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Is VAR ruining Football?

Thu 27 Feb 2020 @ 12:51

Mark Kimber

Well if you listen to the average football pundit the vast majority of them are saying yes VAR is ruining the game. And one of their main objections appears to be the number of goals being chalked off since VAR came into operation at the beginning of the season.

I was asked this week to analyse a new game that a customer wanted to put out with a jackpot prize as part of their Euro 2020 campaign. As part of that analysis I was tasked with looking at the number of goals scored in the Premiership over the last 3 seasons. Interestingly if you believe the pundits you would have thought that the average number of goals scored per game must be well down on previous seasons – but it isn’t. At the time of writing the average goals per season were:

  • 2019/2020 – 2.764
  • 2018/2019 – 2.821
  • 2017/2018 – 2.679

So, as you can see the average number of goals scored is very, very similar to last season and has actually increased on the 2017/2018 season. That got me thinking maybe VAR is having a hidden impact that we aren’t noticing – maybe defenders are less liable to foul an opponent as they know they will be found out and this more cautious approach allows a striker more opportunities?

Who really knows but things don’t appear to be as bad as people are making out.

I think Gary Neville was right when he said on SKY he had no problem with the Offside law and the VAR methodology – I agree you are either onside or offside – it doesn’t matter if it’s your big toe, your big nose or your forehead you are still offside and you should get over it and move on. No one complains about goal line technology ruling out a goal by 2mm so why should it be any different for offside? Now hand ball is more tricky – but as a Burnley FC supporter and following the events of the weekend I think the arm finishes at the very top of the shoulder – maybe not everyone agrees but BFC supports are loving VAR right now!

Enjoy the rest of the season in the knowledge you are still getting the same number of goals per game as you ever did.

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