I have never been a fan of VAR. This is evident from previous posts I have written here, here, here, here, here and here. I actually enjoy watching games and leagues that do not use VAR technology. While mistakes happen (they always did) I believe the benefits of not using VAR massively outweigh the costs.
Last weekend VAR was at it again. Chelsea versus Spurs will be remembered for lots of things, with a hair pull by Cristian Romero's on Marc Cucurella being one. When I saw the replay of this, my initial reaction was " red card". However, VAR official Mike Dean decided this was not a "violent act" and play resumed with no action taken by the referee Anthony Taylor.
This week Dean then backtracked and said "In the few seconds I had to study Romero pulling Cucurella's hair, I didn't deem it a violent act. I've since studied the footage, spoken to other referees and, upon reflection, I should have asked Taylor to visit his pitch-side monitor to take a look for himself."
The interesting part of this statement is the part that says "I've since studied the footage". Is this not what the VAR is supposed to do? Study the footage. The referee cannot. But the VAR can. It's the whole point of VAR. To study the footage, deliberate, and act. He uses the word "study" in the first sentence. So how can he study to being with and then claim he would have made the completely opposite decision if he had "studied the footage". Dean sounds like he was the referee and not the VAR.