Category Archives: Video

Are Video Assistant Referee (VARs) Good or Bad for English Football?

Are VARs Good or Bad for English Football

Over the coming six months, the Video Assistant Referee will become a regular feature of our television screens and back pages. The FA Cup, Carabao Cup and finally the Premier League will all begin utilising the technology during that time, as will the World Cup finals in Russia next year.

There’s no doubt that the three officials on the pitch need help; they always have. No official has previously called every decision correctly. An interesting documentary on BT Sport “Ref: Stories from the Weekend” underlined how much of the job is guesswork.


It should come as no surprise that decisions are given on the balance of probabilities. How can an official be expected to keep up with play when footballers cover the pitch at speeds close to Olympic sprinters? The only surprise is how many they get right under those circumstances.

VAR was decided upon as the best solution to the problem. The question for everyone involved in the game is whether it is the right answer. Until Europe’s major leagues and tournaments, along with the World Cup and other international championships, have run with VARs for several seasons, we won’t know.

Some object to technology in football, full stop. However, with clubs using more and more themselves in monitoring and assessing players, it’s only natural that we will see the authorities increase the on-pitch presence. Goal-line technology came first and to date, no major controversies have arisen. No ‘goals’ have proven to be phantoms nor has a ‘goal’ been ruled as not crossing the line.

The issue of speed might be better solved by having a referee in each half, along with two more assistant referees running the line each side of the pitch. That’s an extra six eyes on the action and enough to pick up most transgressions.

No experiments were carried out on any significant scale to see if that proved the case, not least because no solution could be found to the problem of subjectivity. Two referees will interpret the rules differently with a genuine concern about the even-handedness of this scenario.

But subjectivity hasn’t gone away with VAR’s. Now you have a second official off the pitch with the benefit of television replays interpreting the information from the screen. There’s no guarantee they will make the right decisions; a bad refereeing call is still a bad refereeing call no matter how many tv screens flicker in front of you.

Inevitably, as the VAR makes more decisions, the authority of the on-pitch official diminishes. It won’t be tough for a player to question the official’s decisions if the VAR is continually over-ruling them.

One thing we can’t allow is the match officials confidence to be sapped by the presence of the VAR. There can be no ‘copping out’ of decision-making; referees cannot avoid decisions in the four designated areas by thinking ‘that’s the purview of the VAR, let them make the call’; it can’t work with the abdication of responsibility.

With more eyes on the game, foul play from both teams might be expected to fall. No more will

there a ‘Hand of God’. If VAR works properly, purists will lose out on iconic moments in football’s history and in this instance, any England fan alive at the time won’t shed tears.

Where VAR may score highly in this sense is diving. ‘Simulation’ or whatever the authorities classify it as, is a blight. In the Premier League fixture between Burnley and Tottenham, Dele Alli attacked the Clarets penalty area. As he strode through, he hung out his leg so that it made contact with the defender rather than the Burnley player instigating a foul.

It’s diving pure and simple. Subtler than one where a forward deliberately dives over a leg or feigns contact but still diving. That con-trick can be eliminated if the VAR is brave enough to call it every time. Few match officials are, so it represents something of a watershed moment for the sport if the problem is solved.

Ultimately, the VAR will be judged on their accuracy of their calls. With the sums of money currently swirling around the game, not using the available technology almost borders on criminal. If we get the right decisions consistently, we’ll wonder why VARs weren’t introduced before.

While we all love to argue about whether the referee’s decision cost us the game, we would rather they got it right. VAR is aimed at taking the guesswork out of the equation and relieving the almost unrelenting pressure on referees.

Who knows where we will go from here. Maybe hearing from referees after a game? Let’s not push it too far; we took a long time to get to this moment in time…

(WATCH) Di Maria On Fire (3 Assists and 1 Goal), Toying With The World Champions

Manchester United’s new signing Angel Di Maria is making all good headlines. First it was his record breaking move from Real Madrid to Old Trafford that made all headlines, now it’s his super human performance against the World champions Germany in an international friendly that has put him in spotlight again.

Left footed winger literally toyed with the German defenders, conjuring 3 wonderful assists and also scoring a well-taken goal. His pace and trickery was too much to handle for the German defenders. The game ended 4-2 in the favor of Argentina. Perfect revenge for the World Cup final defeat, in which Di Maria didn’t feature.

It looks like Manchester United has made a stunning business by signing Di Maria. If the tricky Argentinian can bring in such high-level performances for his new club on a regular basis, then United will have a good chance of finishing top four again. He can form a formidable partnership with the likes of van Persie, Rooney and Falcao.

Watch his assists and goal vs Germany here,


Freebie: Why Arsenal MUST Sign This Out Of Contract World Cup Star

At 28 years of age, Guillermo Ochoa has a decent level of experience already under his belt. However, with goalkeepers often playing beyond 40 the Mexico international may have another decade or so in the professional game. You get the feeling that his next move will be his biggest, and that could see him end up at Premier League outfit Arsenal.

