So Far So VAR Bad!
There aren’t many things that me and Alan Shearer have in common. He scored 30 goals for England and is the record scorer in the Premier League while I have not scored any goals for my country or even played a match in the Premier League. He is folically challenged (bald) while I have a full head of hair. However, we both believe VAR is a shambles and should only be used for matters of fact and not opinion.
In its current format the system allows the referee to pass the buck to a person in a studio who must then make a decision based on the perception of an incident. Chelsea were on the wrong end of the Video Assistant Referee debacle last night but still beat Norwich on penalties in their FA Cup third round replay. CHELSEA are now at home to Newcastle in the fourth round and are 11/2 with Ladbrokes to win the Cup.
Cricket players are allowed “to go upstairs” in One Day Internationals but the sport is more suited to input from a third umpire. There are natural breaks in proceedings and the flow of a match is not disrupted when players challenge a decision. It is now part of the game and a tactic to ask key events to be reviewed and the facility has enhanced the sport but it’s debatable whether VAR will make football a better game.
There will be some input from off the pitch when Australia and England meet in an ODI starting early tomorrow morning in Brisbane. ENGLAND have won four of the last five meetings in this version of the game and the visitors can prevail again. The heart and the head says they should be backed to win this match at 5/4 with Coral.
At the time of writing there are no problems with today’s race meetings and all are scheduled to go ahead. Wincanton offers £81,000 in prize money which is decent for a six race card on a week day in January. Every region seems to have a Grand National and today it is the Somerset version at the track. The 2.10pm race is a handicap chase over three miles two furlongs and a bit and on heavy ground it will be a slog. On Racing Post Ratings Cyclop has a great chance. The horse fell in the race four out when going well last year. CYCLOP is a regular in these regional Nationals and can win Wincanton’s variation today at 4/1 with William Hill.