Frank Lampard has been able to speak for the first time since arriving back from Burnley about the booking given to Callum Hudson-Odoi in that match and subsequent comments by the Clarets’ manager Sean Dyche.
A penalty was originally awarded Chelsea’s way but a VAR review overturned it with Hudson-Odoi instead booked for simulation. After the match Dyche suggested such punishments should be greater and indicated he was concerned about the future impact on football.At his media conference on Tuesday afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s Carabao Cup tie, Lampard was asked if he has spoken further about it to Hudson-Odoi this week.‘I have said nothing to Callum, I did not feel the need to,’ he replied.‘I asked him what happened on the day of the game, straight afterwards when I had done the press, and he said he got a touch [from the other player]. Clearly, when you see it back he gets a hand on his back. I know it is light, I am not saying it is a definite penalty but it is not a dive. I am not sure if Sean had watched it back from all the angles when he spoke.‘It was not a dive as such because if that becomes a dive then you are analysing every bit of contact, how much was it, was that enough to put Ashley Barnes on the floor or not, was that enough for Callum to go down or not. That is the game, those are the grey areas. I don’t think the whole “in five or 10 years this where the game is going to go” was probably the right nature for what turned out to be nowhere near a clear-cut issue.’
Lampard also gave his support for the idea that the referees in the Premier League should be consulting the pitch-side replay screens more often as part of the VAR process.‘I assumed when it came into the Premier League that would be the case,’ he added, ‘and it is at the point now where I think they have to.‘It is not easy. Even with VAR there is an element of the human involved because they are the ones who are checking it and it is slightly opinion. At the weekend we saw it flip slightly the other way from what it had been, with some decisions being changed, and hopefully we find the right middle ground as soon as possible. Looking at a monitor on the side of the pitch is a way forward.’Lampard had spoken last month about there being a bedding-in period for VAR and six weeks on he was also asked his opinion on the system affecting the immediacy of celebrating a goal if there are thoughts a check may be required.‘It is one of the facts of VAR that I think is slightly disappointing, that we have taken away that element of the game where you have that spontaneous celebration moment. That is a bit of a shame so with the balance of can we get the right decisions and that moment is something we all toy with a little bit.‘That is why we are a little bit on VAR’s case week in week out because if we have it, we want it to be perfect, and that is what we are working towards.’