The Mexico international put in an inspirational performance against World Cup hosts Brazil on Tuesday and sparked rumours with numerous Champions League clubs due to the fact he is now without a club.

Should Arsenal land the former Ajaccio shot-stopper, then I think they would be getting a real gem.

The freebie made six incredible saves against Phil Scolari’s men earlier in the week, which is the sort of form that he had previously been showing in the French second division but he fancies his chances at a bigger club.

They don’t come much bigger than Arsenal, and with Lukasz Fabianski leaving for Swansea this summer there will be a chance he gets a decent handful of games.

Signing a world-class goalkeeper on a free transfer on the back of some sensational performances at the World Cup, just months after you lose your second-choice keeper – what’s not to look forward to.

Manchester United Offer Mammoth Deal To La Liga Defender With 171 Clearances – Player Report

Manchester United need a major overhaul this summer in terms of players, which means that it’s not ideal that new boss Louis van Gaal is in Brazil, taking charge of his native Holland. The Netherlands manager has a team back at Old Trafford, though, trying to sort out the recruitment. The reason I know this is because the Daily Star are reporting the club have offered a mega deal to Atletico Madrid centre-back Joao Miranda in an attempt to lure him to Manchester.

The Brazilian is 29 years of age and would go some way to replacing Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, who have both confirmed that they will be departing this summer.

Miranda has a £24.2 million buy-out clause in his contract and is said to want to leave the La Liga champions, and I think United would be the perfect destination for him.

Van Gaal currently has Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling to choose from in the centre of defence, if you count the latter as a centre-half, so Miranda would probably be the one he builds the defence around.

Unlike the aforementioned trio, Miranda loves to get the ball down and play it, but only if those around him are looking for the pass. He played 32 league games for Atletico in their title winning season last time out and completed 80% of his passes. He also made 171 clearances, 69 tackles, and 33 interceptions.

It’s a big yes from me.

Germany International Wants To Play For Manchester United – Player Report

Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have formed one of the most formidable defensive partnerships in recent history and to have them both leave at the same time will obviously have an impact on Manchester United. However, they will be boosted by the news that Mats Hummels of Borussia Dortmund has supposedly said that he’d like to play for the Old Trafford outfit.

Hummels is a player that is in a similar mould to that of Rio Ferdinand in his prime, in the way he brings the ball down open his body up and play it to a more creative team-mate. Last season he completed just over 81% of his passes.

He’s also willing to run with the ball and take players on, which can be dangerous, though he has mastered the trait. In the Bundesliga last term, Hummels made 28 successful dribbles in 23 games, had 21 shots on goal and scored twice. He also claimed two assists.

For a centre-back, that’s extraordinary.

He is also strong in the tackle, like Vidic, and can hold his own in the air. Hummels made 134 league clearances, 57 interceptions and 47 tackles.

He really is the best of both worlds and I think if United get him it would be a huge signing.

Why This 24-Goal Striker Is The Player To Make Arsenal Title Contenders Next Season

Different groups of supporters are used to different things. Real Madrid fans demand the very best and expect their players to run themselves into the ground for the cause, and when it doesn’t happen they often get frustrated. Karim Benzema found out that if you don’t comply with the fans’ wishes, they will make your time at the club as difficult as they can.

Benzema isn’t one to chase loose balls or put his back out to help defensively but he does score goals. He picks his runs, darts across defenders and is strong in the air. He scored 24 goals last season, which takes his tally to 111 goals in 235 games, yet some fans still haven’t taken to him.

He wouldn’t get that at Arsenal.

The Gunners have needed additional firepower for some time now and are only interested in goals, something which I think would see the France international thrive.

Benzema can score from all over the pitch – he can create space for himself in and around the box and has a stinging shot on him.

With nimble players around him, such as Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla, I think he would change the capital side into serious title contenders.

Arsenal fans, would you like to see him at the Emirates next season?  

Arsenal In Talks With Brazilian Centre-Back – Why He Should Be Brought In To Replace Vermaelen

Arsenal are said to be in talks with Gremio over a summer move for 21-year-old centre-half Bressan. I am in belief that the young defender would be a shrewd signing for the Gunners for a number of reasons, but only as long as Thomas Vermaelen is shown the exit over the next few months.

I have been calling for Arsenal to sign an up-and-coming centre-back for a long time now and I think this one fits the bill.

The reason I suggest that is Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are almost the perfect pairing at the back, and Vermaelen’s career has suffered because of that.

Replacing him with a younger model would allow him to learn from the first choice duo and slowly be introduced into the frame.

Bressan is a player that I have followed closely over the past year or so and he ticks a lot of boxes for me. The Gremio player has a lot of pace and is exceptional in the tackle, while also holding a towering presence when competing in the air.

To summarise, I would offload Vermaelen and try my hardest to sign the young Brazilian.

Louis Brown