Liverpool's Robertson: VAR needs improvements, players uncertain about rules

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson has called for greater clarity on the game's rules and said players are desperate for some "consistency" across the board.

Robertson hoped VAR would end up making decisions clear cut, but has instead led to further confusion. He gave away a penalty in Liverpool's 1-1 draw at Brighton on Saturday and while he had no complaints over the decision, he was left bemused by other similar challenges going unpunished.

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The fullback wants more ex-professionals to be involved in decision making and hopes the rules are implemented with greater consistency from match to match.

"There has been a lot of change in the rules in England in particular," Robertson told a news conference ahead of Liverpool's Champions League clash against Ajax.

"I think Kevin De Bruyne said the other week he wasn't certain of the rules anymore. I think we can all can echo that. It's a wee bit uncertain now. When VAR came in we believed there would be no grey areas, it would all be black and white and I don't think we're quite getting that right now.

"There are a lot of improvements to be made. We knew we had to be patient with VAR and it wouldn't be perfect over night, but we are 18 months down the line, and still the same mistakes are being made.

"On Saturday, I've got no problem if my tackle is a penalty if the rules and referee deem that penalty. But I was watching the games yesterday and seen two very similar instances on Marcus Rashford and Adama Traore that went unpunished and looked very, very similar to what I did on Danny Welbeck. For me, either all three have to be penalties or all three aren't penalties.

"I think that's where we are struggling a wee bit. We are just looking for consistency, hopefully that comes in time. The game's crying out for it.

"We thought we would be getting that with VAR but maybe we aren't getting that just now.

"Too many games are passing by, with people in the studios still discussing referee's decisions, and what could or couldn't have been. I didn't think that would be possible post-VAR.

"If that is still going to be a thing, then I would much rather leave it up to the referee's naked eye. It is much easier to accept mistakes then, rather than when so much technology is around it."

Meanwhile, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said Thiago's recovery will take a further "few weeks" and the injury he picked up against Everton in October had a "massive impact on the knee."

Klopp is battling a growing injury list after James Milner limped off against Brighton at the weekend with a hamstring strain. He joins the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Xherdan Shaqiri, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the sidelines with Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk long-term absentees.

"Thiago we have to clarify a little bit," Klopp said. "On that day when Thiago got injured in the challenge in the Everton game, there was another bad injury [Van Dijk] after the scans, it was one was bad news, one was good.

"We realise now it was still a massive impact on the knee. The impact on the knee was that big it's still not okay. It's not [a] massive [issue], he trains from time to time, but not in the moment as we realise we need to go through further steps. I can't say when he'll be fine but it will take a few weeks with Thiago. That's how it is."

Both Klopp and Robertson backed the proposal for concussion substitutions after Raul Jimenez suffered a fractured skull following a sickening head clash with David Luiz in Wolves' win at Arsenal on Sunday.