I would have had 20 goals ruled out in my career if VAR was introduced earlier

by 24britishtvMay 15, 2024, 8:01 a.m. 22
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Former Arsenal forward Theo Walcott has criticised the use of VAR in the Premier League and insisted he would have had plenty of goals ruled out if the technology had been around for the bulk of his playing career.

The 35-year-old former England international enjoyed a 12-year career at the Emirates after joining from Southampton in 2006 but retired from professional football last summer after returning to St Mary's in 2021.

However, Walcott, who scored 84 goals in nearly 500 professional appearances, has admitted that he's glad that Video Assistant Referee technology wasn't introduced earlier in his career after watching Aston Villa's 3-3 draw with Liverpool disrupted by the intervention of the referees at Stockley Park on Monday night.

Liverpool took the lead at Villa Park through an Emi Martinez own-goal before Cody Gakpo added a second midway through the first half. However, the Dutchman was made to wait several minutes before his celebrations could commence as VAR weighed up if Joe Gomez was in an offside position as he provided the assist.

In the second half, Villa had a goal ruled out by VAR for offside before Jhon Duran's 88th-minute equaliser was the subject of a lengthy check as the ball appeared to ricochet off of his hand before wrong-footing Alisson Becker to earn a vital point for Unai Emery's side.

And speaking in the aftermath of events at Villa Park, Walcott slammed the technology and the impact it is having on games in the Premier League.

READ MORE: The crazy scoreline Arsenal may need vs Everton to secure Premier League title over Man City

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"It's so frustrating VAR because it just takes the fun out of it," the 35-year-old told BBC's Radio 5 Live. "The delay, the players can't celebrate, you're trying to ask players, the young generation to time runs now with VAR.

"I would have had about 20, 30 goals ruled off in my career if VAR came."

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