Jan Vertonghen has said that the introduction of VAR and the plans to roll it out in the Premier League next season have forced him to change the way he defends, as per the Telegraph.
The Belgian international saw his team-mate Danny Rose give away a penalty on Tuesday night against Manchester City after a handball incident was slowed down, rewound and freeze-framed by the technological system.
And Vertonghen said of the incident: “Everything looks like a penalty now. I think we have to change the way we defend.
“Even a small touch, if you watch it 20 times in slow motion, it will give so many more penalties. You’ll see in the next few years in the Premier League, at least 20, 30, 40 more penalties.”
Vertonghen is spot on about the impact of VAR. When everything is slowed down and frozen, incidents which happened in a flash in real time look like stonewall penalties.
That presents a challenge for defenders. It’s not just the pulling and grabbing that they may have been able to get away with in the past but the small things that will put doubt in every defender’s mind now.
Vertonghen is smart enough to deal with it – and realise that it can happen in a way that benefits Spurs as well – but it creates an intriguing challenge for players across the Premier League to manage next season.