Charlie Austin was furious with Simon Hooper’s decision to disallow his goal which would have sent Southampton 2-0 ahead against Watford.
In his post match interview, Austin was quick to question why VAR is still not in use throughout the Premier League after positive trials in the World Cup in Russia this summer.
He raged: “We go on about VAR this, VAR that, help the officials out, Clearly they need help!
“We play in the Premier League, the best league, the most watched league in the world, give them all the help they need because they clearly cost us three points today!”
His views on VAR seemed to be echoed across the weekend, with Ryan Bertrand’s foul on Nathaniel Chalobah failing to result in a penalty for the Hornets at the other end, and Aleksandar Mitrović’s header being disallowed on a tight offside call 14 seconds before Mo Salah gave Liverpool the lead.
But was a rant aiming his frustration that the officiating team “clearly cost us three points” the best way to get his views across – especially considering their opponents should have been given a penalty too?
Chalobah waited until the evening before posting to Twitter to air his views on Hooper’s in a much calmer, controlled manner.
— Nathaniel Chalobah (@chalobah) November 10, 2018
He saw the funny side, saying ” let this one slide…literally” in reference to the slide challenge from Ryan Bertrand that left the Watford midfielder flat out in the Saints box and appealing for a penalty.
The 23-year-old chose to call the decision “bizarre” when questioned post match, but instead chose to focus on his return to the side after more than a year on the sidelines.
The way that Chalobah conducted himself in comparison to Austin showed a good level of maturity for a player his age, choosing to focus on the positives and not the decisions out of his hand.
Austin seemed to be channeling his anger from results over the past year at Southampton, and the frustration of coming so close to their second league win of the season did show Saints fans some passion they’ve been lacking on the pitch.
By now they’re getting tired of having to blame officials and want performances worthy of points, regardless of every decision going their way.
Before fans got to remixing Austin with Blur, they were having their say on the Saints striker’s post match interview.
— Mark Martin (@immarkmartin) November 11, 2018
Even Austin saw the funny side of it:
— Charlie Austin (@chazaustin10) 11 November 2018
Some fans were happy to see the 29-year-old wearing his heart on his sleeve, but seemed concerned with the possible repercussions of criticising the match day officials so directly.
One of the most honest and refreshing post match interviews I’ve ever seen from Charlie Austin. Maybe not the widest move to hammer the officials but that type of honesty is rare these days #SaintsFC
— Jacob Morley (@JacobMorley26) November 10, 2018
— Mark Ellames (@MJE_3) November 10, 2018
Charlie Austin just saw what happened to Mitrovic pic.twitter.com/osbeQBxvVu
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) November 11, 2018
Some thought Austin took his criticism too far.
Charlie Austin clearly not heard of the Butterfly Effect. If we had been given the penalty then Ryan Bertrand is off the pitch and you are not being denied a goal because you’ve been subbed off for a replacement defender. #footballernonsense #watfordfc
— Stephen John Maynard (@sjmaynard) November 12, 2018
Watford should of had a penalty before but he didn’t mention that 🤔🤐
— Tom Crook (@Tom_Crook01) November 11, 2018
And this Bournemouth fan just found it funny.
— Blooming Brooks 🏴 (@BloomingBrooks) November 10, 2018
Whatever your thoughts on the post match antics, this weekend has put more pressure on the league to bring in VAR as soon as possible.
Mark Hughes has confirmed Maya Yoshida overheard the referee admitting in the tunnel he made a mistake disallowing the Charlie Austin goal. Also says the Premier League is ‘stuck in the dark ages’ for not having VAR #saintsfc
— Alex Crook (@alex_crook) November 10, 2018
The last time Charlie Austin scored for Saints was in a pre-season comeback against Celta Vigo which ended 3-2, that you can watch below.
— Callum Kershaw (@Callum_Kershaw) August 5, 2018