VAR is coming in for a lot of criticism this season with some absolute howlers affecting the outcome of football matches and huge delays in reaching decisions causing frustration and anger amongst coaches and crowds.
But the technology is not to blame. The equipment is working fine.
The problem is the match officials – the referee on the field, who also has a screen he can refer to pitchside, and the clowns reviewing the action from various angles on screens at Stockley Park, Hillingdon.
With all the evidence available to them, how on earth are they getting it so badly wrong so often?
As things stand at the moment, VAR is there to check on four things: offside after a goal has been scored, penalty decisions, red card offences and mistaken identity. The last on this list rarely needs to be utilised, but the mistakes being made in the other three categories have reached a level that is beyond embarrassing for the PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) and its chief, former top ref Howard Webb.
The reputation of match officials is in tatters and it’s getting worse by the week with the conversation amongst fans and pundits more about bad decisions than how good a match was.
Although Arsenal boss Mikel Aeeteta completely threw his toys out of the pram a few weeks ago, and Tottenham certainly had grounds to feel hard done by following their defeat to Aston Villa at the weekend, the Premier League team that has by far suffered most from some absolutely diabolical decisions since August is my own beloved Wolves, who by my recocking have so far been robbed of at least 10 points by poor officials incapable of making the right choice even when it’s staring them in the face in high definition.
After their late defeat at Fulham on Monday evening, Webb contacted head coach Gary O’Neil to apologise (and not for the first time) following referee Michael Salisbury’s confession to the boss that the officials had been wrong to award Fulham their first penalty (the third time this has happened to Wolves in almost as many weeks – Sheffield Utd and Newcastle – when spot kicks were awarded for our guys kicking the ground) and also conceded that the opposition should have been down to nine men: Tim Ream should have been sent off for a second yellow card and Carlos Vinicius should have been dismissed for headbutting Wolves skipper Max Kilman (which was as clear as day on TV so how VAR didn’t alert Salisbury to it is a mystery).
How are all these infringements being missed when there are now five pairs of eyes on games from all angles?
There can surely be no excuse for such rank incompetence.
Apologies after the event mean nothing, especially when it keeps happening. It’s just adding insult to injury and making a mockery of the game.
Is photographing a declining Bruce Willis out shopping with his daughter in any way news?
No it’s not. Everyone knows the poor bloke has dementia. We don’t need progress reports.
Hollywood paps should be ashamed of themselves and if publications refused to purchase such voyeuristic tripe there wouldn’t be any market in robbing someone of what little dignity they have left.
Leave the guy alone!
Stupid TV quiz answer of the week
Q: Genuflecting is bending which joint in the body?
Q: Lionel Messi made his profesional debut for which team?