I watched Match of the Day last night and despite rarely agreeing with Alan Shearer, I couldn’t help but thoroughly nod my head in agreement with his utter disdain at the decision making for the Watford v Totts game, because once again this season VAR wasn’t used properly and the whole world could see just how ridiculous the system is.
Actually that’s not fair, because it’s not the ‘system’ that is wrong, it’s the human beings in charge of the system that is wrong.
Firstly, we have the worst set of referees on the planet that manage our games on the pitch. Idiots like Marriner, Antony Taylor and Mike Dean are a joke to the profession. Then you have a horrendous referee in his day as the guy who looks after all of the referees, in Mike Riley, which only compounds the misery to know he is the one holding them all to account! Finally, they have decided that despite the terrible selection of referees we have, we should take those referees and give them an additional job in Stockley Park round the corner from me, to be the VAR match officials. Finally, as Shearer pointed out, we have pitch side monitors which are there for the referees that they don’t even frigging use! It is an absolute farce and whilst the whole world is scratching it’s head this morning and wondering how Watford haven’t won with the support of technology, the Tony Totts have ONCE AGAIN had VAR go for them when they really shouldn’t have. I’ll remind you of the quite obvious penalty at the Etihad in which Lamela brought down a City player inside the box and for some reason (Michael Oliver I think it was) the referee decided no action. Then, in the same game we see a ‘handball’ by Otamendi that is ruled out. Have a look here on about one minute 50 on the video on this page. How on earth was that ruled out, yet yesterday Deli Alli knocking the ball with his arm before scoring was perfectly legitimate?
It strikes me that the VAR has become almost as much of a joke as the competence of English referees and despite it supposedly getting more decisions wrong, what we’re going to see is stoppages that last a few minutes, fans not being able to check properly, followed by incorrect decisions anyway. So what has VAR done so far as we’ve hit the quarter mark in the season? Made the game longer, fans and pundits more annoyed, and teams not getting the justice that it was supposed to bring. Let’s not forget that Watford already look like they’re in a battle this season and if they go down by a point or two, then they’ll rightly feel like they have a case to say that VAR has cost them a heck of a lot of money.
Of course I’m completely biased in my distaste for Tottenham, but they are getting a heck of a lot of the ‘rub of the green’ so far already this season. I’ll not call conspiracy at all, as I don’t think there is one, but it does seem like it’s giving them a lot of advantages this season and I just hope the boot appears on the other foot at some stage.
All of this – 500 odd words in – and I still haven’t even spoken about The Arsenal yet. That’s probably because there’s not a lot to say really. We got one result in our favour – even if it should have been a Spurs defeat – in the draw they had against Watford and as much as I don’t like Liverpool, we have to be behind them today away to United. If Liverpool can bet United at Old Trafford, then it does give us an opportunity to get more distance between those teams. Chelski and Leicester are going strong and Leicester look to be a force to be reckoned with this season, but i’ll always be looking at Spurs and United as the main rivals until it feels like they are plenty of distance away from us.
There’s the usual pre game content in the shape of a match preview on the official site but little else on there other than the players training. Lacazette is listed as a doubt but I reckon he’ll make the bench. If Sheffield United cause us problems and we need an answer from one of our experienced pros, having someone like him as an option on the bench seems sensible. But we’ll need to be aware of those overlapping centre halves of Sheffield United – more on that and a predicted line up tomorrow. For now I’ll just leave you all in the same stewing mood that I’m in with regards to VAR 😉
Catch you tomorrow.