We all knew, before even a ball was kicked, that this Premier League season would be unlike any other. Even without a pandemic, a three-month hiatus and a quarter of the campaign without fans, this would be different.
The introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) not only has a profound effect on the game, but also on the spectacle. Things may never be the same again.
The Mail on Sunday was at the forefront of VAR and how it was used by Mike Riley’s team of officers at Stockley Park.
In a world without VAR, Wolves would be in third place and on his way to the Champions League
Bournemouth recently tasted VAR agony, but would be lower if it was out of place this season
Our revelations after the very first game of the season showed that the technology used by the VAR to show Raheem Sterling’s toenail was offside, in particular the frame rates of the broadcast cameras, was not advanced enough to know for sure whether a player is offside. exact point at which the ball was played.
We have been told that more correct decisions have been made, but at what cost? Long delays with fans wondering what was going on, picky draw of offside lines on armpits, and an almost unshakable reluctance to use the pitchside monitors.
Even then, obvious-looking sanctions are overlooked in the name of “obvious and obvious” errors.
FIFA has taken control of VAR, the baton has been passed to them by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) and, with Pierluigi Collina and Arsene Wenger now key decision-makers, world government wants all federations to apply the technology in the same way .
That means that Riley and the Premier League may be forced to make their referees use the monitors more and use VAR to check if the goalkeeper has shifted off his line with penalties, which they are not currently doing.
Either way, VAR is here to stay. So, what exactly has changed? How different would the Premier League have looked without it?
It has affected more games than not. There have been 216 Premier League games with VAR reviews and only 154 without.
Two games, Leicester against Southampton and Manchester United against Bournemouth each had five ratings. Of the 334 consultations with the VAR, the decision was reversed 104 times. This means that 31 percent have been identified as obvious and obvious errors.
Decisions affected other clubs more than others. Wolves are the biggest losers of the VAR.
In another world without VAR, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side would dust off their passports for the Champions League.
As you can see from our ‘Table without VAR’, Wolves would enter the last game of the season in third and only need one point at Chelsea, or for Manchester United not to win in Leicester, to qualify for the Champions League.
In reality, they cannot qualify for the Champions League and must fight to maintain sixth place.
Manchester City would be five points better without VAR, and only seven points behind Liverpool instead of 18, which would make for a more interesting title fight that Jurgen Klopp’s side would still have won.
On the other hand, West Ham would have been safe much earlier and Aston Villa would take on a much easier task on Sunday, although it is also worth remembering what point they may have been saved by the glitch of target line technology against Sheffield United . Spurs is the team that has won the most from VAR this season, without which they would be seven points and three league positions worse off.
There have been 216 games interrupted by VAR ratings and only 154 without this season
Liverpool should have done 91 points instead of 96 at this stage.
VAR has changed the result of 37 games, with an average of one game per game round.
However, it has only changed one game from what would have been a loss without VAR to a win – Liverpool’s 1-0 home win against Wolves, where Sadio Mane’s goal was unlearned and Wolves’ equalizer originally stood.
What about the referees? Seventeen officials are in charge of ten or more games this season, of which only five have overturned eight or more decisions by the VAR.
Martin Atkinson and his team have overturned more decisions than any other. Graham Scott is in second place with 11 covers with 12 games less than Atkinson.
Scott takes down every 1.7 games on average, one of the highest points in the competition. In about 21 percent of the games his team has played, the result has changed due to the presence of VAR, also a top tier.
All season we were told that VAR would stick to a ‘high bar for intervention’. That also changed during the campaign.
Despite only five decisions overturned in the first 43 games, we saw 18 in 26 games from December 27 to January 11. Furthermore, it was relatively constant.
However, the speed with which sanctions have been granted by VAR has changed significantly.
No penalty was awarded by VAR for 92 games before Brighton Aaron Connolly received a soft spot kick against Everton. This was the first of four penalties awarded in eight games.