in didn’t really take their chance. While I would commend young defender Nat Phillips for another committed performance, the fluidity of the Liverpool team is lacking.

That’s understandable when you consider the number of injuries they are carrying, and the sight of James Milner going down with a hamstring problem yesterday was a blow Klopp could have done without.

Milner is such an important squad man as he can play in a full-back role or in midfield, and, if he is out for a few weeks, he will be missed in what will be a hectic run of fixtures in December.

Klopp needs to find a way to get to January 1st and hope that, by then, he has a few players back to add to anyone he can sign in the transfer window.

They should get a defender in as soon as possible, and I’m sure they are looking at that already, while Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita should all be back in the next few weeks, too.

Klopp is clearly protecting Matip and saving him for big matches like the Champions League game against Ajax on Tuesday – and that is all he can do at the moment.

Amid it all, Liverpool fans need to have a glance at the Premier League table to remind themselves that they have much to be optimistic about.

Klopp’s champions are top of the table, leading their Champions League group and doing it all when obstacles are being thrown at them at a rapid rate.

Liverpool cannot afford to lose too many more players to injury as they will start running out of options sooner rather than later, but this team have enough class still available to get to the second half of the season in contention for trophies.

Diogo Jota has given the entire forward line a massive lift, and so long as Klopp keeps his front four of Salah, Mane, Jota and Roberto Firmino, he will retain hope that this increasingly difficult season can somehow still end on a high.

As for VAR, I’m hoping we have a major power cut next weekend and the technology can’t be used, as that would allow us to enjoy our football once again. Wouldn’t that be nice!

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