V.A.R. … Very Accurate Result … or … Vexing And Ridiculous

June 24, 2019

Are you, like me still (just) in that you think VAR will eventually be the right way forward for OUR game, because it will correct significant injustices?

Have you been watching the Women’s World Cup carefully to see what we are letting ourselves in for next season? I have, and I think we may not be ready.

First let’s put aside what most of us would agree with is the main current reason for controversy, that being the changes in the offside, handball and penalty rules. Is the Premier League ready for VAR?

Have our referees had enough training? Surely a way of making the decisions much more quickly is required. Is fifteen minutes of extra time largely through VAR decisions, acceptable for the Premier League?

Football is about momentum, next thing we know we will have Diana Ross singing on the centre spot as they make their decisions. There was a German League game last season involving Freiburg, when an incident occurred just before the halftime whistle. The players all went off with that whistle and then had to be brought back on to the pitch as the VAR decision meant the half should not have finished! And this is in Germany where they are “experienced” in using the system!!

Can the refs be miked up so the crowd can be told what is being assessed? Should the crowd see the replays? Will they revolt? Last night it was because the players saw the replay that THEY kicked off!

What about the technology? Are the cameras always level with the incident, or even on the right side? Is the action stopped on the right frame for the VAR decision makers?

I am worried. What do you think at this point before the trauma even begins?

Written by LBG

 


Where do you stand with VAR, or perhaps more importantly with the laws of our game?

March 18, 2019

So what can we agree upon? Despite the obvious need for a trial of said VAR in advance of it being rolled out “in full” next season, surely it cannot be in any way just for the system to be called upon and used in some quarter finals of the World’s oldest knockout competition, and yet NOT be available to use in others? If it was not possible for it to be used yesterday in the Swansea game, it should not have been used in any of the quarter finals.

David Ramos – FIFA via Getty Images

In a not unusual controversial game as is seen in British football season after season, it might be the case that there are six incidents that it is felt appropriate to refer to VAR. If the average time taken currently to make a decision is between 2 and 3 minutes, this could add 15 to 18 minutes extra to the running time for a game. This is surely not acceptable to us in this country. The next thing will be advert breaks for hot dogs, and Diana Ross singing at half time!

On the same point, with discussions (and punishments) occurring last week regarding pitch invasion and protection for players, surely the VAR system must provide ongoing information for the spectators as to what is being assessed? Frustration/anger at officials is just as likely to bring about pitch invasion on the part of the idiots escaped from the asylums, in my opinion.

This said, I hope Arsenal Arsenal bloggers will agree that if VAR corrects only one of the incompetent decisions most of us see every week from the officials allocated to Arsenal games, it’ll be worth having – even if it’s only once in a while!

And so to the second part of my question……

Three laws in Association Football provide the greatest cause for controversy in our game (and will undoubtedly be the the reason VAR is called upon next season). Rather than tinkering with the laws and, in my opinion, making them even more difficult to understand (as the “authorities” appear to have done in recent years), why not simplify them and make them easier to assess for both officials and spectators alike?

Handball:- take out the word “deliberate” (the one thing that has always been in the law and always been the cause of controversy) and say that if the ball hits the hand or arm in any circumstance it is handball, and if occurring in the penalty box by a defender, a penalty. Of course players will learn how to flick the ball up and onto hand/arm. Same for all, teach it.

Offside:- Go back to giving the forward the advantage. For an assistant referee to give an offside he must see a clear gap between forward and last defender.

With the aim of producing more open and exciting play leading to more goals hopefully, I, personally, would extend the eighteen yard box out to the sidelines and change the law completely to say offsides can only occur forward of that line. You could have cameras stationed on that extended line on both sides of the pitch.

And so to the only law I believe will always be subjective.

The Foul:- change the interpretation required by the officials. It is a man’s game (and women’s ….ed 🙂 ) with physical contact an integral part. Does the challenge from one player on another constitute one that by its force brought down the player? If so, it is an illegal challenge  and should be penalised. Everything else is the difference between largely honest rugby players and largely cheating footballers.

Does that give you anything to contemplate? Happy contemplating!

LBG

Can VAR stop Spurs Cheating?

February 5, 2018

An exciting game at Anfield left Mr. Klopp fuming and a few million viewers shaking their heads at another example of the lack of moral fibre in the Spurs Miscreants. Which , to be candid, comes as no real surprise.What is surprising is that following at least a dozen slo-mo replays there was disagreement about both penalty decisions.

