Tag Archives: VAR

The inconsistency of VAR

Consistency. That’s all we ask for.

I have no issue with the Nicolas Pepe penalty decision against Sheffield United. As long as VAR is consistent.

Next time a referee points to the spot after Jamie Vardy, Son or Wilfried Zaha initiate contact and goes down, I expect VAR to intervene and overturn the decision.

Likewise I understand why Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was sent off against Crystal Palace. But since then how many other similar challenges have occurred and VAR has decided not to issue a red card?

VAR should not only exist to overturn “clear and obvious errors” but should also ensure a greater level of consistency in decision making. What is a penalty or red card in one game should be a penalty or red card in the next.

We have already seen with the Aubameyang red card that VAR lacks inconsistency. There have been at least 2 similar challenges since VAR upgraded yellow to red. In neither case was a red card issued.

We also know that between now and the end of the season, Vardy, Son or Zaha will go down under similar circumstances as Pepe. The ref will point to the spot and VAR will fail to overturn the penalty.

The problem with VAR is not the technology. It is those interpreting the incident.

An individuals interpretation of an incident still leads to inconsistent decision making. What one referee thinks is a penalty another might not.

The Calum Chambers “foul” for Sokratis last minute winner still baffles me. It wasn’t a foul yet the VAR decided it was. We have seen more blatant fouls ignored.

VAR can be a good thing. It worked well at the last World Cup. But in the Premier League it has lead to consistent decision making.

At the moment all it is doing is highlighting how inconsistent referees are.



Inconsistency Arsenal’s Enemy

Unai Emery

Unai Emery looks like a man lost at the moment.

He is clearly overthinking things. Over complicating things. Constantly chopping and changing what he is trying to do. Players like confused. Unsure what to do.

This season he has failed to put out a consistent starting XI, in a consistent formation.

Against Crystal Palace he went 442. This continues his trend of chopping and changing the formation.

From 3 at the back to 4231 and 433; the continual changing of tactics and formation is a big reason why we are struggling.

The best teams in the world have a consistent way of playing in a consistent formation.

Arsenal’s invincibles lined up 442. You could name the best XI. Liverpool currently top the league, unbeaten, just 2 points dropped. They play 433 and Jurgen Klopp nearly always puts out the same starting XI (injury permitting).

It is the same with Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea sides of the 00s, of Alex Ferguson’s Man U sides in the 90s. A consistent formation and a consistent way of playing.

Emery is inconsistent in formation, tactics and personnel.

Taking into account Arsenal played on Thursday, how many training sessions would the team have done in 442? Maybe just 1?

Now talented footballers should be able to slide into different formations. But at the highest level you still need that consistency of tactics and selection. Players need to be almost telepathic, knowing where a team mate will be without having to look. That only comes with the consistency.

England beat New Zealand at the weekend. They did it through working hard on the train ground. Developing the tactics to win and sticking with them. Every English player knew his job, knew where his team mate would be.

Unai Emery’s downfall will be that he chops and changes too much. He is not giving our talented squad the time to settle, play together in the same formation week after week.


“Clear and obvious mistake”.

That was the statement that was released by the FA with regards how VAR would be used to overturn the decision of the on-field referee.

Up until this weekend, VAR had backed the on-field referee’s decision on almost every occasional – even when there was a clear an obvious error.

Last Monday Sokratis had his shirt pulled whilst in the air at a corner. VAR decided that failing to award a penalty was not a clear and obvious mistake; even though it was a clear and obvious penalty.

That decision had been consistent with how they had been using VAR. Numerous blatant penalties – such as the one Wolves should have got against Tottenham – had been failed to be given. That all changed this weekend.

VAR decided that Calum Chambers had fouled someone in the build up to Sokratis 2nd goal. It was a mystifying decision and was by no-means a clear and obvious error by Martin Atkinson. In fact it was not an error at all.

What the replay actually showed was Chambers being fouled by a Crystal Palace player, who shoved the Arsenal man two handed in the chest.

VAR was supposed to be used to clear up controversy. But the officials are using it in an inconsistent manner. Some teams are benefiting, others are losing out.

In the last 2 games Arsenal have been denied a blatant penalty (at 0-0) and had a goal disallowed (at 2-2). That is 5 points robbed off of us by the inconsistent using of VAR.

5 points makes a big difference. That would rocket Arsenal up from 5th to 3rd; and would go a long way to calming down the Islington faithful.

VAR can be a good thing; but it needs to be used consistently by the officials. At the moment it is not creating a fair playing field.