Wolves vs Espanyol - Nuno welcomes Wenger’s ideas to improve VAR

Posted Thursday, February 20, 2020 by PA

Wolves vs Espanyol - Nuno welcomes Wenger’s ideas to improve VAR

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has backed Arsene Wenger’s proposals to change VAR.

The technology will be used for the first time in the Europa League this season on Thursday, with Wolves hosting Espanyol in the last 32.

Wenger, FIFA’s chief of global football development, expressed a plan which would mean a player would be deemed onside if any part of their body is level or behind the last defender.

Wenger later clarified his comments, saying in a FIFA statement: “I am well aware that any rules changes are subject to a standard approval process… within the scope of the established IFAB (International Football Association Board) framework.”

Football’s rulemakers IFAB meets next weekend and has ruled out making changes, but Nuno agrees with the former Arsenal manager’s call.

He said: “Everybody that is outside the decision-making of the law can give opinions and clearly the opinions are to improve, to make things better for everybody. So if Arsene Wenger said that I support it.

“The best people to judge and to make decisions are implicated. I truly respect them but like I say, make it better for everybody so that does not become an issue.

“VAR has names behind them, there are referees judging those decisions so every time we say ‘VAR’ we must start doing ‘Who is doing VAR’, more public. If it improves – good.

“It’s part of us. It is here to stay, the only thing I hope for is an improvement. To be more clear to everyone, especially for the players because sometimes they are on the pitch and they don’t understand the decision.

“That takes away the concentration, takes away the focus – the game delays for too much time.”

Espanyol boss Abelardo Fernandez has denied they are prepared to sacrifice their Europa League dream for LaLiga safety.

The Budgerigars are bottom of LaLiga, two points from safety, having won just four times all season.

Fernandez is Espanyol’s third manager of the campaign after David Gallego and Pablo Machin lasted a matter of months with both dismissed before the New Year.

Despite their league problems, Espanyol topped Group H and former Spain and Barcelona defender Fernandez wants to progress further.

“We’re not here to sightsee, we’re not here as tourists,” he said.

“Before the tie beings it’s impossible to know what will constitute a good result. We know Wolves are a good side, they’ll be tough, but we’re here and we’re taking it seriously.

“We view tomorrow as an opportunity to continue the campaign. I’m aware Espanyol worked really hard last season (to reach the Europa League) and they wouldn’t want us to go in half-heartedly.

“I will be putting out my strongest team possible. Every player is excited for the chance to compete on the European stage.”

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