Following yet more controversy in the Premier league over the weekend, VAR has come under criticism again for the decisions it aids, makes and changes within the beautiful game. The biggest talking point is maybe Manchester United first goal being ruled out after Scott McTominay was ruled to have fouled Heung Min Son in the build up, even though it could have been ruled as a 50/50, meaning that VAR should not have seen it as a clear and obvious mistake. So, how can VAR be fixed?

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 20: Heung-Min Son of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the Premier League match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary’s Stadium on September 20, 2020 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Even though the first goal made no difference to the outcome of the game with Manchester United taking a 3-1 win away from the game, it could have been a completely different game, as the goal led to Son scoring just moments later at the other end. Manchester United lost all the momentum they had built, and as such had to fight back from a goal down. Whether it was the right decision or not isn’t important, as it is clear that the idea of VAR needs a rethink.

Maybe one solution would be that VAR use is reduced. Unless the foul in the build up has a direct impact on the scorer or the man who should be marking the scorer, say a full back or a centre back, have it checked on VAR. This would also mean that when fixtures return to 3 O’Clock on a Saturday, only one VAR team would be needed, and as such a reduction of their impact on each game may benefit the game as a whole.

The offside rule may also need a change, such as in Arsene Wengers proposed change, which will see the benefit given back to attackers, and result in a more free-flowing game as a whole. His proposition was that if any part of the attacker is level with the last defender, they are onside. As a result, this would lead to no more of the calls like the one against Diogo Jota at the weekend, where he was ruled offside by his shirt sleeve.

Arsene Wenger, pictured with Thierry Henry, is a critic of how the offside rule is currently implemented

In the Newcastle game, a penalty wasn’t given by VAR against a high foot by James Tarkowski on Sean Longstaff. If it were anywhere else on the pitch, a free-kick would probably have been given, but due to the implications of this foul the penalty wasn’t given. This means that referees have a lot more power over the games, and in a league format, this means that bias can begin to creep in. Referees aren’t meant to be biased, but everyone has a favourite team.

How would you fix VAR? Make sure to let us know on our twitter!

Sam Hutchison

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