It was a weekend dominated by VAR yet again.
I happened to have the chance to go to the VAR office and have a conversation with the guys responsible for it. They explained to me how it works, with the two referees and one computer operation person, who changes the angles to help the referees see the incident as clearly as possible to help them make the right decision.
One of my thoughts lately is that the time they take to come to a decision is killing the game, even though they are trying to do the best they can to inform the referee on the pitch as fast as they can. They told me they can’t do it too quickly or they will miss things. But as players and fans have to wait, that moment of euphoria when your team scores a goal will start to fade.
So of course I brought up the situation at Everton where both players were focused on the ball, and the defender stood on the attacker’s foot. It wasn’t intentional and you could see both players’ eyes were locked on the ball, but they still gave the decision. That was really crazy.
Now at the weekend we saw another incident in the Liverpool v Man City game. In the lead up to the first goal there were two handballs. I remember at the beginning of the season they said whenever the ball touches a player’s hand they would call it. Alexander-Arnold’s was so obvious that many people saw it in real-time, and I thought that if the ref had missed it, at least the VAR team will be in his ear telling him to stop the game.
Nothing happened, Liverpool counterattacked and ended up scoring at the other end. I have to ask where do you draw the line, because the game is getting killed now. When is it a handball and when do we keep playing?
I would love to see a neutral ex-pro player in there with the referees to have their say, as that extra perspective could help clear a lot of things up.
The game is played at such a high temp and so much is at stake that a mistake from the officials could change the game and the outcome of the season for a team.
That is exactly what happened at the weekend in the biggest game of the season so far. I know Liverpool has the better team and I thought they were going to win from the start, but please allow both teams to fight for the win fairly. When you say you haven’t seen a handball then I ask my self what are you watching up there, because it clearly was not the game. If you don’t believe me ask Pep. #mmlove