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Graham Potter insists technology was never going to solve all problems

Brighton and Hove Albion v Manchester United – Premier League – AMEX Stadium
(Image credit: John Sibley)

Brighton boss Graham Potter feels the use of technology and VAR was never going to solve all of football’s problems in a “game of mistakes”.

The Seagulls found themselves on the wrong end of a controversial late penalty decision against Southampton on Monday night, after referee David Coote had initially awarded a free-kick outside the area before it was overturned following a lengthy VAR review.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had also been left than impressed by those watching on from Stockley Park when the Premier League champions were held to a 1-1 draw at Brighton last month.

Pascal Gross equalised from the penalty spot in stoppage time after another on-field decision which had been changed following a second look.

Potter revealed he would rather see all decisions left solely with on-field officials, but feels that now technology is here, football has to learn how to make the best of it.

“I have been against VAR. I was against it before it came in, but there was such a push within football for technology. It was as if technology would solve all our problems,” the former Ostersunds and Swansea boss said.

“It felt like that was the way to go. Once football makes that decision I have a responsibility to support it.

“But my initial thought is I would rather have kept it to the referee and the officials to make decisions.

“Now it is here, I want to support it, but we are going to go through a period of time where everyone is going to learn how to make the best of it.”

Potter added: “It is still two human beings, the referee on the pitch and the one in the control room. Who decides, when to intervene, when not to intervene, when to check?

“Just because you have been a good referee on the ground doesn’t mean you’re going to be a good referee in the VAR room.

“What do we expect? Do we expect everything to be perfect from the start.

“There was a long cry for the use of technology in football. Now all of a sudden we don’t want it any more.”

Potter believes if there was less of a drive towards an expectation of perfection in every single decision, then perhaps VAR would be viewed differently.

“It is not going to solve the problem people think it is. There seems to be a need to get the decisions right all the time,” said the Brighton manager, who takes his side to high-flying Leicester on Sunday.

“I hear the word consistent a lot, but it is hard for human beings to be consistent.

“Even if we got all the decisions correct in football terms, I don’t think that would make the game any better.

“It sounds strange, but football is a game of mistakes.

“It is 90 minutes and you might only score one goal, so by definition you have made a lot of mistakes – and so do referees, but for some reason we don’t like that and we don’t respect that.

“We want to make it so that they get it right all the time, so that technology fixes all our problems – but maybe I am too much of a romantic.”