Checking in with an Actifit report today but padding the post out with the new piece of kit brought into the Premier League this past weekend, VAR.
VAR, in case you've missed it, stands for video assistant referee but is actually a team of people who review potential cock-ups by the main referee by watching replays - not on the big screen like everyone else (including some referees) has been doing for years.
Goals (and violations in the build-up to them), penalties, red cards and accidental bookings of the wrong players are the main incidents to be reviewed, and for decisions made by the referee to be overturned, there must be a clear mistake.
Both the referee and the team watching the game can request a review, at which point the fans go for a leak while the team repeated rewind the incident and decide if a clear error has been made. The referee can then act on the teams decision and change their mind, go for a look at the incident, stay with their original call.
I've been hunting for some data and used the link below to put together a summary table how often VAR was used this weekend in the premier league.
|Liverpool 4-1 Norwich||5||0|
|West Ham 0-5 Manchester City||7||2|
|Burnley 3-0 Southampton||6||0|
|Watford 0-3 Brighton||6||0|
|Bournemouth 1-1 Sheffield Utd||6||0|
|Tottenham 3-1 Aston Villa||7||0|
|Leicester 0-0 Wolves||1||1|
|Manchester United 4-0 Chelsea||5||0|
|Crystal Palace 0-0 Everton||6||0|
|Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle||1||0|
Summarised from https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/49307496
Was that a busy weekend or are 50 checks going to be the average? We'll need more weeks data to find out if that is the case but 50 (an average of 5 per game) sounds like a lot to me. At 30 seconds that's 25 minutes extra, but the majority seemed to last at least that long and if you add the cock-up with the headset during the Liverpool game which added 5 minutes alone, this delay is going to add hours to the total length of the games each season?
Personally, I'm OK with VAR and have stated previously that I'd rather wait a minute or so for the correct decision to be made, that watch some cheating b$$$$$$$ on the opposition fall over his own feet and win the game with a penalty.
What do you think? VAR, or post then bar?