'Rubbish decision!' - Leeds United favourite and ex-Premier League referee involved in intriguing VAR debate after Tyler Roberts' offside goal

Former Leeds United striker Jermaine Beckford and ex-Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher were involved in an intriguing debate over Tyler Roberts’ disallowed goal against West Ham United.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 1:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 10:01 am

Marcelo Bielsa’s side suffered a 2-0 defeat at the London Stadium to add to their woes in the capital, though the game, as ever, wasn’t without its controversy.

The Whites thought they had the breakthrough inside the opening 10 minutes when Helder Costa picked out the run of Roberts, who drilled the ball past Lukasz Fabianski.

However, the goal was chalked off by VAR when Costa’s kneecap was deemed to be in an offside position.

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Leeds United winger Helder Costa. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Leeds fans, and the wider footballing world, have taken issue with the decision, which was debated at length by Beckford and Gallagher on Sky Sports’ Football Show.

Check out the full transcript below:

‘I hate it!’ ‘Nonsensical decision’

Gallagher said: “Well, it’s all about the technology and what they regard as the furthest point.

“In this, they’ve put on the 3D lines, so that will show how tight it is and they have (Helder) Costa’s knee was the furthest point forward that he can score a goal with.

"The line was drawn down from his knee to the back of the defender’s foot and they felt he was just offside.

"I think this raises a number of issues. Firstly, as we say many, many times, I don’t think people realise when they said VAR has to be yes or no on offsides (understood) how tight the margins were.

"The second thing here is, we’ve proposed this going forward that next season they’re going to experiment on offsides and this will drive it even further forward for me because that margin is so, so tight.

"People said to me last night, is that practical? But what I would say is, it’s the system and on this day, Leeds were very, very unlucky.”

Beckford replied: “Rubbish decision! I hate it because you look at the two lines, the line that is drawn up from Helder Costa’s knee, it looks like my seven-year-old son has draw it!

"If I said to him ‘go on, draw a straight line’, he’s going to aim towards the player.

"It’s absolutely nonsensical. I hate it. I don’t like it. We’re missing out on seeing loads and loads of goals, which is something that brings excitement and entertainment to the game.

"I’m not saying it just because it’s Leeds but I want to see more goals in general and we’re being robbed of that. It’s not even millimeters and that’s so frustrating.”

‘Feet only’ has been proposed

Gallagher added: I’m like you Jermaine, I want to see more goals, I was a striker myself.

"I proposed many months ago on this that we have the feet only. How would you feel about that?

Beckford responded: “I think it should just be feet – attackers and defenders’ feet, nothing else because that brings it back to a point where it’s simplified and everybody understands what the rule is.

"If your feet are offside, then they’re offside. It is what it is.

"I don’t understand why we haven’t got the side view of the offside or perfectly level with it. We’re looking at it from an angle, which is frustrating as well. The line could be a little bit distorted from looking at it from that perspective.”

Gallagher concluded: “Well, unfortunately, Jermaine, as I said, it’s all about the system and the system in there in place for everybody.

"It’s the best system they’ve got at the moment. There is no doubt as we go forward that they will upgrade systems but at the moment, that’s what we’ve got.”