What Do Players Really Think of VAR?

Aston Villa captain John Terry recently lashed out at the use of Virtual Assistant Referees (VAR) in football, after the technology seemed to cause confusion in the Wembley FA Cup clash between Tottenham Hotspurs and Rochdale A.F.C.

The first half of the fifth-round replay was marred by VAR, with Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino warning afterwards that it could potentially destroy the game.

Fans left reeling

VAR made two appearances in the first half, as fans were left with their heads reeling when trying to figure out what was happening. Terry seemed to agree with those fans, making his feelings known on social media, when he said he couldn’t even watch the game.

Terry could well have been representing the thoughts of many other fans watching the events of the game. VAR is not something that soccer fans have become accustomed to, and when a player such as Terry has been playing at such a high level for such a long time, it makes sense why he wouldn’t be a fan of the technology.

Name value

The game’s free-flowing nature has gradually been disappearing after VAR was introduced. While the controversial technology has been the cause of many complaints, it’s noteworthy that fans have tended to be more patient when it comes to a game taking longer due to the number of fouls we see every week.

It’s the protests of such personalities as John Terry that could yet lead to VAR failing to be regularly implemented into the game. It’s up for debate whether that’s fair or not, but “name value” is something that is still strong in the game in 2018.

Players like routine

When it comes to John Terry, it may simply come down to routine. It’s not uncommon for sports stars, including Terry, to have routines, as Lottoland demonstrates. In fact, some – including Ronaldo, John Henderson and Serena Williams – have actual rituals, on which they rely to feel ready for a game. But then others players have also expressed disgust at the controversial use of VAR technology too.

Despite his team winning 6-1, Spurs’ Danny Rose labeled VAR as “nonsense”, as the backlash continued to grow. What seemed to be a legitimate goal from Erik Lamela was overturned, after a minor offense by Fernando Llorente. Players and fans were forced to wait for two minutes, left in the dark as to what was going on. Later in the game, VAR denied Spurs a penalty, despite the fact that Lucas Moura seemed to be bright down in the box.