Some in the media did a fine job trying to spin the manager’s comments about VAR. Keith Jackson, as I wrote yesterday, tried to interpret them as about the importance of the decisions as opposed to them being plain wrong.
But Ange went out of his way to make it clear that he was talking about the rash of decisions and he used a very unsubtle term; “this will not even itself out.”
Yesterday, Callum McGregor said something very similar when sitting in front of the media.
“You have to, at all costs, keep your hands by your side when sometimes even that’s not enough. It’s difficult for the players, but it’s tough for the officials as well. The quicker we can get clarity on it and resolve the issue, hopefully you will start to see some consistency in the decisions. Then, over time, it will level itself out. We probably need a couple of good ones to go for us for that to happen. The law of averages would suggest that, over a season, it will. But we need to get some good ones between now and the end of the season.”
He didn’t quite what some of the headlines screamed – that it won’t even itself out at all – but he came damned close to it and in accentuating that point he’s repeating Celtic’s official position on this, and make no mistake, that’s what this is.
Celtic’s official position is that VAR has negatively impacted us because of the way decisions are being “interpreted.”
As I’ll point out in more detail later, the club has a much clearer understanding of what the media is up to here, and what the SFA’s line of defence will be, than some people seem to think.
In the meantime, we want the message to be clear; this stuff has gone too far already and we are now watching every decision that falls against us and every one that falls for other clubs.
To all at Celtic Park there is an obvious pattern here and we are making sure that they know we see it.
Ange has said it. Callum has said.
And in private, you better believe that others at Celtic are going to be getting the message across just as clearly.