The Evening Times did a piece tonight on The Mooch supporting refs and VAR and then, at the end, bizarrely included a long quote from Ange Postecoglou, which a surface reading of might have led you to believe that the two men were in complete agreement on certain elements of it. But of course that’s not true at all.
Whilst The Mooch has thoroughly defended VAR and said that he’s pleased with officiating – since most of it goes his way you’d think so – Ange is not so happy. The writer does reflect that, but for some reason, a reason I cannot understand, he then clips the entire end section of Ange’s lengthy answer on it which changes the context of what was published.
This is what Ange’s quote said, and I’m going to publish it exactly as the writer in The Evening Times has before I provide the end part.
“It’s one of those things, and I don’t think it’s just confined to us as a club. I think there are other clubs in the same boat where it’s just really confusing now for players in the box to know what they can or can’t do, because it seems it changes depending on who is in charge of the decision-making process. There has been zero consistency in the decisions being made.
“My view on this and in 25 years of coaching and managing, I have always abided by the referee’s decision. You will be hard pressed to find me criticising any referee in my whole tenure as a manager, but I have always believed these things even themselves out because we make mistakes, players mistakes and referees make mistakes. Over a course of a season these things usually even themselves out.”
You spot what’s missing from that quote? The end part, which changes the whole point of what our manager was saying. To leave it on the note of “these things usually even themselves out” makes it sound like Ange was happy to leave this in the hands of fate.
But in point of fact, this wasn’t the full quote. Those who are alert will see that this in fact is a grossly truncated version of what Ange actually said, and a version which robs of it of the headline claim and the one that gives context to the rest of it.
So let me finish the quote for him, for Aiden Smith, who at best is guilty of one of the most selective uses of a quote I’ve ever seen and at worst … well, you get the picture. Either way, it distorts the point Ange was trying to make, either knowingly or otherwise.
“But when I look at the introduction of VAR and the decisions that have gone against us, in particular, there is zero chance that’s going to even up between now and the end of the year, because it’s remarkable that we have had at least three major decisions go against us.
“You can just say it comes down to interpretation or whatever people want to say but I guarantee if that game had finished two-all and it was (Ibrox) that were denied that decision, the talk this week would be how that was a title-defining decision.
“The fact it wasn’t because we still got a result, as we have in all the other games, at Tynecastle and here at home, when major decisions went against us, doesn’t mean we should ignore it, because a team could get relegated on a decision like that.”
Or lose a cup final. Get the drift?
I’m very sure that The Times does, which makes theirs a lazy and shoddy piece but a fundamentally dishonest one as well.