Rangers’ titanic win last night will get analysed to death, as it surely will, but one angle has fans raging with absolute fury and that’s the VAR and decisions during the 90 minutes.
Regulars will know we did a piece yesterday about VAR and its benefits, and supporters were spitting with hate on it last night as decisions appeared to go against Rangers.
Then one certainly went for Rangers, and for the next 10 minutes few to no Rangers fans objected about the VAR.
What’s our point?
VAR is an excellent tool, a terrific tool for getting the right conclusion – but at the end of the decisions remain with the same humans still prone to making mistakes.
The difference with VAR is we now have a three-man assistant VAR team who make a majority or unanimous decision based on an issue of contention, then if they view it as against the ref 2-1 or 3-0 they flag it up and the ref then has a decision to willingly review it.
This, chums, is a brilliant tool – but like any tool, its effectiveness depends on how well it’s used.
Last night two assistant refs decided there was no case to answer for the handball early on which should have been a penalty for Rangers.
They also awarded what Rangers believe to be a soft penalty against Steven Davis.
They then flagged up an Antwerp handball many had missed which GAVE Rangers the win, effectively.
End of the day, human subjectivity will always rule the roost over decisions, and while some fans raged at these refs calling them biased or corrupt, it was just honest (if incompetent) officiating at times.
Scottish football would deeply benefit from VAR, and deeply benefit from better training in how to properly use it.
But as much as we lost through VAR last night, we won the leg through it too.
Horses for courses…