The VAR Conundrum. Opta Analysis – To Opt In or Opt Out?

The VAR Conundrum

The video assistant referee technology, better known as VAR, has brought many contentious issues into the game.

To state the obvious is not within the perimeters of the ‘law makers’. The Football Column suggests the removal of the ‘eye in the sky’, where the so called analysts are perched in some glass box enclave away from the stadiums, making the important decisions, when the match referee, who is actually on the pitch, asks them for a referral on a decision to be made from the match action.

To compound the issues further, we have the assistant referee placed alongside the managers’ technical dug out area relaying possible decision making decisions to the referee, confused!  The question has to be asked, do the glass boxed decision makers sit there with their blind folds on,
because on occasions, their input defies logic. To see a cat and say it’s a hare, sheds a light on their faltering decisions.

The Football Column suggests the out lawing of them, goodbye, to be replaced by the pitch side referee’s assistant who would refer to the VAR system with its monitor alongside himself on the request of the match official.  The decision is then left with this official to make the final decision. This would be made quickly and efficiently, cutting out any major delay in match play.  As for the men in black, they can deliver the much courted VAR system in all its glory!


The VAR system operates mainly for the penalty decisions and possible sending off offences

Opta Analysis – To Opt In or Opt Out?

Welcome to the 21st Century and the Opta data analysis, which 17 of the Premiership clubs use to analyse the forthcoming opposition and possible signings of new players.

So would the preference be to sign players form the global football outposts on the basis of data analysis, or would a visit to Rochdale on a wet and windy night possibly be better served with unearthing a player, where a scouting report would be the preference, or should the manager be
there himself doing the scouting?

Many managers sign players without seeing their new purchase play in the kit of his club, but do the managers have the time or the inclination to join the scouting network?  Observing possible new signings in opposition colours is a close up shot of assessing a player, but in truth, the managers rely on the Opta data analysis.

The Brian Clough and Peter Taylor partnership during the 1980’s at Nottingham Forest, who lifted the European Cup, as then termed, on two occasions with the basic art of scouting. Some would suggest that Clough would not have used the analysis in today’s game. Players are bracketed into three columns. The top tier column, the 2nd tier and the middle of the road players being the main core signing of players for any manager, but many high quality players do slip the net and mistakes are made at all levels.

In example mode, if a manager was scouring the network for a combative midfield player, would the manager sign the player who makes the most tackles during a game, or the player who covers the most blades of grass during the 90n minute period? The Opta stats churn out over 1500 stats during
a 45 minute period of a Premier League match. (No time for the half-time team talk then!)

In the sport of cricket, a player can be given out with the aid of a machine, as the metal plated finger points to the line of dismissal. Many football managers purchase players on the workings of a machine, the Opta analysis.  It is possible, in time, that many clubs may opt out of the stat information machine. I much prefer the human eye, in focus, of course!