VAR: A System Killing the Joy of Football?

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Remember the good old days, before VAR? Less stress, more flowing football, and pure, unadulterated enjoyment? Yeah, me too. VAR, this supposed game-changer, has become one of the most divisive elements in the Premier League.

A few years in, and it’s still riddled with controversy. Just look at the outrage over the wrongly disallowed Liverpool goal against Tottenham! Even with audio exposes of the confusion at Stockley Park (VAR HQ), the system seems determined to leave us scratching our heads.

And that’s just one high-profile blunder. Many teams have been on the wrong end of dubious decisions this season.  Manchester World even went so far as to put together a whole new Premier League table without VAR’s meddling!

While West Ham’s league position wouldn’t change, VAR decisions have certainly caused some drama for the Hammers this season. A controversial red card for Nayef Aguerd against Chelsea could have been a turning point, potentially costing them vital points.

VAR also intervened in their March clash with Aston Villa, disallowing two goals, including a potential last-gasp winner. The decisions, particularly the handball call on Tomas Soucek, were agonizingly slow and left a sour taste for West Ham fans.

These incidents highlight the inconsistency of VAR and its potential to swing points in the Premier League. While some decisions might benefit West Ham, others, like the ones mentioned, can be momentum-killers and leave a sense of injustice.

Look, I’m all for fairness, but VAR seems to be sucking the life out of the beautiful game. Is it really worth the constant stoppages, the agonising replays, and the lingering doubts about every close call? Maybe it’s time to admit VAR isn’t the answer, and go back to a time when football was a bit more, well, fun

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  • Hammeroo says:

    Agree with you, Simon. I absolutely hate VAR. Every time I hear “VAR are looking at it” I go “oh, here we go again!”

    If it has to go back several passes and take so long to see if they can find a foul or an offside to disallow a goal, then you know this system is definitely not the answer. It really has, as you say, sucked the life out of the game.

  • Steve Infield says:

    I immediately remember a Liverpool goal v WHU, where Salah(?) was at least 2 yards offside next to the right edge, and right under the linesman’s eyes, yet the goal stood.
    And there were LOADS of others.
    I’m HUGELY pro VAR, but it is the implementation that is the problem:

    If it is v close, and takes longer than 30 secs, increase the area by 1 foot. If the striker is in that area, he is onside.

    Ball to hand = no handball.
    Hand to ball = foul.
    Recently, Emerson (v Spurs at the LS??) had been pointing for another player to cover a space to his right.
    So his arm was away from his body.
    Meanwhile, the opposition player kicked the ball and it struck his hand.
    Ref sensibly didn’t give it, thank goodness.
    I think far too many handballs are given when a player clearly hasn’t deliberately handled the ball.
    Again, if VAR cannot decide in 30 secs, it is not a foul.

    Football is SO useless at implementing anything. Tennis and rugby have had VAR for decades.

    Other points:
    Let the match minutes stop and start during the match. No more injury or extra time; the match finishes when the clock runs out… or when the ball next goes out of play or offside etc.

    This means matches are reduced to 80 mins or by even more, because ball-in-play time is v significantly less 90 mins.

    Also, maybe let’s hear what the ref is saying during the game, like in rugby.

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