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18 Feb 2018 08:19:32
Just watched the highlights again and I want to talk about VAR. My understanding was that VAR was there to deal with “clear and obvious errors”. According to MOTD, the ref didn’t call for a review, it was the ref back in the studio who called for it. Then you have the decision itself, I’m not convinced Mata was offside but if he was it was a couple of hairs from his beard, which is not a clear and obvious error.

So what’s going on? We all want the horror decisions to be cut out and if not, rectified, balls over the line, clear penalties and simulation, violent conduct and so on. But an offside decision of millimetres? Forget it was a United decision yesterday, this is a wider point about the obsession of VAR. We’ve seen corners awarded to the wrong side that result in a goal, perhaps we should review every disputed corner and throw in. The n paper it sounds like a reasonable idea but it’s application so far has been pants. It has disrupted games and delivered some questionable decisions, many of which were not in relation to clear and obvious errors.

It seems refs have a new toy to play with.

Agree3 Disagree0

18 Feb 2018 09:39:02

I agree and yesterday showed it is far from being ready to use. The Mata decision was a complete shambles from every aspect, we went from the attackers advantage, a goal given, to a desperate attempt to prove he was offside. The image of the wavy lines made it look a farce and cannot do anything to build confidence in what looks an underthought under practiced botch because it can’t be called a system . It was not a clear and obvious error, unless the FA don’t understand the meaning of the words. Even now with hours to play with they are trying to argue half of his kneecap was offside.

In all this the fans seem to be ignored. In the stadium sat not knowing what is going on, at home waiting for the wavy lines to appear. How has the Premier League become so amateur? Why is it only happening at selected games, it means there are different standards being applied across a series of games, games that can be crucial to teams. Imagine if a crucial decision in the last minute of the last game goes against a team and it sends them down but it wasn’t a clear and obvious one to refer, will they take legal action?

They had time to study cricket, rugby league, take the best bits, mike up the extra ref to explain what they are looking at, they need big screens in grounds and on TV to show what is being looked at. But no the amateurs rammed this in and yesterday’s farce shows it needs far more planning and far clearer definitions of use before implementing and it needs to be all games in the competition to ensure the same standard across all.

18 Feb 2018 09:54:19
AJH - when it is offside it is a straight question, onside or offside, the clear and obvious error question does not apply.
That said, the whole incident yesterday was a complete shambles, an embarrassment to the FA.
I think BT said it took them 8mins to get a picture that showed Mata was offside, his knee was millimetres offside. Hands and arms don't count as you cannot use them to play the ball legally.

{Ed002's Note - The FA?}

18 Feb 2018 10:06:13
Ed002 - my understanding is that VAR is a FIFA initiative that the FA has agreed to trial in the FA Cup? As yesterday showed, the system as is is not fit for purpose and as the FA agreed to the trial I think it's embarrassing for them.
Happy to withdraw my statement if my understanding is incorrect.

{Ed002's Note - It comes from IFAB not FIFA. The FA are not embarrassed by any little incident in any Manchester United game. You sound like a Liverpool fan - no doubt you will continue to whine and bleat about it for weeks.}

18 Feb 2018 10:13:17
Keanooh, but that’s not why it has been brought in, if it was then every offside decision would be reviewed to check it was correct, and we really don’t want that.

RedMan, some good pints there, I like the cricket approach of umpires call or the rugby approach which is “I have made a decision, there needs to be something significant for me to change it” approach. The commentators on BT and BBC both watched replays and called it as level but computers were able to spot a hair on his knee that was ahead f the defender. It was comical and as you say, amateurish.

It’s not just us, the Liverpool Spurs game was also farcical.

18 Feb 2018 10:24:44
What if for example a goal is scored and there is a clear handball in the build up? How long will it be before the debate moves on to var examining all aspects of the build up to the goal just as they sometimes do in Rugby when a try is often disallowed because of something that happened maybe 30 secs before the ball was touched down.

18 Feb 2018 10:59:17
AJH - I'm not saying all offsides but when an offside decision is reviewed it is a straight question, onside or offside.
I think the offside area of the game presents major problems, it works in instances like yesterday as by millimetres it was correct Mata was offside. We can argue about the process etc but having used VAR the decision was correct.
Where I think it fails is where the referee's assistant (RA) flags for offside the referee awards the free kick but the RA has made the wrong decision and an attacking team is denied a goal scoring opportunity.
To balance it up I would like to see the referee let the game continue where it's a goalscoring opportunity. A goal scoring opportunity isn't just someone through on goal, it could be a winger having the ball wide with players in support who he could pass to after drawing the keeper. If the attacking team gain an advantage, goal / corner then review the RA decision afterwards.
Without spending a lot of time thinking exactly how the advantage would work, the best I can do is to use the above as a starting point.

