Pochettino outlines huge fears over VAR impact on game

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has offered to help VAR bosses get the system right as he fears it will “kill the emotion” of the game.

The Video Assistant Referee was once again the centre of attention during Tottenham’s FA Cup replay against Rochdale at Wembley.

Spurs had two goals disallowed, were denied one penalty and awarded another during a chaotic first half which Pochettino described as “a bit embarrassing for everyone”.

Erik Lamela’s goal was ruled out, after a delay of about two minutes, for a minor infringement by Fernando Llorente to the astonishment of the crowd, and Lucas Moura’s penalty appeal was turned down following another consultation.

Then, with the hosts leading through Son Heung-min’s goal, Spurs were awarded a free-kick when Kieran Tripper was fouled, only for referee Paul Tierney to eventually point to the penalty spot after another VAR ruling.

Son, having paused during his run-up, had his successful penalty disallowed and was booked, again after Tierney double-checked with VAR.

Pochettino fears those supporters who turned up on Wednesday night despite the wintry conditions will eventually be put off attending matches if the delays persist and the confusion continues.

“We are going to change the game we love that is why I am open to help and analyse and make it better,” said the Spurs boss.

“If we are going to use the system, we need to be sure. You are going to kill that emotion that makes you happy, and is why you bought a ticket, why you came when the conditions were so bad.

“If you cannot shout when you score a goal because you have to wait two minutes, then you might stay at home.

“I am for technology but be careful not to change the game and kill the emotion. My worry is we are talking about a machine and not football.”

The controversy overshadowed the efforts of League One’s bottom club Rochdale, who cancelled out Son’s opener through Stephen Humphrys and also hit the woodwork with the score at 1-1.

It also overshadowed Fernando Llorente’s perfect second-half left-foot, right-foot, header hat-trick, Son’s second strike and a first Spurs goal for youngster Kyle Walker-Peters as the hosts eventually ran out 6-1 winners to book a quarter-final at Swansea.