My beloved City won their first game of the season 5-0 away to a very good West Ham United team. Raheem Sterling scored a hat trick. AND… I hated it!
VAR! Oh we have dabbled with it before. I remember those two glorious moments where City were in the semi-finals of the Champions League before VAR, silenced the Etihad. This season, however, it is every game. If it is like today’s game, it will be hard to get used to.
Now, do not get me wrong. I was a fan before they brought it in. All those bad decisions, the very obvious ones. Thierry Henry’s hand ball in that World Cup Play Off against Republic Of Ireland. Corrie Evans’s not hand ball in Northern Ireland’s World Cup Play off against Switzerland We would rid the game of the injustice! Others might mention Maradonna! Rugby has done it. Surely there is a way for Soccer to do it too!
There was talk of it being used for “clear and obvious” errors. It seems from today however that it will be used for every goal. Some, it won’t take long. Other though and the celebrations have happened and the teams are back at the centre circle waiting to kick off when… no goal! Free kick.
Today frustrate me because City’s third goal was the best move of the match. Ir deserved to be a goal. Technically it was the right decision but it was by a half arm’s width. So close. Too meticulously close.
The next City goal went to VAR too. This time about a finger’s width. One stood, the other didn’t. The difference was negligible. If this is what VAR is for it will be a long season of waiting apprehensively and lots of added time!
By the time Aguero’s awful penalty miss was allowed to be retaken I had had enough. Oh it was to our advantage again but the penalty was so bad Sergio didn’t deserve another go. That Declan Rice had encroached and was first to the rebound meant that of course the infallible VAR had struck again. Oh my!
There are mental issues at play here. City were 2 up when Jesus’s goal was disallowed. That would have been 3 and at that stage game over. City have had their celebrations and mentally have won the game. Suddenly the mood swing in the stadium changes. West Ham fans get a boost as do the team whereas City are wondering what just happened. It is going to be a test of how to do deal with huge emotional swings.
For the armchair fan it will take some getting used to. That we won 5-0 and VAR spoiled it for me asks questions about the game as a spectacle. There are lots of money in TV rights.
It will probably take time. I guess that in Rugby teams are back ready to kick off when decisions are changed. The players and fans have gotten used to it. It will take some getting used to! In the meantime be ready to be frustrated…. And oh that VAR don’t start getting decisions wrong!