Oliver was criticized after Pickford’s challenge in the Merseyside derby on October 17 left Van Dijk in need of surgery on damaged anterior cruciate ligaments, from which he is now recovering.
Although Pickford’s challenge took place in Everton’s penalty area, a kick was not awarded as an examination by the video assistant referee showed Van Dijk was offside, but Oliver would have all the same could dismiss the English goalkeeper for serious misconduct or violent behavior.
Oliver told the Daily mail: “The thought at the start was,” it can’t be a penalty because it’s offside, so we have to check the offside first. “I think I said to VAR,” if it’s not an offside, I’m going to give a penalty, “I’ve watched it so many times. I really don’t think Pickford did anything other than try to spread, but he did it the wrong way, as the injury showed.
“We all, myself included, haven’t thought about the challenge as much as we should have. We could still have given up the offside and fired Pickford. What amazed me to watch him afterwards was that nothing was expected on the pitch in terms. of a red card, none of the players requested it.
“We were too pressured to take it step by step rather than thinking of the larger process, which also considered the challenge and not just the fact that it cannot be a penalty. We should have started over with the offside because we did, but with a different punishment for Jordan Pickford. ”
Having been introduced to the Premier League last season, the use of VAR continues to divide opinions, but Oliver has no doubts about the system’s merits.
“I know VAR has become an obsession,” Oliver said. “But I am for it. There’s all the clamor about it that changes the game. But if you threw it out tomorrow noon, all you’d hear all weekend would be people screaming “that’s pen with VAR”. As soon as you moved it, people would want to get it back.
“At the end of the day, even with VAR, it’s still my decision. I am the one who makes the decision on the ground. And if I get it right the first time, there’s no reason VAR should get involved. Now that I can go there and watch on a fieldside monitor you also have a second chance. You can change your mind or stick with it.
“I think VAR has helped the game. You get fairer decisions. You get acceptance from the players. If you go to the monitor, there is more acceptance on the pitch because the players are happy that at least two people have seen it live, someone else has seen pictures. ”
“It also helps us with the abuse we endure. The players don’t persistently complain about the decisions that took place 20 minutes ago. They are happy that this was spotted, happy that it was verified. They say what they think and the world changes. ”