Eddie Howe sheds light on VAR ‘assurances’ following controversial Newcastle United decisions

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe has shed light on conversations between the Premier League and Professional Game Match Officials Board following a number of controversial VAR calls.

Newcastle actually benefited from a VAR decision in their previous match against AFC Bournemouth as they were awarded a penalty for handball which was converted by Alexander Isak to make it 1-1.

But the previous match at St James’s Park saw The Magpies fall victim to one of the biggest VAR blunders in the top flight to date as a Crystal Palace own goal was ruled out following a VAR check despite being initially given.

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Tyrick Mitchell put the ball into his own net after pushing Newcastle midfielder Joe Willock into goalkeeper Vicente Guaita. Afterwards, referee Michael Salisbury was prompted to check the VAR monitor and Palace were awarded a free-kick for a foul by Willock.

Referee Jarred Gillett checks the VAR screen of the red card given to Kieran Trippier of Newcastle United which is overturned to a yellow card during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St. James Park on August 21, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
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Head coach Howe was ‘adamant’ a goal should have been given and his view was vindicated following replays and PGMOL admitting an error was made.

But admitting the mistake does little to make up for the two points Newcastle dropped as a result, with the match ending 0-0.

When asked if the club had been given any reassurances about the future use of VAR, Howe responded: "We've had quite a few discussions.

Tyrick Mitchell of Crystal Palace scores an own goal which was later disallowed by VAR after a foul by Joe Willock of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace at St. James Park on September 03, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

“It's always a difficult one to give assurances that it won't happen again, because they can't, because it's football and there will always be controversy and decisions that you potentially disagree with.

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"I think it was good that they came out and admitted it was a clear error. For me, it's a clear and obvious error right from the minute they disallowed the goal, and I only had my eye on it in real time. But I was adamant it was a goal."I was hugely disappointed then when I looked back at it and I saw a huge push in Joe's back and how he's affected by that.

"It was an incredible decision in a negative way for us. And yes we had loads of chances in the game and should have won the game ourselves, but we'd created pressure, we scored a legitimate goal and it was taken away from us. That was really cruel.”

In pre-season, Newcastle’s players and staff were told that VAR would be less intrusive in Premier League matches as it entered its fourth season in use.

But when VAR does intervene, Howe wants to see a more ‘balanced’ view on the monitor, suggesting Salisbury wasn’t given the full series of events to assess."Well I think the views that the referees see, they have to be balanced,” he added. “They have to give them all the views they have, especially on such a big call.

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"I don't think the referee saw the view where there was a clear push, which obviously affects the decision-making process.

"But not only that, the referee, when they go to the monitor, has to go with an open mind. He made a decision at that moment, live, so they have a gut feeling.

"He should have recognised that the gut feeling was right. He listened to Lee Mason and the guys in the VAR studio and that's changed his decision to a negative effect.”