BBC pundit admits he felt 'so sorry' for one Leeds player vs Fulham

Sam Preston March 22, 2021
BBC pundit admits he felt 'so sorry' for one Leeds player vs Fulham
Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Peter Crouch says he felt ‘so sorry’ for Luke Ayling when his first ever Premier League goal was disallowed on Friday night.

Ayling’s strike was disallowed for offside in the first half of Leeds’ 2-1 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Crouch wrote in his Daily Mail column that it was just the latest example of VAR removing the joy from football.

Leeds have had their fair share of brushes with VAR this term, something they obviously didn’t have to put up with in the Championship.

Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

“Each weekend I watch football and I am left confused,” wrote Crouch. “I see penalties that are reviewed over and over again so a foul can be found, I see incidents that look like certain penalties and no reviews take place.

“VAR — and how it has been implemented — has ripped the enjoyment out of football. The latest episode of misery was Friday night at Craven Cottage when Luke Ayling thought he had scored for Leeds.

“His hairband came out, he started playing the air guitar – then his first ever Premier League goal was ruled out because someone’s shoulder was in front of a yellow line.

“Was that decision really clear and obvious? I felt so sorry for him. There will be more incidents like this before May.”

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This writer would like to see VAR scrapped, and Crouch is spot on in terms of the emotion of the game.

Goals can’t be properly celebrated because you know there’s a chance something will be flagged and pulled back after a long check.

It was Ayling this week, but it will be another player at another club after the international break.

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Sam Preston a senior football writer for the Boot Room and United in Focus. He is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist with five years of professional experience writing digital content. He studied with the Press Association and also has a 2:1 Law with French Law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Burnley, Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.