November 19 – With the Premier League returning to action this weekend, so will its latest game changer, VAR. With Michel Platini being the latest to weigh in with expletives over the use of video refs, and the Premier League having met with the VAR bosses with a demand to sort the inconsistencies out, the pressure for a controversy free weekend is building.
If you take the points won and lost as a result of VAR, the result is a league table that would put Man City two points closer to Liverpool at the top of the league and Southampton rooted at the bottom and three games away from safety. The VAR decisions have been decisive to the way the league is developing.
VAR was promised to eliminate game changing mistakes by referees. It may have done that but it has also introduced its own. It is also changing the way the game is played too frequently effectively ruin the flow of the game.
Perhaps the best example was Spurs’ 1-1 draw with Everton on November 3 which saw South Korean Son-Heung-min red carded after a VAR review. Obviously the game was held up for Andre Gomes’ horror injury but the VAR debacle that ensued brought even more time to ponder the incident, create unnecessary drama and dwell on the injury rather than the game itself.
And how far is the intervention of VAR changing the betting markets? Should punters be taking into account how susceptible their teams are to VAR reviews. Is there a whole new level of betting data and in-play markets to regulate? Are there whole new betting markets in VAR reviews to be made based around referee appointments, and even who is on duty in VAR’s ivory tower.
Wolverhampton and Aston Villa would have had at least 4 and 2 more points respectively if VAR was not present. The two clashed on November 10 at the Molineux Stadium. According to Bwin, Wolves were to win 2-1 at 31/4 as their recommended bet. Overall the home team had been tipped 17/20 to win while a draw at 13/5. A Villa win was tipped at 333/100. Wolves have been unbeaten in six Premier League games while suffered their only defeat in a ten game spell to their opponents Villa in the EFL Cup. Odds like these at www.freebets.co.uk/bookmakers would likely have been different if the VAR errors hadn’t been made.
There have been at least 16 VAR based checks in the Premier League that eventually affected results. The Premier League table would look like (as of November 8) if there were no VAR interventions. The figure in brackets represents the points won/lost due to the technology.
Premier League standings without VAR
- Liverpool – 31pts (-)
- Manchester City – 27pts (+2)
- Chelsea – 24pts (+1)
- Leicester City – 20pts (-3)
- Arsenal – 18pts (+1)
- Wolves – 17pts (+4)
- Sheffield United – 17pts (+1)
- Bournemouth – 15pts (-1)
- Brighton – 15pts (-)
- West Ham – 15pts (+2)
- Manchester United – 14pts (+1)
- Aston Villa – 13pts (+2)
- Crystal Palace – 12pts (-3)
- Tottenham Hotspur – 12pts (-1)
- Burnley – 12pts (-)
- Everton – 12pts (-1)
- Newcastle – 12pts (-)
- Norwich City – 7pts (-)
- Watford – 5pts (-)
- Southampton – 5pts (-3)
VAR will continue being a contentious issue depending on the team that benefits or loses based on the review. What is certain is that more and more game changing decisions will be made based on the technology. One hopes it doesn’t affect your team, or your bet.
Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1576359557labto1576359557ofdlr1576359557owedi1576359557sni@o1576359557fni1576359557