By David Woods

10th Mar, 2021 | 7:05am

Dermot Gallagher delivers verdict on big Leeds controversy in clash v West Ham

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has said that Leeds United were “very, very unlucky” after having a goal disallowed for offside in the game against West Ham. 

Tyler Roberts had the goal chalked off after it was deemed that Helder Costa’s knee was offside, despite a VAR image looking far from clear.

Sky Sports pundit Jermaine Beckford was more forthright and said it was a “rubbish decision”.

Talking on The Football Show on Tuesday (Sky Sports, Tuesday, 11am), 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 decided [Helder] Costa’s knee is 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 it was felt he was just offside.

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“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 offside, how tight the margins were.

“The second thing here is, we’ve had this thing proposed 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, it’s what all 20 teams operate to and on this day, Leeds were very, very unlucky.”

“There is no doubt as we go forward that they will upgrade systems, this is how life works, but at the moment, this is what we’ve got.”

Frustrating technology

If anyone needs a goal at the moment it’s Tyler Roberts.

And Leeds have had more than their fair share of dodgy VAR decisions this season.

The other big one was Patrick Bamford, whose arm was ruled offside as he was pointing where he wanted the ball to go in the game against Crystal Palace. Leeds lost both games.

If this is the best system we’ve got, questions really need to be asked.

Why is the line drawn from Helder Costa’s knee so thick? Why does it start from the outside of his knee?

Why do we have to use diagonal views to decide offsides when the technology is there to ‘spin’ the action around in VR and look from any angle?

Gallagher is right when he says that this is the system we’ve got at the moment, but when he’s saying that Leeds have been “very, very unlucky” over a VAR decision that was supposed to take the luck and guesswork out of offsides, you know something is badly wrong.

Games are being decided on decisions like this and it’s not good enough.

In other Leeds United news, Super Computer predicts where Leeds will finish in PL after 4 defeats in last 5 games