VAR has become a laughing stock, claims West Brom boss Sam Allardyce

After more controversial incidents involving Manchester United and Newcastle United at the weekend, the future of VAR has been called into question by former England manager Sam Allardyce after another dubious decision on Monday night

Mbaye Diagne, of West Bromwich Albion, heads past Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster only for the effort to be later disallowed by VAR.
Mbaye Diagne, of West Bromwich Albion, heads past Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster only for the effort to be later disallowed by VAR.

West Brom boss Sam Allardyce believes VAR is becoming a laughing stock after another controversial decision in Monday evening’s 3-0 win against Southampton.

Mbaye Diagne had a fourth-minute goal disallowed for offside at The Hawthorns after glancing in Darnell Furlong’s shot.

Sean Longstaff of Newcastle is challenged by James Tarkowski of Burnley, but no penalty was given.

VAR official Kevin Friend went with the on-field decision when the cameras at Stockley Park were unable to get the right angle to conclusively show whether the striker’s upper body was on or offside.

The controversy comes a day after Edinson Cavani thought he had opened the scoring for Manchester United at Tottenham, only for the goal to be disallowed for a foul in the build-up as Scott McTominay brushed off Son Heung-min.

On the same day, Newcastle United were denied what appeared to be a clear penalty against Burnley when James Tarkowski’s high foot caught Sean Longstaff in the head.

Like the Red Devils and the Magpies, West Brom were not affected by the decision as Matheus Pereira’s penalty and goals from Matt Phillips and Callum Robinson earned a crucial victory.

Allardyce said: “I’m afraid so (it’s becoming a laughing stock). The reflection on VAR can be done at the end of the season and all parties should have an influential input into how VAR goes forward.

“That needs to be from the PFA, LMA, Premier League and the FA. There are too many of us not being given an opportunity to express how to make it better.”

Sam Johnstone capped a fine night for the Baggies by saving a stoppage-time James Ward-Prowse spot-kick to preserve his clean sheet.

Albion, who last week posted a shock 5-2 win at Chelsea, remain second bottom but are eight points from Premier League safety with seven games remaining after recording successive wins for the first time this season.

Allardyce’s side now do not play again until travelling to Leicester next Thursday and the boss insisted their pleas to face Aston Villa on Saturday were blocked, leaving them to hope their relegation rivals drop points beforehand.

“We’ve got it down to eight (points) but games are running out. We don’t have a game this weekend,” said Allardyce. “Me and Dean Smith (Aston Villa boss) wanted to play the Villa game this weekend but for some bizarre, unearthly, reason it’s not been allowed.

“We have to sit and hope. Instead of us putting pressure on the teams above us we have to wait until the following Thursday when we play Leicester and that’s wrong.”

The Baggies now have 24 points from 31 games, and are four points behind Fulham who have played a game more.

Newcastle sit in fourth bottom, on 32 points from 31 games, with Burnley and Brighton on 33 points.

Brighton gained a valuable point on Monday night when they held Everton to a 0-0 draw.