Things were better before: Klopp changes his mind on VAR

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said he has changed his mind over the need for the video assistant referee (VAR) in football and believes the change to using technology to determine the finest of margins has made the game less enjoyable.

The Reds were involved in three lengthy stoppages during a 1-1 draw away to Midtjylland in the Champions League on Wednesday for VAR to check a penalty awarded to the Danish champions and rule out a goal for either side.

“We stop celebrating goals, we wait constantly, we have less-than-millimetre offside decisions. A lot of things are not like they were before, that’s the truth,” said Klopp in his pre-match press conference on Friday (Dec 11) ahead of their trip to Fulham on Monday morning (Singapore time).

“I said when the idea of VAR first came up, I was in favour of it because I thought the right decisions would be nice, if we could have rights decisions.

“I’m not sure we all thought it through properly and how long will it take to get the right decision, how much will it take away from a game we all loved before.”

Liverpool have been involved in plenty of VAR controversy already this season as Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford escaped without seeing a red card for a horrendous challenge on Virgil van Dijk, which caused knee ligament damage to the talismanic Dutch defender.

Jordan Henderson had a late winner ruled out in the same game for a millimetric offside call, while Andy Robertson conceded a late penalty after a review in a 1-1 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion two weeks ago.

“It’s nothing to do with tight decisions against us, it’s in general. A few things are not like they were before and they were better before. If you change something, there should be just improvement and that is for sure not the case and that’s it.”

Van Dijk and fellow centre-back Joe Gomez are expected to miss the rest of the season, but otherwise Liverpool’s injury crisis is beginning to improve.

Trent Alexander-Arnold captained the side in midweek on his first start for a month, goalkeeper Alisson should be fit to start at Craven Cottage and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back in full training.

However, Thiago Alcantara, Xherdan Shaqiri and James Milner remain sidelined, while Diogo Jota is a doubt after picking up a knock in Denmark. – AFP