VAR has become the centre of controversy in the Premier League once again.
Ever since the technology was introduced to England’s top-flight for the 2019/20 season, there has been controversy surrounding everything from its application and methodology to its presence at all.
Besides, the disillusionment with VAR has been so passionate at times that thousands of fans have taken to games with signs and chants to protest it being used in the Premier League, full stop.
More VAR controversy
And while there is no denying that many of VAR’s issues have been ironed out over the last three years, the weekend’s action couldn’t have made it any clearer that an element of anger still remains.
That was certainly the case during Arsenal‘s defeat to Manchester City on Saturday where Gooners felt incredibly aggrieved that they didn’t win a penalty when Martin Odegaard was felled by Ederson.
Many fans believed that VAR should have intervened to have given Arsenal a penalty just as the technology did to award the Citizens a spot-kick when Bernardo Silva was brought to ground.
Offside drama in the Premier League
And just to make matters even worse, the anger with VAR was riding the crest of a wave because of marginal offside decisions during Brentford vs City and Southampton vs Tottenham Hotspur.
Just a few days before the Arsenal drama, fans were tearing their hair out as Harry Kane was denied a goal and Phil Foden was awarded one in what appeared to be remarkably tight calls.
All in all, it made for a culmination of events that reminded us of a fantastic piece of commentary from Steve Wilson when Kane scored for Tottenham in a 4-1 win over Crystal Palace in March.
Pertinent commentary of Kane goal
‘Why?’ I hear you ask. Well, it’s because the BBC Sport commentator happened to produce one of the finest descriptions of the damaging impact that VAR has had on the game that we’ve ever heard.
With the technology checking over a goal from Kane that was clearly onside, Taylor eloquently bemoaned that “miserable geometry” was stifling a “a beautifully crafted moment of footballing joy.”
Regardless of whether we’re discussing offside decisions or missed penalties, the overall point of Taylor’s argument will always feel pertinent, so be sure to brilliant commentary down below:
Does hating how VAR impacts the game make me some sort of footballing dinosaur?
Sums up VAR’s worrying impact
Maybe so, but Taylor’s commentary still hits hard almost a year on when the minutae of VAR – albeit in different guises and forms – continues to hang over enthralling and entertaining games.
Mercifully, the dingly, dangly offside lines have been dialled back this season, but the moral of Taylor’s story remains because it’s clear that VAR is still hurting many fans’ enjoyment of the game.
And whether it’s the application of lines or checking some incidents and not others, it’s the fine prints and inconsistent details that are leaving fans so frustrated with its impact on beautiful moments.
Arsenal vs Man City Match Reaction (Football Terrace)
The overall premise of VAR is something we can all get behind because nobody wants terrible refereeing errors, but its current existence leaves a lot to be desired in terms of clarity and reliability.
Whether that’s down to the laws of the game, the officials or the technology itself, one can’t help feeling that VAR simply hasn’t worked as planned in the Premier League. At least, not yet.
At the end of the day, practice makes perfect, so maybe this is all a necessary evil, but ‘miserable geometry’ on tackles and offsides is leaving VAR in bad shape from every angle you look.