Those who are a bit skeptical about whether VAR is good for our game will feel aggrieved on two counts by what happened at West Ham.

Some people will say the offside decision against Raheem Sterling in the build-up to Gabriel Jesus’s ‘goal’ was technically correct by a fraction of a shoulder. But I don’t think any system is infallible when it’s that close and you’ve got the movement of different players and the ball to take into account.

I’d prefer to see a ‘daylight rule’ introduced, so that a referee’s decision can only be overruled if there is a gap to indicate offside, rather than a body part being millimeters off.

My main concern, though, isn’t technical, it’s how these hairline decisions affect the spirit of the game.

Later in the match, Sterling scored and his celebration was a bit muted. There is a subconscious feeling now where you have to wait for the technology to approve a goal before you can show any joy and that kills what makes football great.

You can argue that waiting for the VAR decision builds up its own suspense but I don’t think it’s as exciting as celebrating a goal without any doubt.

I am not planning to complain about VAR every week; it’s here now, the players will learn how to be patient with it and I’ll have to accept it’s going to be used.

But I do think that introducing a daylight rule, so we don’t have to cancel goals for fractional decisions that can still be debated, would be an improvement.


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