Former players could help solve video fiasco in Premier League

AS someone who abhors gamesmanship from opponents at rival clubs and will not tolerate it from his own players, Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has one simple plea.
David Luiz of Arsenal tugs at the shirt of Oliver Burke of Sheffield Utd. Picture: Simon Bellis/SportimageDavid Luiz of Arsenal tugs at the shirt of Oliver Burke of Sheffield Utd. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
David Luiz of Arsenal tugs at the shirt of Oliver Burke of Sheffield Utd. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Namely that officials and the VAR decision-makers at Stockley Park start improving their decision-making and seeing the real picture fast.

For many, getting former players with a full knowledge in to assist in the video assessment process would be a step in the right direction and you sense that Wilder holds that view.

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A number of calls went against Wilder’s side last term and the pattern has continued this season with the Blades chief furious that Arsenal centre-half David Luiz was not sent off five minutes into Sunday’s game at the Emirates Stadium.

The Brazilian pulled Oliver Burke’s shirt when he was the last defender, but no free-kick was given, let alone a red card – something that a number of footballing pundits, including Graeme Souness, felt should have happened.

If Burke had gone to ground, it may well have been a precursor to a different decision – but that is not in the make-up of Wilder’s players, who are honest in an often deceitful Premier League world where simulation and over-exaggeration is rife.

He said: “What would players at other clubs have done? Maybe I have got to get used to doing that, but it goes against everything from my point of view.

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“Certainly it is (decisions) hurting us and I do not want to change my approach and I should imagine 95 per cent of Sheffield United fans will echo my thoughts, but we are in a division where players go over.

“In the Championship, it is not so much, even though there was a touch of that happening. But we are in this league.

“I certainly don’t want to spend my time telling players to go over.

“I don’t want to spend my time changing my attitude to the game, so the responsibility lies with the adjudicators and the officials to make the right decisions regardless of whether players stay on their feet or not.”

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Sheffield United Women head coach Neil Redfearn has been named LMA Manager of the Month in the FA Women’s Championship for September.

Redfearn, who took over in August, led his side to two wins and a draw in his first month in charge, with the Blades sat top of the table by the end of September.

He said: “I am really pleased for everybody involved with the squad, not just me, all the players and staff. I think it is an acknowledgement of everyone’s hard work and dedication during the first month of the season.”

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Thank you, James Mitchinson. Editor.

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