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Wolves captain Coady: Players will be ‘playing with hands chopped off’ under VAR

Exasperated Conor Coady reckons players will have to play with their ‘hands chopped off’ in future after VAR disallowed a goal for Wolves at Leicester.

Leander Dendonckder’s 51st-minute strike was chalked off after his header struck the arm of team-mate Willy Boly at point-blank range before the Belgian fired home. New rules state goals will not be allowed if there is a handball in the build-up. Coady felt the decision was harsh on Wolves.

They said VAR would clarify the situation but it hasn’t because I’ve come out and it’s the first thing I’m talking about,” said the Wolves captain. “It’s a goal – the ball hit his hand, he wasn’t looking at the ball. We’re all going to have to play with our hands chopped off in future because if that’s not a goal, we’ve got a problem.”

Coady feels the new rule regarding handball is unfair. “We had a meeting with referees at the beginning of the season and they told us common sense will prevail, but it never did in that situation,” he said. “You look at it and he (Boly) is not looking at the ball – he hasn’t put his hand in the air to knock it away. The ball hit him on the hand, he can’t do anything about it. They will say it’s clarified because it’s handball, so we move on and see what happens.”

Coady believes VAR has potentially introduced more problems than it solves because the new system will highlight more incidents that were previously unseen or ignored. “That’s probably the problem. They have brought VAR in to rectify all those problems but I think it’s gone too far the other way now, I really do,” said the captain. “You’ll start talking about more things, like we are doing now.”

Coady had a long chat with Solihull-based referee Andre Marriner at the end of the game, and admitted he wasn’t happy with several decisions. “It was about everything that went on in the game, not just the goal,” said the skipper. “There were some sloppy decisions. But we’re not here to talk about referees.”

Coady felt the talking point about the disallowed goal detracted from Wolves’ solid display. “We put in a really good performance from our point of view and we should be coming away with three points,” he added. “I thought we were brilliant. We defended exceptionally well, we stayed in shape as a unit and we had chances to have scored goals. It’s disappointing because getting three points is so big in this division, getting yourself off the mark and moving forward. We felt like we should have had that today.

That’s what we wanted to do because we know how tough it is – Leicester are a fantastic football club with a brilliant manager who play good football so we knew it was going to be tough. We played pass and press a lot of the time, and we countered really well and created a lot of chances.”

Wolves played just three days after returning from a 6,370-mile round trip after beating FC Pyunik in Armenia in the Europa League on Thursday night. Coady insists fatigue wasn’t a concern. “No, not at all, we don’t look at it like that,” he said. “We couldn’t wait for the Premier League (to start), we’ve been building up to that for many many weeks now. We knew we had to recover quite quickly coming back from Armenia and we did. I think you saw it in this game – all the boys were ready for a good game.”

Coady says the players are relishing the schedule, with the return against FC Pyunik to come on Thursday before Wolves play their first home game of the season, against Manchester United, on Monday, August 19. “For us as a club, the games we’ve got coming up are incredible,” he said. “We’ve got a European tie on Thursday, Man United next Monday – what more do you want for a football club? We’re excited by it and we’ll make sure we’re ready for it. We’ve been in for a good few weeks now, we’ve prepared right, we’ve used the Europa League games as preparation for the Premier League.”