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Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville lament VAR after latest ‘frustrating’ decision

Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville have admitted their frustration following the latest controversy around VAR in the Premier League.

Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins was denied a last-gasp equaliser against West Ham after his upper arm was deemed to be offside by the video assistant referee.

The 24-year-old also appeared to have been held back by Hammers defender Angelo Ogbonna, but after an agonising wait at Upton Park his stoppage-time effort was ruled out.

West Ham’s 2-1 victory was their third straight win and moved them up to fifth in the Premier League, while Villa dropped to 10th.

Afterwards, Carragher said he felt VAR was ruining the experience of fans watching football.

Ollie Watkins’ stoppage-time effort was ruled out after an agonising wait

“It’s frustrating football fans seeing goals like that ruled out on such fine margins,” the former Liverpool defender told Sky Sports .

“I was a massive fan of VAR. They were bringing it in to help the game. I was defending it at the start as there were teething problems but now we’re at the stage where the majority of people in this country have bought into VAR.

“I don’t think people are enjoying football as much.”

Carragher gave the example of the save from Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall in their penalty shootout win over Serbia last month which secured a place in next summer’s Euro 2020 finals.

Marshall and his team-mates had to wait before they could celebrate while VAR checked whether the keeper had stepped off his line before saving Aleksandar Mitrovic’s spot-kick.

Scotland keeper David Marshall had to wait to celebrate his save in last month’s Euro play-off

Carragher said: “The moment that sums it up for me is David Marshall saving the penalty for Scotland – a massive moment in his career and he couldn’t celebrate as he was waiting for the referee.

“If I could go back I would use VAR in a different way.”

Gary Neville said he still supported VAR in principle, after years of wanting more accuracy from refereeing decisions as a player.

However, he said recent changes to the offside and handball laws were causing problems.

“I was for VAR and I’m still for it,” said Neville. “I’m against a couple of the rule changes.

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher said he would make changes to VAR

“I don’t think the offside rule is clear enough. The new handball rule, which, to be fair we’ve all been aghast at, has created more problems for the game.

“I think that with offside, do we want accurate decisions? Yes.

“Footballers and coaches, for 25, 30, 40 years have complained about referees and a lack of accuracy.

“These referees are not good enough, they can’t keep up with the game. So, we brought VAR in for the correct reasons because the game is so quick, and we want accuracy with so much at stake.

“What I would say is it does need refining and it does need to be improved.”

Gary Neville supports VAR but agreed with Carragher that it was spoiling fans’ experience

Neville agreed with fellow pundit Carragher that the system needed change in order to improve the enjoyment of supporters.

“The biggest problem I have with it at the moment, and I am against the grain, is the fans hate it,” said the former Manchester United right-back. “I have a problem with it because ultimately the game should be about enjoyment for the fans.

“I am for it, but I’m aware the fans hate it, and that is my concern. I want accuracy. I played football at the top and I whinged for years about referees, so I want accuracy.”

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