18 Feb 2018 11:35:58
I think it's going to take time but ultimately the VAR is a great addition in my opinion. When rugby introduced the Television Match Official there were many teething problems but look at it now, quality.

I think everyone expects everything to be bang on from the get go. It's only giving pundits something to talk about and most of them haven't a clue. By the way wasn't mata offside?

18 Feb 2018 12:36:35
But what about subjective decisions, angel? Also, is it quality for rugby? It's stop-start constantly. Imagine every decision going to VAR with referees who can't even agree on things after games.

Just get rid of it.

18 Feb 2018 10:34:46
Ed002 - you couldn't be more wrong, the right decision was made so I don't have a problem with the decision about the goal being disallowed. It's the process which is the issue, looking at the pictures that were sent to TV with the wiggly lines, how could the TV ref be certain of his decision. Surely VAR is there to provide definitive evidence with the offside and looking at the pictures I don't see how it provided that evidence.

{Ed002's Note - I am far from wrong. (a) It is nothing that will embarrass the FA. (b) You are whining - regardless of the decision being right or wrong. Whining.}

18 Feb 2018 14:25:35
VAR is bad bad bad for the game.

I want there to be contraversial and even wrong decisions from time to time. It's part of football and the game is much richer for it.
Think about the history of contentious decisions and how they have added to the lore of the game. Hirst in 66, the hand of god, lampard's goal against Germany. Every week there is contraversy and it's fun.

Most fun in life exists in the grey areas. When everything is cut and dried, black and white, clinical it's boring. Same with football.

{Ed001's Note - but you then have to worry that every bad decision is down to match fixing. How many times has it been alleged but nothing done because without proof of an official taking the money it is impossible to prove decisions are anything but a genuine mistake?}

18 Feb 2018 14:45:30
I think VAR is an awful idea . It's only a matter of time until the refs stop making a decision and every thing goes to VAR.
Might as well just get the ref in the tv room to ref it and let the bloke on the pitch know when to blow his whistle.

18 Feb 2018 15:21:16
Once its refined it will be a good thing. It works well in other sorts. No system will ever be perfect its snout finding the least imperfect model.
The worst part is the lack of communication.
Time and technology moves on lots of people resist change and until its improved var will have its opponents. But once its refined it will be a good thing imo.
But there is a lot of work to do to refine how and when its used. I would be in favour of coaches having 3 reviews per match on goal penalty and red card decisions. Simialar to tennis. So its in the coaches hands not the referees to decide when to review.

18 Feb 2018 15:59:41
You mustn't watch a lot of rugby sepp. This will be a very good thing once refined. That will take time and I'm sure there will be lots of whinging about it, wouldn't expect anything less. But they have to follow the rugby line, allowing the referee to control the game and on occasion go to the VAR.

18 Feb 2018 16:35:58
I don't watch it for that reason. I guess we'll see what happens with it. It can't get any worse, can it?

18 Feb 2018 17:50:02
But many others watch it and I find it much more enjoyable and just with the TMO. Rugby has a far superior refereeing system in place mainly thanks to the governing bodies. They protect their referees at all costs and therefore players have higher amounts of respect.

The VAR will improve no doubt. Those proclaiming it bad for the sport are usually the ones who don't like to see progress because that's what this is.

I read nearly everyday how referee decisions cost teams in games, moaning and whining all the time from fans, pundits etc. Here we are with technology that will alleviate pressure and more than likely allow referees to be better. But what do we have, oh it's not good for the game, oh it slows it down, blaa blaa. 90 percent of football games that I watch anyway are pedestrian and boring. The least they can do is to make sure decisions are correct and don't ruin big games.

18 Feb 2018 18:43:42
Is that because 90% of the matches you watch are United.?

18 Feb 2018 18:52:48
That's an interesting comment Ed001.

It has never occured to me that officials might have taken a bung.

Am I naive?

{Ed001's Note - probably mate as I am sure there have been lots.}



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