Peter Crouch on why he may not have done iconic celebration if VAR was around
It would have been a travesty.
After the dramatic scenes of Tottenham's late winner against Sporting Lisbon being ruled out by VAR, Peter Crouch admits that if the technology was around during his playing days then he may never have done his iconic celebration.
Spurs needed a win against the Portuguese side in order to book their spot in the knockout stages, and when Harry Kane managed to slot home right at the very death, the place erupted.
Their manager Antonio Conte, was sprinting up the sideline, delirious with joy, until those three dreaded letters were uttered - VAR.
The wait was long and excruciating, and not least confusing, because there were so many variables including the fact that Kane couldn't be offside if it hit off the Lisbon defender first.
However, the goal was ruled out in the end, and all hell broke loose, including a passionate Conte rant that saw him see a red card, just to make matters even worse for the Italian.
Speaking on BT afterwards, Peter Crouch makes the point that VAR is dampening the atmosphere and ruining big moments like this.
"People will say I am in Tottenham's corner, but I want to see scenes of like, the stadium erupting, celebrating a last minute winner.
"I don't want to be drawing lines, as good as Rio is at it, I don't want to see it. What are we in football for? We're in it for the enjoyment of it.
"The buzz of it, the emotion, the love of it. A last minute winner to see Tottenham get through in the Champion's League - that's what we want to be talking about."
Former Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand was also in studio, and made the point that VAR could actually take goal celebrations out of the game.
"Imagine the embarrassment of looking at the pictures of you celebrating down the line and going crazy, Conte going crazy and suddenly it gets chalked up for offside.
"I would be scared to celebrate now! If a goal where you thought there was a chance it could be chalked up, I'm not celebrating.
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"It takes the fun and that emotion out of it."
The ex-Tottenham striker then chipped in with a thought to scary to even comprehend.
"We might not never have seen the robot. Can you imagine?"
Crouch was of course referring to his ionic Robot celebration that he performed for England nearly 15 years ago, and set the country crazy with kids and adults alike copying mimicking the 6'7 striker any opportunity they got.
Of course it was tongue an cheek and typical of the pundit to throw in a light hearted quip in what was a serious discussion, but it still drives the point home.
Part of the magic that comes with scoring a big goal is the wave of relief you feel, and the uncontainable joy inside you, that results in knee-slides, air punches, karate kicks, and in this case, robot dances.
But with the fear of VAR in the back of your head, all of that may start to be subdued, and a more cautious approach will be taken.
Ferdinand summed up the potential travesty best with his response.
"How could you have gone your career without seeing that?"
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