Don’t moan, don’t whinge, VAR is here - almost certainly never to go away again - and fans of every top-flight club the length and breadth of the country will have to get used to it.
Yes, its annoying. There we were celebrating, hopefully, the first of many exquisite strikes from Leandro Trossard, when the ‘eye in the stand’ intervened and the referee gave an offside infringement against Dan Burn.
Ultimately the goal, however exciting and enthralling, was flawed, it was against the laws of the game so therefore was disallowed.
VAR has removed split second human error from our officials which whilst it possibly cost the Albion an extra two points on Saturday and the retention of a 100 per cent record in the Premier League, its fair and creates a level playing field which surely as football fans we all want?
Agreed, later in the day Manchester City, taking on Spurs at the Etihad Stadium, suffered the same fate as the Albion and had an injury-time winner by Gabriel Jesus (even he can’t overcome technology) ruled out for handball. Whether the handball smacked the players hand or as in the case merely brushed it, to the letter of the law its still handball, and rightly not a goal.
Obviously, its going to take time for us all to adjust to the new technology, not just the players and the managers, but the fans as well. It clearly is a hot potato and has certainly got everyone talking, which is great but my stock answer to anyone moaning is: look after 38 games in May. A well-worn cliché over the years regarding referees and linesmen was that their decisions normally evened themselves up over the course of a season, with VAR, that clearly will be the case. Or so we hope!
As for the Albion, note to one self, Harty do not get carried away, but as was pointed out to me in the gents at half time on Saturday, we appeared to play more attacking football in the first 45 minutes at the Amex on Saturday than Chris Hughton’s side did for the last three months of last season. A tad harsh? Perhaps, but clearly the Albion under Graham Potter have discarded some of their defensive shackles at the start of the season, and long may it continue, starting with the upcoming visit of Southampton to the Amex.
Still pointless after back-to-back defeats, the Saints desperately need a win, however, if the Albion continue their encouraging start to the campaign, it will be three out of three for our south coast rivals. I take the Albion to win 3-0.
On two separate occasions I’ve sat in Australia praying for rain to rescue England in an Ashes test match, neither time it happened, but last Sunday having lost nearly five full sessions to the rain in the Lord’s Test the roles were reversed, and it was the Aussies that were saved by the good old British wet stuff.
Still plenty of positives to come out of the second Test, and with the third starting at Headingley today, it really is do or die for Joe Root’s side. One nil down after the capitulation at Edgbaston, England simply must win this Test match to have any real chance of wrestling the Ashes back.
No-one likes to see a player of Steve Smith’s standing out injured but with Root and Jonny Bairstow playing on their home ground, Ben Stokes back to the form that has made him one of the best players in the world, and Sussex’s Jofra Archer exploding on to the Test scene the stage is set for a thrilling five days of cricket.
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