I was, of course, talking about those game changing moments which it exists to highlight; the disputed penalty calls, the red card offences, the “50/50 challenges” which couldn’t be more brutal if someone hacked down one of our players with a battle-axe.
But you know what VAR won’t solve?
The problem we faced today, of an official who purposefully stops play every time a Celtic player wins a challenge, who books a slew of our players and does not apply the same standard to our opponents.
And this was not limited to the shocking display turned into today by “Brother” Bobby Madden; this is happening to us every single week and as I said after the Dundee Utd game it is high time that our club got out from under the bed and challenged the way we’re refereed, which is to a different standard than every other club.
It will continue until we put a stop to it, until our club decisively challenges it, until we get a grip and start demanding that our players are offered the kind of protection which now seems common to any side which comes up against us.
Look at the so-called “crime counts” in our last half a dozen games; more possession than the opposition, more attempts on target, more dangerous attacking plays … and more fouls committed as well.
You’d think that just by dint of trying to stop us and having inferior players to do so that the opposition would commit more and give up more free kicks, but in fact if you based it on fouls given against us you’d think we were the dirtiest team in this league.
Which as anyone who’s watched us knows is ludicrous.
If anything, too many of our players are easily pushed off the ball … but of course the opposition don’t get free kicks given against them for that.
Yet even a player like Kyogo, who doesn’t look like he could fight his way out of a brown paper bag, was penalised several times today for giving away fouls.
Our foul count today was twenty-seven.
Twenty-seven fouls given against us, and a rash of bookings.
Is that an honest reflection on the way we play football, or evidence that Madden was determined to give Aberdeen every opportunity that came his way?
Nobody realistically believes that we are a dirty team, so why do the stats suggest that with such regularity?
I’ve been saying for a while now that there are two ways a referee can influence a game; with a headline act or acts, or this way … insidious, below the radar, allowing fouls to go unpunished against you whilst pulling up your players for every little thing.
It can destroy a team’s momentum. When it results in yellow cards it stops players from being full-throated and aggressive, and when those players are defenders that has an impact on the game in a way that should be obvious.
It is lunacy not to highlight this and it is cowardly not to challenge it.
It’s also dangerous because the longer it goes unremarked on the more they’ll continue to do it.
Madden was given this game after one of those gruesome Honest Mistakes last weekend; he was never going to do something to grab headlines today, although he must have been itching to.
But awarding twenty-seven free-kicks against us and flashing the yellow as he did, well that could have had an impact all on its own, and as I said this is not unusual.
This is every week now, this is as regular as clockwork, and until it’s highlighted properly by the club itself and the manager in particular we’re taking our chances, because it will eventually cost us.