VAR success and failures for the EPL 2019/2020 season.

It was exciting to watch last season’s English premier league come to an end with last weekend’s games. As usual, there was enough drama for the final day of the season to fill our minds. From Aston Villa’s survival of relegation to the Red devil and the blues coming 3rd and 4th respectively.

Also, let’s not forget Liverpool’s brilliant and super performance all through the season. However, I can’t help but think about how different the league table could have been considering the VAR (video assistant referee) problems. The VAR success and failures for the EPL 2019/2020 season boiled down to its use in the English premier league as we look back.

VAR was brought into football to help reduce errors and make more decisions correctly. But many of the premier league coaches and fans would agree that it did not meet those standards. Maybe you too can find a match or two where VAR did not give your team the right decision.

Comparing VAR’s decisions during the last season, you would agree that VAR’s success and failures are few and far between. As a result, the League board and Referee union should review and adjust to make it better for next season.

Var success and failures for the EPL 2019/2010 season

 

1. Goals Confirmation

There was a big moment during the return match between Aston Villa and Sheffield United. In the 42nd-minute of the game, the Claret’s goalkeeper Orjan Nyland stumbled with Oliver Norwood’s free-kick and fell backward with the ball over the goal-line. The blades celebrated afterward with their sight on qualification for Europe. But the joy of the players was cut short as Goal-line technology failed to accept the goal.

However, everyone on the blade’s side hoped for VAR clarification as the referee waved for play to continue. Why VAR did not stop the game and correct the referee’s decision to play on is still hard to understand. “It was a clear and obvious error,” and an important decision at the time of the game. This caused the blade’s 2 points and probably saved Villa from relegation. It is without saying that for next season, VAR should also check and confirm for goals. 

2. Pitch Side Monitor

“The referees that are on the pitch are not making the most important decisions of the game”. Those words were from Jose Mourinho after the game between Spurs against Man City. Each football match has a unique emotion as the play goes on.

VAR was brought in to help the referee make the right decisions and not make the decisions for them. So I don’t understand why the league decided to limit the use of the pitchside monitors.

Meanwhile, some decisions will always fall to the referee’s discretion. So why should the referee not in the stadium make those decisions? Next season, the referees on the pitch should decide what situations they would like to confirm by using the pitchside monitor. That would be the most rational decision, to keep control of the match with the referee on the pitch.

3. Offside

VAR had great success in applying the offside rule. As VAR draws up the line on the screen, onside or offside situations were clear for all to see. However, there were some arguments if there was an advantage of a foot or armpit offside.

But in the real sense, that had to do with the rule, not VAR. VAR did its job the way it was planned for the offside situations. For example, Aubameyang’s equalizer at Old Trafford showed how useful VAR was for offside decisions.

4. Time Used

One of the situations nearly everyone agrees about VAR is the amount of time it takes. Long breaks during a match can quickly kill the tempo and intensity of the game. So VAR has to reach its decision faster than it did for the previous season. We have already seen some improvements.

However, next season has to be better. The goal canceled by VAR at the king’s power stadium when the Foxes hosted Wolves took 1:38 seconds to get the decision; that time was too long. It has to be better for the 2020/2021 season.

5. Consistency

The consistency of decisions is key to accepting VAR decisions. Similar situations should get the same type of decisions. But we saw a lot of difference during the concluded season. A penalty this week, next week, no penalty, it’s hard to take even as a fan.

Moreover, as we have seen, these decisions can be important at the end of the season. Besides, the laws should be as transparent as possible, to help VAR make the right call. Listening to post-match interviews of coaches and players, their complaints are mostly about getting consistent decisions. And it is easy to understand their position.

Bottom Line

The EPL is a huge brand, and VAR should improve the league, not the other way. Let’s remember the match between Foxes and Wolves after VAR canceled the goal scored. There was a massive cheer from the spectators.

This was not VAR’s aim, so the EPL has to sort its challenges to get the best out of it. Most importantly, most fans have accused VAR of reducing the passion associated with the game. Without its passion, what will be left of our beloved EPL?

Photo Credits: Marcin Kadziolka / Shutterstock.com

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