Just when Scotland finally caught up with the 21st century and brought VAR in, small-minded individuals immediately leapt to attack it, with some Rangers fans whining at the time it took to come to the correct decision. The same fans, of course, who’d whine at Nick Walsh for getting it wrong in the first place without VAR to correct him.
But Hibs manager Lee Johnson has become the latest Scottish embarrassment to attack the system, whining the officials ‘want to play with their new toy’ after the VAR staff had the temerity to award Aberdeen a penalty having used the system to identify one.
Scottish football now has the tool to get things right more often than not – yes, there will be many occasions where the phrase ‘well what’s the point of VAR’ when a moment doesn’t go to review will be uttered, and even times where the ref will get the review wrong.
But the reality is the tech is there and we’re all seeing the same thing now, all getting our own opinion of the replay we’re seeing – end of the day, it boils down to ‘my opinion versus yours’ and the ref’s is the one that counts. If he’s seeing the same as we are and comes to a different conclusion, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
But for Johnson to smear the system because a call went against him is immaturity 101. The reality is this system sees justice finally being given – if a penalty is found for Celtic against Rangers beating us, and it’s a legit penalty, and a legit call made by VAR, there’s no argument. It’s just tech helping the honesty. And we’d be quite happy to see the same thing happen in our favour.
We cannot deride the system when we fought for years to get it – just because a few calls don’t go your way doesn’t mean you can smear the officials all over again.
Sometimes it’s just not your day and when it is, you’ll know. But VAR isn’t biased, and the officials are generally doing their jobs. We noticed against Aberdeen all the paranoia about Willie Collum against Rangers being on VAR duties quieted quickly when he gave us a penalty.
No one whined about anti-Rangers staffing after that…