With this being the fifth month of VAR in Scottish football, how do we feel at Ibrox Noise about the technology’s use and implementation?
How has it affected Rangers’ results, and those dodgy calls which used to go against us?
In reality, we wonder where Michael Beale’s Rangers would be without it. How many goals ruled out for an incorrect offside? How many red cards which shouldn’t have been?
Beale’s Rangers have matched, toe-to-toe, Celtic, with only a marginal goal difference deficit over the 13 matches he’s been Rangers’ manager, and that is in no small part down to the impact of VAR.
It’s got pretty much everything right, bar the occasional subjective difference in interpretation, but while we still hear nonsense about referees being masons or ‘one of them’, the reality is about at least 90% of all decisions in Rangers matches are now correct.
It will always have a margin for error, but we can barely remember a single call to go against us this season that we didn’t agree with. It was NOT a penalty for Ryan Kent, he did dive, and VAR identified that correctly. And that’s fair.
End of the day, we’ve even had a few calls go for us that wouldn’t have before VAR – and the great thing about VAR is at the end of the day, you can’t accuse a ref of missing a tackle or an incident – if they go up to the screen, it simply becomes a difference of opinion if they disagree with you, and that’s something no technology can ever fix.
When we all have the same evidence in front of us, there’s no guarantee that we’ll all agree on what it means or how we view it. It is why more than one person is on a jury in courts, because everyone sees the evidence differently.
But VAR has equipped a referee with a strong tool to get a lot more right than wrong. Sure, there is the odd delay in decisions now and then, but so what – better to get it right that way.
At Ibrox Noise, we’re big supporters of VAR. And it’s actually helped Rangers a lot. Works for us.