SPURS (H) – THE REVIEW

29/12/19

Well that was a bloody VARce. Here's Terri Westgate to talk about beautiful football, Magnificent Mario and Vile VAR.....

Random Star Performer

What a joy to see Mario Vrančić back in the starting line-up. Like getting your favourite sports car out for a Christmas drive. He was at the heart of our beautiful football, scored the opener and was robbed of one of the greatest assists ever (more to come on that…)

Moment of the Match

There were plenty of controversial moments to dissect, and by far the biggest one was that decision which overturned Pukki’s tenth goal of the season. Had it stood, we would have been two goals in front and an important and deserved three points were ready to be claimed.

Farke Watch

Changes to the team were always likely when you have two games in three days, and the first half proved the selections were right call. Bringing on Todd near the end shows that we didn’t want to settle for a draw.

Weekend Whinge 

Ok, here it is. VAR is ruining the Premier League this season, and has reduced our beautiful game to joyless exercise in an interrogation of the laws. I have seen the freeze frame of Pukki in his alleged offside position a hundred times and I still can’t believe the decision. The unadulterated explosion of joyous emotion we experienced when that wonderous ball from Mario pinged over to Teemu, along with his control and class finish was worthy of the top flight of English football. It was a goal carved out by excellent skill and a lead we deserved at that point in the game.

But no, some official miles away in a sterile room with a slide rule and magnifying glass decided that Teemu’s armpit was a centimetre ahead of the Spurs defender’s toe and therefore he had an unfair advantage. This ignores the fact that his actual feet, the appendages that will get him goalwards were quite clearly BEHIND the defender is apparently irrelevant.

HOW CAN THIS BE A FAIR INTREPRETATION OF THE LAW!?!? HOW IS THIS CLEAR AND OBVIOUS!! IT TOOK THEM TWO MINUTES TO MAKE A DECISION, IF IT WAS CLEAR AND OBVIOUS THEN IT WOULD HAVE BEEN INSTANT!!

But the unfairness of VAR doesn’t end there. In the build up to the Spurs goal, Harry Kane was in an offside position, but it was given and wasn’t reviewed.

Where is the justice in that? It’s the same law, and both resulted in a goal, so how can one be analysed to the millimetre in slow motion and the other is allowed to pass?

It was very telling that when we got the official second goal (morally third) a lot of fans were reluctant to celebrate, and many checked the screen to see if there was going to be a VAR review. Until the game restarted form the centre circle many weren’t sure if it would stand, despite seeing nothing wrong with it.

It is already killing the atmosphere at games, and could possibly be the biggest factor in our season.

Inexperience and an injury crisis we can potentially overcome, but the robotic implementation of a flawed officiating system that should have been cancelled months ago may cost the few vital points which would be the difference in staying up or relegation.

Basically, fuck VAR. And the fuck off some more.

Atmosphere Rating

Despite our position in the table and recent results, the atmosphere at the game was really good. It’s clear and obvious that the majority of fans are still completely behind this team and management. The goal celebrations before the evil eye of VAR ruined everything were superb. The only booing was for the officials, and mostly not the ones actually in the ground.

Summary

VAR is killing modern football, and has deprived Norwich of all three fully deserved points. We played some beautiful football again today, and however this seasons turns out we have always been entertained. There is an argument that we got promoted too soon, and aren’t quite ready for the Premier League, and therefore it was always going to be a struggle. It may turn out to be so. However I never thought that it would be the badly planned and executed introduction of the Video Assistant Referee that would be our ultimate downfall. If we do end the season back in the Championship we will hopefully escape the VAR hell and get back to fully enjoying football again.

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Barclay End Norwich's Thomas Markham-Uden on review duties. We were tempted to copy and paste the Blades one to be honest.....

PALACE REVIEW

02/01/20

Barclay End Norwich's Thomas Markham-Uden on another game and another goal ruined by VAR