When Ange stood in front of the media yesterday he was a proud man, but one burning with frustration at what he had again witnessed from our referees. The decision to award Dundee Utd a penalty is a scandal. He was astounded by it.
His post-match comments revealed this plainly. The media has reported that he criticised VAR, that he said that it eats too much into the game, and that the technology is now over-ruling refs. All of this, he clearly did say. But he said more than that.
The part which stood out to me is the part the media cares about least.
Speaking about why he had taken Bernabei off at half time, he made it clear that he believed his player was in danger of being sent off. Not because of something that he had done wrong but because it was clear that the officials would look for any excuse.
It was his next remarks that fascinated me.
“It seems like any time the ball touches your hand in the box – apart from when you are playing Hearts away – it’s a penalty,” Ange said.
Apart from when you – that is we – are playing Hearts away. A double standard. Two different outcomes involving the same official.
Mark my words, Ange knows what this is now alright. He has been here long enough to see that we are refereed to another standard entirely. His comments yesterday were not just about the technology but about how it is used, but most notably, about who is using it.
The smell of something rotten wafts off this stuff already, and for the second time since it was implemented we saw Nick Walsh involved in a ridiculous decision which went against us. It would take a very daft manager not to spot that pattern … and Ange is not one of those.