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Brady hammers VAR

When Michail Antonio spoke out against VAR he was simply reflecting the feelings of everybody at the London Stadium according to vice chair Karren Brady.

Immediately after the game following an absurd decision which claimed his head was offside following a perfectly good goal from Tomas Soucek the brilliant Mikey declared:  “I really dislike VAR, I really dislike it. This season so many things have not gone our way.”

Now Brady has made it clear that we are in a situation where the rons have been hammered by the video assistant referee times upon number.

Writing in her column to  Sun Theshe said: “Too right things have not gone our way. We are now the joint-worst affected­ Premier League side this season, alongside Sheffield United, in terms of VAR decisions.

VAR was brought in to reduce the number of innocent mistakes a referee makes during a game.

I understand that completely. With so much at stake, the pressure on the refs to get 100 per cent of decisions right is overwhelming.

And it’s not only the money that matters — with £2.4million per place (top club earning £159m and the bottom club £94.2m), the cost of relegation and massive financial benefits of the European places.

But in this strangest of football seasons, it is clear VAR has not corrected those mistakes. It has made its own.

Maybe in the next century they will find the buried bones of past Premier League clubs, cast adrift by some ludicrous decisions that sent them into the abyss. Otherwise known as the Championship.

Admittedly, the crowd on Wednesday night at London Stadium in these strangest of times, was just 20 directors, the extended subs on the bench and about 100 press. But we waited almost four minutes for VAR to come to a decision about Tomas Soucek’s goal.

It’s an unusual atmosphere being in an empty stadium watching a match but one of the few advantages is you can hear Gary Neville’s TV commentary from inside the stadium while you are in your seat.

At one point during those four minutes, I heard him say to the millions watching at home that if it takes this long for VAR to make a decision, then the goal should stand.

Common sense if I ever heard it. But as we are finding out, common sense is not a factor of VAR. The goal was ruled offside because Antonio — lying on his back, facing away from the goal — was at the same time deemed to be interfering with play.

Rules are rules, even the ludicrous ones.

Rules like handball, intentional or not, voiding goals.

Rules like your eyelashes being offside ruling out goals.

VAR was brought in to make 100 per cent of the ref’s decisions right but that’s not happened.

One man’s judgment, the ref’s, has been replaced by another man’s judgment — the man watching the video.

As we found out at Spurs when their handball (incidentally watched for a matter of seconds by VAR and not the four minutes we endured at London Stadium for the Soucek goal) was deemed unacceptable.

VAR was brought in to rule out inconsistences but still the inconsistences prevail. The whole point of VAR was to eliminate the referee’s individual mistake.

In reality, the buck has just passed to another referee who is not even in the stadium.

It is incredibly frustrating.

After watching us have a goal taken away, then giving away a soft penalty to go 1-0 down, most clubs would give up.

But not us. We just kept fighting, we kept going and we got the victory.

But the truth is VAR has been against us all season.

Even at an early Premier League meeting this year, when they reviewed the VAR decisions and admitted they got West Ham’s wrong, there was no apology.

We did what we did on Wednesday night.

Claretandhugh says: VAR has to go. It merely needs the subject to be put on a chairman’s meeting agenda and a majority of 14 for that to happen. Can there be anybody who believes this has improved the game.? Surely not. There was so much discussion about whether this should happen ahead of the season and we have always believed the controversies thrown up by rethe game and formerly settled by the ref was all part of the game. Waiting anything up to four minutes to decide a goal cannot stand is not and never should be. Many inside the London Stadium have made the point as Gary neville to us privately – that if a decision cannot be made within 60 seconds then the goal should stand. VAR is disfiguring a great game and needs to be scrapped. 

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

6 comments on “Brady hammers VAR

  1. I don’t often agree with Brady but she made one statement that is bang on.
    “In reality, the buck has just passed to another referee who is not even in the stadium.”
    As the decision was being reviewed I thought they were saying Souceks foot was offside. Calling Mickey offside and interfering with play is just about EVERYTHING that is wrong with VAR.

  2. It’s not VAR that’s the problem it’s the idiots operating it who show no common sense. I totally agree if it is so close that it takes more than 60 seconds to adjudicate then the original decision should stand. They also need to look at this new handball rule.

  3. Maybe if VAR was adapted it could provide the benefit it was meant to be… what if it could only be replayed in real time, not slow mo/freeze frame, and do away with the forensic line drawing nonsense which saps time and spirit of the game. Close calls would be given then, only obvious mistakes ruled differently which is how it should be, obvious mistakes corrected.

  4. VAR is supposed to operate on clear and obvious errors. There should be a time limit of 1 minute at most, otherwise the decision stands.

  5. How many touches after someone is deemed offside are allowed? Ignored call from five minutes ago to reverse a goal? No end to this illogical use of VAR.
    How about having challenges like in tennis? Two per match for each team, requested live by the players on the pitch. Hand goes up for an offside or a call. Wrong, lose your challenge. Right, keep your challenge and get the call.

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