Thursday 9 January 2020

We Want Our Football Back! Freedom of Movement Forever! A nation brought together by petty VAR bureauprats?

"Let the healing begin", said the newly elected Prime Minister of England on December 14th. Quite how this is expected to go hasn't been clarified, although Eileen Drewery has ruled herself out of leading any task force on the matter. 

The PM may wish to follow the lead of new Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta who, faced with a similarly impossible mandate, concentrated on "quick wins". Tory PM advisors, reliably adept at analysing the metaphorical direction of aerial activity, may turn their attention to a topical gale sweeping through the world of football, where the totalitarian VAR regime is meeting varied and increasing hostility, threatening even to bring The People together.

"I'd never felt as close to the nation as when I logged on to BBC Sport online and witnessed the scale of disgust from so many betrayed people" said Pam Deenamu of the general public.

Fay lee Dintits from A Clear Headspace beamed "The hatred and vitriol for VAR has united my home town in a way not seen since the council suggested three-weekly bin collections".

An Arsenal fan added, "Even us Gooners thought Tottenham's disallowed goal at Leicester was a sick joke. I mean, Son's nipple putting him offside? But then came Lundstram's big toe at White Hart Lane, and then the ancient discovery of Chambers' foul at The Emirates. Not to mention the Grealish heel at Burnley, or the Pukki Goal of The Month reduced to ashes...eventually. And don't get me started on Firmino's thigh bone..."

Meanwhile, John Gow from Lytham, tweeted "Vaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrghhhhhh!!!"

The outpouring of despair is a blow for VAR who had banked on universal acclaim by now, expecting to have reduced assistant referees (apart from the indestructible Sian Massey, an example to us all) to gibbering wrecks living in fear of being found guilty of applying the spirit of the game. Jonjo Shelvey's delayed goal for Newcastle United at Bramall Lane and Dan Gosling's belated lobbed winner for Bournemouth at Chelsea in the November round of midweek Premier League fixtures had VAR rubbing it's hands with glee at the sight of their masterplan being well on track. Both efforts were flagged offside despite the players' in question being almost in their own half when they steered their respective shots in. This then allowed the all-knowing, step-aside Madam VAR to enter stage left and come to the rescue.

Ironically though, the very public who seemed to want the technology (the instant a refereeing decision went against their team) have not developed into the grateful peasants as hoped. The chant "It's not football anymore!" is believed to have originated at Bramall Lane, but was also heard at Turf Moor on New Year's Day by both visiting Aston Villa fans and home Burnley fans while the Grealish heel goal was being dissected.

The attitude of those Burnley fans, sacrificing their own fortune for the greater good, may be an unusual concept for the serving government of the day, but the online slaughter of VAR, preceded by a (Grealish) Heel (sic) The Country slogan near you may well become an un-reviewed reality.          

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