What Thomas Frank said about VAR in his 1:1 draw against Nottingham Forest

Thomas Frank spoke for football fans around the country after his team was called for three penalties on Sunday. ‘I’m simply so tired of talking about VAR,’ added the Brentford manager.

Frank’s displeasure will have been heightened by his team’s failure to win at the City Ground after grabbing the lead and playing 47 minutes against 10 men.

Despite Moussa Niakhate’s dismissal early in the second half, Forest equalized through Nicolas Dominguez after Christian Norgaard placed Brentford ahead.

Frank accepted two marginal rulings against Brentford, when the ball clipped the hands of Dominguez and Willy Boly in first-half stoppage time.

He was perplexed, though, that Forest goalkeeper Matt Turner was not penalized for lunging at Brentford striker Yoane Wissa after the latter had taken the ball.
Some managers will say “penalty” in handball situations, but Frank will not. ‘I would despise it if that was used against my squad.

EPL: Brentford boss Frank wary of 'good striker' Awoniyi - Daily Post  Nigeria

‘On the other hand, the Wissa one is a clear penalty. You can’t get past the dude. Unfortunately, VAR made a mistake, as it is apparent and obvious.

Maybe our players are too honest. Maybe they need to be more nasty, but I’ll never say that to them. I like honest players.’

Dominguez and Boly were not punished because their hands were deemed close enough to their sides, and Turner’s lunge at Wissa was checked and cleared.

However, it is evident that a system introduced to eliminate controversy has actually increased it, with this time Brentford feeling they had had a raw deal.

The controversy at Tottenham on Saturday, when Liverpool were denied a goal even though Luis Diaz was onside when he scored, meant VAR Darren England was replaced by Craig Pawson as fourth official for this match.

Michael Oliver was in the VAR chair and although there was no howler here, it is far from easy to understand why some decisions are reversed and others are not.

Forest have complained bitterly about officials this term but they had the rub of the green here, though boss Steve Cooper was unhappy with the second yellow card shown to Niakhate.

He said: ‘With it being the only Premier League game of the day, the last thing the PGMOL needed was people talking about referees’ decision-making. We all want referees to be at the level, they are going through a difficult time. If one or two things have gone our way, then it’s about time.

‘We all want referees to do well. My dad Keith was a referee. We want them to be calm and making good decisions but they need to help themselves too.’

Forest thought they had taken an early lead when Brazilian defender Murillo flicked on Callum Hudson-Odoi’s corner on his debut and Taiwo Awoniyi steered in at the far post, but the Nigerian forward was offside.

Brentford had the clearest chance of the half when Vitaly Janelt’s strike clipped Serge Aurier and was palmed back out by Turner, and Ibrahim Sangare made a crucial intervention

Dominguez jumped to get away, but the ball caught his hand. When it became free, it also touched Boly’s hand.

Early in the second half, Turner was robbed by Wissa, only for the forward to lose his balance under the goalkeeper’s challenge, allowing Boly to race back and clear. Again, Brentford were astonished that the situation was not even investigated further.

Niakhate had already received a yellow card for a careless challenge on Mathias Jensen, so when he ran his studs down the back of Wissa’s calf, a second yellow was unavoidable.

Norgaard sneaked in unmarked from the free-kick to head home Jensen’s delivery — but Turner should have done better.

Forest, a man down, discovered a spark. Morgan Gibbs-White, who had been curiously left on the bench, and Harry Toffolo came on by this point and combined for the equalizer. Toffolo received the ball wide from Gibbs-White, and Dominguez met his cross with a looping header over Mark Flekken.

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