They say controversy creates cash but when it comes to the chaos that is VAR, it would appear as if it’s costing football more than helping it.
In places like Spain it seems as if VAR is going pretty well, but as reported by BBC and The Independent, the same cannot be said of the Premier League and that was on display during Liverpool’s narrow 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at the weekend.
Knocking the confidence
Sadio Mane gave Liverpool the lead in the first half after the ball bounced off of Adam Lallana’s shoulder in the build-up to the goal. The goal was checked by VAR, and while it was given, some thought Virgil van Dijk also handled the ball before playing the initial pass. Then, Pedro Neto’s equaliser was ruled out as a result of a very marginal offside from Jonny Otto. Wolves kept knocking at the door but they couldn’t quite get through, as the Reds extended their lead at the top of the table to 13 points.
Wolves captain Conor Coady had the following to say on the VAR controversy.
“We feel massively hard done by. I can’t get my head around it. It is ridiculous.
“For me it is not working. Some people are saying it gets the right decision but we’re the players on the pitch and it doesn’t feel right to me.
“Anthony Taylor is a great fella to speak to but I ask a question and I don’t get an answer. We thought Van Dijk handballed it, but the referee tells me Van Dijk is too far away. He played the pass. VAR is affecting the game, you can hear the fans singing about it. No-one has asked us about it.
Questions being raised again
“It is still confusing, I can’t get my head around it, you don’t get answers on the pitch.”
The pinpoint nature of VAR is certainly a bit misleading as this system was brought in to eradicate clear and obvious mistakes – not toenails or armpits ensuring that somebody is offside.
Away from VAR, though, this was a pretty big result for both clubs. Liverpool were able to ensure that they go into 2020 with an unbelievably strong lead at the top of the Premier League, with many crowning them champions before we’ve even hit January.
Wolves, on the other hand, are contenders for the top four and it’s time for critics to stop pretending otherwise. They have one of the best squads in the league and play some of the best football in the top flight too, and if they can bring in a few new faces during the transfer window, it seems like a certainty that they’ll be playing European football again next season.
With a full set of fixtures to enjoy on New Year’s Day there is no time to sit and rest, but if you happen to be going out and enjoying the festivities tonight, we hope you have a great time as we all bid farewell to 2019.