Pepijn Lijnders handled press conference duties ahead of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup game against Leicester City and spoke honestly about referees.
Jurgen Klopp’s assistant talked very well as he handled questions on the current COVID situation, fallout from the Tottenham Hostspur game and updated on squad injuries.
It’s great that the Dutchman isn’t afraid of speaking strongly on this subject and had some interesting ideas for reformation within the officiating of football.
The 38-year-old said: “Everybody saw what happened and I think that VAR is a good thing that it’s in football because it can help to make the big decisions right.
“Everybody makes mistakes, I make mistakes – if we make big mistakes, Jurgen and myself, we get punished.
“If players make big mistakes, they get punished but if referees make big mistakes – probably or usually the teams get punished or the players get punished as well.
“That’s not correct, and I’m not taking about small mistakes within the game because that’s football and it goes so quick, VAR is there to help the referee.
“What I still don’t understand is why VAR is always a separate person, why the VAR is not part of a team – you have a referee team and in the split second when the guy who helps the referee on the pitch, needs to know the referee with everything he has.
“They need to be a team and together they are responsible – if this always changes it will not work.
“The same as it will be if every week Jurgen has a different assistant manager, that’s exactly the same!
“I wish we had VAR to make better decisions as coaches because then I will not make mistakes”.
Brilliant and eloquent from the former NEC manager who has spent seven years working with our boss, there is a clear togetherness and ethos within the club that every sticks to.
The idea of a refereeing team is an interesting one too and would make it easier to keep the best officials for the biggest games and encourage a united effort to make the correct decisions.
Hopefully it is at Anfield but is does seem that our assistant manager has a promising career ahead of him.
You can watch Lijnders’s comments on referees via our Twitter page @empireofthekop:
🗣️ "If Jurgen and myself make big mistakes, we get punished.
If players make big mistakes, they get punished.
If referees make big mistakes, usually the teams get punished".
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) December 21, 2021