'Toothless' - Martin Keown slams one man in Tottenham FA Cup win v Rochdale
Arsenal hero Martin Keown has blasted referee Paul Tierney for his “toothless” officiating in Tottenham’s 6-1 win against Rochdale in the FA Cup Fifth Round at Wembley on Wednesday night.
Spurs booked themselves a clash against Swansea in the Sixth Round at the Liberty Stadium, and although it was a brilliant display by Mauricio Pochettino’s men, yet more VAR controversy marred the snow-hit goal fest.
Erik Lamela’s netted just minutes into the game and it appeared that there was little wrong.
However Tierney, on the advice of the VAR, ruled it out, seemingly because of slight contact made by Fernando Llorente with a Rochdale defender in the build up.
Every single moment in the game appeared to have Tierney holding his ear-piece waiting for information from afar on where or not he can award a goal.
And Keown really does not appear to be a fan of the newly implement system, which is set to take to the biggest stage in football later this year at the World Cup in Russia.
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“There is a real danger that VAR could turn what is a great spectacle into a farce,” he said on the Daily Mail website.
“Watching Tottenham’s win over Rochdale last night, it felt like the referee was a puppet on a string.
“He seemed unable to make decisions on his own. He may as well have been officiating the game from a screen on the sidelines.
“The referee appeared toothless in simply accepting the decisions of the VAR. He has a screen he can consult to make the final decision so why didn’t he use it?
“It could lead to a situation where the players on the pitch lose respect for the referee.”
VAR appeared to have got the decision to disallow Lamela’s goal incorrect, but minutes later it did see Spurs awarded a penalty for a foul on Kieran Trippier.
It took several minutes for Tierney to award it, leading to a choruse of boos from those who attended a frosty Wembley.
Heung-min Son dispatched the spot-kick, but it was ruled out and the South Korean was booked for stuttering his run-up.
However VAR maybe should have clocked a number of Rochdale players encroaching in the penalty box beforehand.
In other Tottenham news, fans slammed one player despite the win against Rochdale, with one labeling him as a “liability”.