Aston Villa

Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins was the victim of a “terrible decision” earlier this season and VAR calls on offside needs a drastic overhaul.

That is the view of ex-Premier League referee Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after it was reported plans are afoot to alter VAR ahead of next season.

The Times report Premier League clubs, including Aston Villa, were told at a meeting last Thursday an action plan is being created to address issues with VAR.

Villa, and Watkins in particular, have been the victim of marginal offside calls all season, most notably against West Ham when he was adjudged to have been offside despite being clearly fouled in the process.

“Terrible decision,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“The way VAR and offsides are currently operating is, in my opinion, not what the game requires. The offside law and VAR has almost become another defender for the defending team.

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“It’s reducing good goals. What do we need to do? The technology that is used to judge offside decisions is based on camera speeds of 50fps. I went through 50 frames, 250 frames, 500 frames when developing goal-line technology. To get an accurate decision that took into account everything we ended up with seven cameras around each goal at 500fps. 

“The point of the argument is if you’ve got a loaf of bread with a nut in, if you slice it 500 times you’ll find the nut and it might cover five or six frames. If you slice it 50 times, the nut might could be in three parts. That’s the point.

“I’m uncomfortable, I don’t worry about the technology of the lines, I’m worried about the clip selection.

Aston Villa

“I can play a slow-mo at 50fps and it jumps and in one slide I can have a player offside and on another he’s yards off.

“My sympathy goes with the VAR operators because they’ve been given technology to work with that’s flawed, unless somebody can prove to me it has the same accuracy of goalline technology.”

In other news, Aston Villa’s big-money summer transfer plans to keep Grealish have been revealed.