Is VAR the clearest and most obvious error in modern football? | Football


Sky Sports News did the usual Monday mornings today, calling in former referee Dermot Gallagher to forensically examine the most contentious refereeing decisions of the weekend’s Premier League action in the company of a pair of ex-pros, who are likely to see them. have seen, Clive. They had no shortage of material to work with, as the curtain shakers at Stockley Park’s VAR bunker had spent the weekend giving the impression that someone had filled the kettle with a couple of bottles of spirits and a few handfuls of alcohol. psychotropic substances. mushrooms, all the better to help them keep the football-watching public entertained, outraged, or amused, depending on their affiliations.

Watching Gallagher and his friends pummel various referees and their VARs to the right, The Fiver couldn’t help but long for the days when everything was simpler. Happy days when players were out of the game if the flag was raised and in position if it wasn’t. Assistant referees didn’t always get things right, because being an assistant referee is extremely difficult. But at least it didn’t take them nearly five minutes to come to a decision.

Today, advances in technology mean that we have to wait that long for a collection of worthy jobs to tinker with their squads and rules, desperately trying to find some – no, any! – how they can ignore the spirit of the law and find some barely perceptible technicality to score the kind of sweet shot most players will never score in their lives.

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Originally introduced to clear up clear and obvious mistakes, the irony that the introduction of VAR is a clear and obvious mistake has been lost on very few. But the fact is that there was widespread clamor for its introduction from countless footballers, coaches, journalists, broadcasters and football fans who either failed to foresee or chose to ignore the obvious problems it would bring and now spend an unhealthy amount of money on it. your time complaining about how terrible it is. Like Brexiteers complaining about those ridiculously long queues at passport control, these people don’t seem to realize that the refereeing mess football finds itself in is exactly what they spent years campaigning for.

“But it’s not VAR, it’s the idiots in charge of implementing it that are the problem,” The Fiver hears you cry with some justification. Some, but not many, because aside from offside calls and goal-line technology, most of the decisions that VAR has to make are subjective and therefore open to different interpretations by different players. different people… exactly the same way as before its introduction. The result? Instead of clearing things up, VAR has just provided fans who take these things too seriously with a new layer of bureaucracy on which to vent their spit-spattered fury. The cycle goes on and on, while at the grassroots level the game is suffering from a genuinely crippling umpire shortage, a problem that will eventually cause problems at the top of the pyramid.

Of course, by bringing Dermot into the studio to put all of the weekend’s controversies under a microscope, Sky Sports is only inflaming the situation, as is every other TV and radio show, further stirring the pot and ending with fans already outraged by zeroing in on mistakes. . You can’t blame them as it allows for better visualization and is much easier than analyzing the countless mistakes made by coaches and players during the match. Meanwhile, on the phone calls, the babblers and ravers will continue to light up, shouting out the odds as they pour more gasoline on the flames.


“He protected himself. He was inside the hedge. Sometimes when you have to go, you have to go. I was speechless. We are all quite shocked by the decision”: Blackfield & Langley co-head Conor McCarthy clearly believes the arbitrator was taking the pi[snip – Fiver Obvious Gags Ed] when sending off goalkeeper Connor Maseko for relieving himself in a nearby bush during the FA Cup qualifying draw with Shepton Mallet.

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“All this fuss about Jedis joining the Premier League greats on deadline day and everyone forgetting that Fulham have had one all this time. Not that they’ve tried to force that down anyone’s throat.” – Harriet Osborn.

Why is Tottenham Hotspur abbreviated as Spurs in their Premier League table? If you’re going to shorten teams, start with the league leaders” – Michael Robson (and no other child reader).

“I am intrigued by Fiver’s reference to The Rumor Mill as his half brother. [Friday’s Fiver] So many familiar questions come to mind. Do the two share a genetic relationship with Weird Uncle Fiver? Is Granny Fiver the common matriarch of him? And, perhaps most importantly, who is your dad? Perhaps pedants can weigh in.” – Mike Wilner.

“I am an avid Fiver fan, from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, in the heart of South America. As a fan and follower of the Premier League, The Fiver gives me this added understanding of the culture, idiosyncrasies and sense of humor (or not) of their country and people. Even more, The Fiver is entertaining, educational (believe it or not), witty (really witty compared to our local sports press), and most of all, I’m drawn to it (I don’t care if there are many who think otherwise), this opening sincere, provocative and cold, very often (if not always!) brimming with sarcasm and controversy. In countries like mine, saying things publicly and openly most of the time creates havoc and many may feel aggravated, insulted, their honors beaten. Oh yes, those good old ones (fuzzy and disgusting sensibilities!). The Fiver keeps reminding me that taking a brutally honest look in the mirror is usually healthy, honorable, and yes, provocative! Thank you very much and greetings!” – Jorge Harriague (and obviously no other).

Send your letters to [email protected] And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our letter without prize of the day is… Jorge Harriague (because even The Fiver needs a little love sometimes).


Oldham striker Hallam Hope has suffered “serious injuries” and required hospital treatment after being assaulted in the club’s car park following the 2-0 National League defeat to Chesterfield.

Brendan Rodgers is all for Leicester players ripping each other’s straps off, as they did during the chaotic 5-2 thrashing at Brighton. “I’m happy when that happens because they have to tell them,” Rodgers laughed. “You can’t hide behind a rock and pretend it’s not happening.”

Be aware! Diego Costa is almost back in the Premier League with Wolves, baby.

Diego Costa
Is Diego Costa heading to the Black Country? Photograph: Pedro Vilela/Getty Images

Reece James has written his name all over his new six-year contract with Chelsea. “I’m over the moon,” she sang. “I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

After six defeats and a draw in his first seven matches, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink found himself through the door marked Do One at the latest League One club, Burton Albion. “I have taken the club as far as I can with the limited resources available,” he stammered.

The EFL is “incredibly frustrated” after goal-line technology apparently packed and missed a Huddersfield equalizing goal in their loss to Blackpool.

And Arsenal will bounce back from losing to Manchester United, according to Gabriel Jesus. “Now is the time to learn from it and improve,” he reassured. “Everyone is together and we stick together until the end.”


Our WSL season previews continue apace. Today: No. 3 Brighton and No. 4 Chelsea.

Ten talking points from the weekend’s Premier League action, right here.

Jorge Mendes had a good transfer window, as usual, writes Ed Aarons.

Spivs and charlatans: the murky history of the transfer of Luis Figo to Real Madrid. By Barry Glendenning.

Erik ten Hag is bringing the feel-good factor back to Manchester United, reckons Jamie Jackson, while Barney Ronay was wowed by Antony’s cinematic qualities at Old Trafford.

Fun, glamor and mayhem: how Gazzetta Football Italia won our hearts. By AC JimboJonathan Grade.

Freiburg are at the top of the Bundesliga, reports Andy Brassell.

Rafael Leão was riding the crest of a wave in the Milan derby against Inter, writes Nicky Bandini.

'Everyone has gone surfing...'
‘Everyone has gone surfing…’ Photograph: Daniele Mascolo/Reuters

Sevilla are probably not looking forward to facing Manchester City and Erling Haaland in the Grand Cup after finding “a thousand ways to lose” 3-0 against Barcelona, ​​notes Sid Lowe.

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