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Growing Pains | VAR off to a tough start in England

VAR’s going well. — Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 28, 2018 "The first half was a little bit embarrassing for everyone," Pochettino claimed afterwards. "Difficult to keep focus and play football. I am not sure that the system is going to help. "Football is about emotion, it's a context of emotion if we are going to kill emotion in football. I think the fans of people who love football are not so happy about what they see today." Speaking on The Debate, Craig Bellamy and Stuart Pearce were in agreement with the Spurs manager. "It was laughable," Bellamy said. "It was a disaster." The former Premier League star pointed out that managers, teams, and players make mistakes, and that referees are no different. "They will make mistakes because they are human and human error in our game is brilliant, it's not a problem." "Of course it's not nice when it's cost you a result, but that's the part of the game I really love. I like being sat there in the crowd sometimes when it should have been offside, but it's not and the referee has let play go on and there's a goal and the team have got away with it." Sittingly alongside Bellamy in studio, Pearce also claimed that he has been against video technology since day one. "I was almost a lone voice when there was this clamour for VAR, saying no I'd prefer it not to come in," he reveled. The former England international says referees should be respected for their jobs, and that teams should accept whatever decisions are given. "Let the guy in the middle of the pitch make a decision and respect that decision at the end of the game whether it goes your way or whether it doesn't. The game will then pan out."
Well done @SpursOfficial and well done @officiallydale and well done to the 25,000 fans who made the effort. On another note VAR you were HOPELESS AGAIN. #TOTROC — Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) February 28, 2018 Time seems to be the major annoyance for most fans and pundits. These incidents required lengthy consultations with the video assistant referee, which leaves the players and the fans waiting impatiently for a decision to be made. Unlike rugby, there are no microphones or TV screens for the fans to hear or see what is being discussed, which is incredibly frustrating for supporters. However, not everyone is against the technology. Rochdale manager described Keith Hill enjoyed the entertainment, and described last night's  game as "an education". "Didn't you enjoy it? No?! Wow! I enjoyed it," he said in his post-match interview. "I thought it was superb. I was really excited, it was an education, the VAR. "I understand it more now, how it works, I feel the ref needs protecting, I feel the decisions made need to be explained to supporters in the way they were explained to me and Poch by the fourth official. "So I was really excited. For me, I was just totally immersed in that first half, and it didn't seem as though lasted 10 minutes! It was like speed football, I thought it was amazing, I really did." Former referee Dermot Gallagher stressed that while VAR is slowing games down, it is also getting important decisions right. "Whatever time it took, everyone wants it faster," he told Sky Sports. "At the end of the day, the decisions were correct and the reason we wanted VAR was to get correct decisions. "People are now moaning because it's got the decisions correct - alright, it will take a little bit of time to get it quicker, we want it quicker, but the right decision has come on the night. "At the moment, people say they wanted VAR, it's now been put in place but people are saying it's got this and that fault." It is likely that the speed at which the technology is used will improve with familiarity, but microphones and/or TV screens may be required in order to placate impatient supporters. VAR has been used in just 12 matches in English football, and will take time to be implemented efficiently. As Gallagher pointed out, the technology has led to many correct decisions - despite the controversy and consternation - which have impacted these games. "We've had 12 matches it's been used on, and in those 12 we've had teething problems, at Liverpool in the FA Cup, it's taken time tonight, but in those 12 matches decisions which have arisen have been the correct decisions." VAR is very much in an infancy period in English football, and people may be writing it off too soon. Some purists will never accept video technology, and see officiating errors as part and parcel of the beautiful game. However, many people believe in the principles of video technology, but improvements certainly need to be made. It needs to be more transparent for fans (and possibly players) if it is to succeed, and officials certainly need to improve the speed of decision making when calling upon the technology. As far as most people are concerned, VAR has a lot to prove.
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