Manchester United is one of the few teams in the Premier League this season that has suffered from farcical refereeing decisions going against them in almost every game. Every match in every competition has witnessed some dodgy decisions, and while some of them may have been fair by the letter of the law, the implementation of the same laws in other matches has been questionable.
It is not just this season that Manchester United has faced such issues. Even last season, Licha’s ‘handball’ against Real Sociedad was disgraceful in nature. The introduction of VAR has made referees question their own instinctive decisions that they backed for years before VAR. Every single decision is micro-analysed by officials 10 miles away from the pitch with no context of the game and having probably never played the sport 1. This is getting embarrassing.
In lastnight’s match against Copenhagen, VAR forgot to check the Copenhagen defender who was in an offside position to block Onana’s line of sight when the attacker took a shot to open their scoring. Neither did they ask for a second yellow card offense on the Copenhagen player who basically slyly elbowed Hojlund in the second half.
Maguire was adjudged to have handled the ball while merely jostling for possession. Another poor decision. In fact, United should not have got a penalty as well, that was an embarrassing decision. At least they were consistent there, something which is missing in the Premier League.
I honestly believe, that now that we have experienced a world with VAR and no VAR, I’d much rather have the older days back. Prefer horrible decisions that don’t kill the momentum of the game to horrible decisions that ruin the tempo of the match.
The Arsenals and the Liverpools have also been shafted this season and their managers have come out all guns blazing calling for some accountability. While ten Hag has maintained a quite demeanour so far, yesterday even he came out and criticised the decisions and called the referees out on it. It was good to see him hinting at decisions going against us in the previous matches as well.
United have generally been really poor this season and deserve a lot of criticism for the way they have folded in matches, but last night what happened was absolutely absurd and I would honestly not pin the blame on the manager and the players. Yes, we should have finished the game at 2-0 and 3-2 but that doesn’t really shed light on what actually happened. And I would assume most United fans acknowledge that.
I think, now more than ever they need our support and hopefully, we can put in a strong performance against Luton Town this Saturday. As for refereeing and VAR, I honestly think we’d be more appreciative of referees if they did their work without VAR. Instinctive, split-second decisions served us well for decades and I hope we can go back to that. (Having said that, standardisation of semi-automated offsides across Europe would be really good).