So how will VAR improve matters?

Let us look at both decisions.

Penalty 1. Kane is offside when the ball is played. It hits Lovren and thus Kane is adjudged onside (according to the TV referee Dermot Gallagher who has, at best, a loose knowledge of the game). Kane then sees the GK come towards him and dives, trailing his leg which brushes the GK’s arm. It is a clear dive. The man was falling before being minimally touched.

Much discussion followed. Penalty given.

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Penalty 2. Lamela gets into front of Van Dijk. Backs into him as Van Dijk attempts to clear the ball and hits the deck mortally wounded. No way a penalty – it was another example of crafty cheating.

Yet … penalty given and despite replays many would agree that it was a penalty.

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Would VAR have corrected either decision?

Alli got booked for an obvious dive earlier in the game, Lamela and Kane were simply better cheats.

We saw a similar act in our game vs Everton, when some no-mark got in front of the defender running at speed into the penalty area  -I think it was Calvert-Lewin – then halted abruptly causing the defender to run into him. The inevitable dive followed but the Everton miscreant was not booked, hence his cheating went unpunished.

Many say VAR would slow the game down whilst the decision is being made and that the fans would see less football. Given that the ball is in play for less than 45 of the 90 minutes, something could be done to correct this i.e. stop the clock when the ball is out of play at throw-ins, free-kicks and goal-kicks. It is an easy solution. What isn’t easy is finding a unbiased panel of referees to act as VAR officials.

In my opinion anything which stops a player cheating is beneficial, whether it is 100% accurate or not. There are players and managers who use diving and foul play as a tactic, VAR can help with this.

It is not perfect but IF, the replays are shown to the fans it can add to the excitement, as it has in rugby; unfortunately I doubt very much whether the replays will be shown to the attending fans. Which raises another point – VAR is for the home viewer, the billions who watch the PL around the world, not the tens of thousands who attend the game. And it is their dollar which counts.

Do you think VAR will make professional players stop cheating?

p.s. If you did not see the Anfield game, you will just have to take my  judgement as fact – after all, I am completely unbiased 😀 😀


Solid at the Bridge – Player Ratings

January 11, 2018

Serial Diver

Went down only when he’d lost his balance

Ratings

Ospina – Lazarus got in the way when it mattered ….8

Chambers – WWE slam on Azpilicueta my personal highlight ….8

Mustafi – No unnecessary lunging tonight, except to block shots ….9

Holding – Looked more comfortable against Morata than Brereton  ….8

Bellerin – 100% focused – all thoughts of what to wear after the game on the back burner  ….6

Xhaka – The Hills are Alive with the sound of crunching tackles while on a yellow ….7

Wilshere – Buzzing – luckily the bang is on his “good” ankle ….8

Maitland-Niles – The young Tory oozed class and a complete disdain for Marxian economics ….8

Iwobi  – Magnificent Maradona-esque dribbles followed by powder puff shooting ….8

Welbeck – Magnificent tackle on the snake for which Alan Smith tried to award a penalty ….7

Lacazette – not the day to be an Arsenal striker – best chance half-volleyed into the stands ….7

Elneny – Booked for a foul on Morata ….6

Sanchez – Lively in his pursuit of a transfer ….6

Big Weng – gave the members of the press box something to watch ….8


Wembley on the Horizon

January 10, 2018

Chelsea away. Injuries all over the shop. Porous defence. Lack of confidence. Fans less than enthusiastic.

Doesn’t bode well.

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Last game was a cracker; full of excitement and top quality attacking allied to dreadful defending from The Arsenal, diving and awful finishing from Chelsea. I expect much of the same tonight and would be thrilled with a similar result.

Sanchez: According to the media we have received a €20m offer from City. How will that affect both the player and the manager? Would you sell him or let him go for nothing in summer? Is €20m enough?

VAR: Exciting and interesting development which will/could change the way football at the highest level will function. It works in other sports but can it work in football? Would Hazard’s clear dive be a penalty or not? Depends upon one’s viewpoint which is exactly the point!

Given that Chelsea and MC remain in the Carabao, was AW decision, to prioritise tonight over the FA Cup, pragmatism or stupidity?

We shall see.

There is no doubt in my mind that if Arsenal play well, particularly if we take the chances in attack, we can win. The question is – does the team share my faith?

COYRRG