Given Fulham’s poor run of refereeing decisions in the Europa League this season, you could forgive Roy Hodgson if he was in the vanguard of managers, players and pundits pushing for video technology. But he’s always struck me as rather old-fashioned and there’s logic in what he says.
It is naive to think we would solve all of our problems with technology. Technology is complicated, and the major question would be what would it be introduced for? How many times? How long would the stoppage be? The questions are endless.
What happens if the person who makes the decision can’t decide? Sometimes I see hundreds of replays, and still cannot make up my mind.
In cricket, they were trying to decide whether the ball had been grounded while trying to take a catch. It took 12 minutes and still nobody was the wiser.
The more likely scenario is that we get additional assistant referees, something that has been experimented with in the Europa League this season, although Hodgson remains sceptical about the benefits of this move.
I don’t know what type of contact they have with the referee, but I have not noticed them. In the very, very important penalty area situations which have occurred, and there are four very clear ones where you think that extra officials could help the referee make a good decision, bad decisions have been made.
Whether there has been communication and the referee has chosen to ignore it, or whether the people behind the goal have not seen it, I really can’t tell. It is very difficult for us coaches or players to assess the experiment.
In my opinion, it can only be fully analysed by referees who know exactly what they are doing out on the field. If you are asking me from your personal experience, have you seen better decisions in penalty areas thanks to extra referees, I would say no I haven’t.