Instead of quietening the criticism and conversations each week – Var has only served to multiply and intensify the discussions.
A team of professionals at Stockley Park scrutinise each decision as it unfolds on the pitch, using the latest technology to inspect every angle of each incident. All of this can be and is presented in slow-motion, to capture every motion of intent.
Graeme Souness spoke on Sky Sports about his visit to Stockley Park and said it is impossible to get decisions wrong using this facility.
This isn’t about offside decisions where an attacker is flagged for having his little toe stray past the last man.
This is about when a tackle goes flying in or a clear penalty is ignored, when a spot kick is given when there is no calling for it. These decisions are obvious to us at home with only two or three angles seen.
So why are a team of professionals getting things so wrong?
As Gooners, we have already been victim to this travesty. Against Liverpool, Sadio Mane elbowed Kieran Tierney in the face and Trent Alexander-Arnold flew into a studs-up challenge. Both blatant red cards – nothing given.
Five seconds spent on these decisions and it would be crystal cleat that these should have been sendings off.
Then we come to our loss against City.
When Kyle Walker tried to clear the ball with his foot swinging at head height narrowly missed Gabriel’s face by a matter of inches. Mikel Arteta was told that VAR had looked and ruled it wasn’t a spot-kick – which is ridiculous.
Then it was later revealed on Sky Sports that VAR didn’t in fact look at it. So the assistant referee, when telling Arteta that it had been checked, had in fact lied about it and was merely placating Arteta.
Just look at Liverpool against Everton. Jordan Pickford’s tackle on Van Dijk was awful – no red card.
These decisions need to be made correctly. VAR should be easily capable of making them – and if they continue to be erroneous, then the ‘pro’s’ should be looking for other gainful employment.
Because this is far from good enough.