Monday, August 10, 2020

Premier League fans will have to get used to VAR

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 12 Aug 2019

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Technology can be a wonderful thing. Where would we be without it? Well for the you wouldn’t be sitting reading this editorial. Anyway, Technology can make a lot of things better. Whether it can make football better remains to be seen.

The introduction of VAR to the Premier League this weekend created a number of talking points. The system certainly underwent a thorough examination.

There to eradicate human error

The system is there to eradicate human error. However, in many of the decisions that used VAR to decide the outcome, the margin for error was very small.

The West Ham/Manchester City game was a good example. There were three big decisions decided by the system. In truth, none of them was clear errors from the officials. They certainly not ‘oh my word’ what a terrible decision that would have been without VAR.

Cannot slow down the game too much

The biggest problem that Premier League fans have had with VAR so far is that it slows down the pace of the game. The English top-flight is one of the fastest leagues in the world. It is the pace and the excitement that attracts fans from worldwide to watch the games.

The Premier League would not be as attractive to watch if the games were slow and boring. That is what officials must strive to achieve, the balance between getting the correct results and the pace of the game.

The game at the Olympic Stadium involving West Ham and City was a prime example. The decisions arguably took too long to make. With time no doubt this aspect will improve as officials become more accustomed to the system. If the decision-making prospect is performed in a quick manner, I am sure fans will start to tolerate, if not like that system in the near future.

VAR is here to stay

Love it or loathe VAR is here to stay. Football has to move forward and progress with the times. It has proven successful in other sports and I am sure with time, it will prove to be cumbersome.

Some fans have made the rather unfair comparison with American football and the NFL, where decisions can take a good while to make. However, sure football is too fast-paced to get drawn into the same traps as its US cousin?

If it is not, then a lot of people will be turned off by the sport. Some will even stop watching it. However, surely as spectators we want the officials to make the right decisions? We all want the right results and officials to adjudge incidents in a correct manner. Unfortunately, over the last decade, there has been a sharp decline in the quality of officials.

The current crop of officials in the Premier League are poor and make far too many mistakes. The introduction of VAR should help them out and remove some of the blame attached to some horrendous decisions.

Hopefully, the decision will make the Premier League better, rather than the system being criticised. Its introduction is not the end of the world or the Premier League that some fans are making it out to be.

Will VAR help improve the Premier League eventually?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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