There are two ways to look at what VAR might do for Celtic.
We saw the evidence of what it might do against us last week, but as I’ve said right from the start, the thing about VAR is that decisions like that can no longer be simply brushed aside.
Everyone saw what that was last week, and everyone knew that the decision was very hard to defend.
When Ange went on the offensive last week and highlighted that we hadn’t had a spot kick since the season kicked off I knew that if we got a similar call to last week’s that we would get it beyond any shadow of a doubt.
That’s what VAR will do … it puts these people in a spot they can’t get out of.
One such call, they might get away with. Two in seven days? No chance.
I think in some ways this is the start of it. This is the start of officials being put under a different kind of pressure. Because as much as they might want to, these guys can’t pull this of nonsense any longer, not in the way that they used to. The really bad calls are going to get more scrutiny than they ever have and sooner or later refs will have to defend them.
VAR wasn’t the only difference maker today. Ange’s comments would have put the fear of God into certain people inside Hampden, those and the statistic about how it had been 200 days since we were last awarded a penalty in the league.
You see how easy it is to start pushing things our way when people speak up and speak out? You see how easy it is when the technology leaves these people nowhere to run? Without last week’s decision we might not have got that today. Without VAR’s presence we absolutely would not have because he certainly wasn’t giving the penalty without it. Without Ange’s comments and his biting sarcasm, I think we may not have got it anyway.
But this finally a coming together of pressure. Some of it applied by Celtic and some of it applied by the sheer fact that when every decision can be examined like this, in real time, “honest mistakes” are going to be exposed for what they are.
They got away with that shocker last week on the basis that the technology was new and they didn’t know that it was finally going to get Ange to snap. Once he did, I knew that if anything even remotely like it happened this week that we’d get our due.
It is important that we don’t rest on our laurels.
We may have them rattled here. We have to make sure that if we do that we keep the pressure on. If the technology is used fairly does anyone doubt that will benefit us? The objective is to make sure that’s the only way it’s used.