During Manchester City’s 2-1 win over Luton Town yesterday VAR once again became a talking point. In the second half of the champions come from behind victory Phil Foden was on the receiving end of a nasty challenge from Luton Town midfielder Jacob Brown. While there likely wasn’t any intent from Brown to injure Foden it was still a dangerous piece of play.
Two dangerous tackles in yesterday’s games
There were two dangerous tackles in yesterday’s games. During the second half of City’s win referee Tim Robinson didn’t award Manchester City a free kick for Brown’s challenge on Foden. Jarred Gillett was in charge of VAR yesterday’s game looked at the challenge and didn’t deem it a clear and obvious error by Robinson. It does make you wonder if Phil Foden has sustained a serious injury would VAR then deem it serious foul play and issue a red card? SkySports pundit Gary Neville had strong thoughts on the Luton Town player’s challenge. Neville’s opinion can be seen below.
Neville: ‘The fact the opposing player’s leg isn’t broken doesn’t alter the fact every professional hates that challenge more than any other’ 😡
— Mail Sport (@MailSport) December 10, 2023
VAR has again dominated discussion so far this season. It has become a talking point this weekend after Brown’s challenge on Foden and Tottenham defender Cristian Romero’s dangerous tackle on Callum Wilson late in their win against Newcastle.
The two challenges yesterday surely pass the threshold into dangerous play. Both players went in dangerously and recklessly on their opponent. If VAR isn’t going to intervene when the on-field referee misses the challenge, when will it? If a player has to suffer a serious injury then that’s a step too far. Understandably, the on-field referee may miss challenges like the two yesterday given the speed of the game. But the referee in the VAR booth has the benefit of slow motion and countless replays.
The VAR system has been a subject of heated debate this season. Not a weekend goes by where a contentious offside, foul or another matter isn’t a hot topic of discussion. This weekend was two dangerous tackles during yesterday’s games.
Thankfully for Manchester City and Phil Foden, the midfielder avoided serious injury yesterday. The same can be said for Callum Wilson and Newcastle. But if yesterday’s dangerous precedent continues it may only be a matter of time before a Manchester City player or a player from any other club forces this topic to be revisited.