VAR is here to stay: how should we feel?

VAR is here to stay: how should we feel?

Credit: @laythy29

VAR is here to stay: how should we feel?

The Premier League’s much-anticipated vote on whether to abolish VAR delivered a resounding result as 19 clubs voted against the motion. 

In the end, it was only Wolves who backed the idea which you might say they had to, given that they were the club that proposed it. 

Can't turn back now 

The Premier League has invested far too much in VAR to rule it obsolete now. 

While they might not have seen a meaningful return on their investment yet, The Premier League are playing the long game hoping it will pay off. Indeed, the inalienable truth in life is that you normally have to invest sizeable amounts to get something out.

Of course, iGamers might be reading this and eager to point out that there are instances where you can get something valuable without any upfront cost, like no-deposit casino bonus offers that provide the chance to hit the jackpot without spending anything. While valid, it is very much the exception and not the norm; success typically comes at a price.

The wider point is that VAR is here to stay which means technology will continue to run its eye over the most minuscule detail in the build-up to a goal. 

The sun shines on Adams

At least, consider Tony Adam’s goal against Everton in 1998 when the centre-back - somewhat inexplicably, made a surging run through the Toffees' defence to latch onto a pass from Steve Bould. 

To everyone's surprise, Arsenal’s captain found himself clean through on goal but needed only two touches before the ball cannoned into the back of the Everton goal. 

In a stadium of 38,269 people, Adams was briefly alone as he stretched out his arms, closed his eyes, and lifted his head to the bright blue May skies; the spring sun shone down on one of Arsenal's favourite sons. 

Yes, Adams’ goal meant Arsenal were going to win the league, but it also meant redemption for a man who had been fighting a battle off the pitch. Adams had won and given hope to millions around the world. 

It is one of the most iconic moments in Arsenal’s history but you might conclude on closer inspection, that Adams had three touches, as the ball grazed his hand on its way to the ground. Did it make a difference? Probably not. Should the goal have stood? Certainly. But would VAR have ruled it out? Yes.

The king returns 

Fast forward 13 years to the Emirates Stadium in a game against Leeds United during the third round of the FA Cup. Up until the 68th minute, the game was fairly unremarkable with the score stuck at 0-0. 

Ordinarily, there would have been consternation on the terraces at making heavy weather of a straightforward tie against a Championship team, but it didn’t matter on this particular night.

The circumstances allowed for an expectant mood as Thierry Herny was about to make a return to the club he left four years ago. When Arsene Wenger sent the Frenchman onto the pitch, there was a sense that a fairytale might unfold.  

It came just ten minutes later as Henry finished cooly past Andy Lonergan. Jon Champion let the sound of a disbelieving Emirates fill the air before eventually saying 'he might be cast in Bronze but he’s still able to produce golden moments.’ 

It was an outcome that always seemed inevitable looking back but on closer inspection, it appears as if Henry did not spring the offside trap in time. Admittedly, Leeds’ left-back Aidan White is slow to get out but Henry’s forward-leaning torso would have caused an excited murmur in Stockley Park had VAR been around. 


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