At last, a referee with guts to put VAR meddlers in their place

John Brooks let Arsenal v Liverpool flow in FA Cup – but why not have VARs in trucks at grounds to give officials more of a feel for working as a team

Henry Winter
The Times

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Narrated by Henry Winter

When Curtis Jones rinsed Ben White to the extent that the defender almost lost his tan on Sunday, the Arsenal player responded by throwing the Liverpool trickster to the ground. John Brooks signalled a free kick but did not book White. This should go down as a significant moment in the season: the fixture when the referee regained control, not simply of a game but control from Stockley Park.

Brooks delivered one of the best performances by a referee this season, certainly of the games I’ve covered live, albeit at a time when officiating standards are heavily scrutinised and VAR’s credibility challenged.

With fans, viewers and commentators saying how much they enjoyed FA Cup ties at VAR-free non-Premier League grounds, such as the throwback of