Forget Brexit or Boris Johnson. VAR was probably the most talked about subject over Christmas dinner tables across the land with football fans still divided over it’s use in the Premier League.
The last gameweek was perhaps the most controversial yet with four incredibly tight calls across two days of action.
Liverpool had two decisions fall their way against Wolves as VAR decided a touch from Adam Lallana was off his shoulder and not his arm, while Pedro Neto’s equaliser was ruled out after Jonny – the man who assisted him – was offside in the build-up.
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace were denied a goal against Southampton when Wilfried Zaha was adjudged as offside, and the same call saw Norwich’s Teemu Pukki denied a goal against Tottenham which would have put them 2-0 to the good.
Many have been frustrated by the tight calls, especially this week, even if they as correct as the technology can allow.
Even former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg believes VAR should not be consulted when it comes to offside calls.
“I believe it could be time to remove offside decisions from the VAR process,” he wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“The excitement and spirit of the game is in danger of being damaged by the precise nature of the VAR technology when it comes to offside.
“So why not go back to assistant referees flagging for offside and we stick to their decision?”
This campaign, every club has had VAR both help and hinder them but which club has had the most decisions go FOR them? Find out below…
20. Wolves – VAR decisions for = 0
So far this campaign Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have not had a single VAR decision go in their favour during a match.
15= Sheffield United – VAR decisions for = 1
The only call by technology in the Blades’ direction this season was when Chris Basham had a red card rescinded against Norwich at the start of December.
15= Norwich City – VAR decisions for = 1
The Canaries saw Chelsea have a goal disallowed for a foul back in August but since then another five interventions have gone against them.
15= Newcastle – VAR decisions for = 1
The Video Assistant Referee has only made one intervention in a Newcastle game and it gave them Jonjo Shelvey’s strike against Sheffield United.
15= Everton – VAR decisions for = 1
The Toffees’ one VAR call in their favour hasn’t even been a goal.
It did though get a penalty for Leicester City cancelled after Mason Holgate was initially believed to have fouled Ben Chilwell.
15= Aston Villa – VAR decisions for = 1
Sadly for the Villans, the one time VAR did hand them a decision the resulting penalty was missed by Jack Grealish against Sheffield United.
13= Watford – VAR decisions for = 2
The Hornets have felt aggrieved some decisions had not been overturned this season, including a possible penalty against Tottenham.
Still, it gave them one against Chelsea and chalked off a Liverpool goal when Sadio Mane was ruled to be offside.
13= Arsenal – VAR decisions for = 2
The Gunners haven’t had too much go for them when it comes to VAR.
They saw it give them Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal against Manchester United after it was initially ruled out.
Meanwhile, against Norwich, they were allowed to retake a missed penalty due to encroachment.
8= West Ham – VAR decisions for = 3
The Hammers have seen VAR help them on three occasions.
Technology wiped out goals for Man City, Brighton and Burnley with all being ruled offside after a check.
8= Crystal Palace – VAR decisions for = 3
Roy Hodgson and his men were given a goal against West Ham having seen it disallowed first of all.
Against Arsenal they profited twice when they were given a penalty after Wilfried Zaha was originally adjudged to have dived, while the Gunners had a goal taken away from them later on.
8= Chelsea – VAR decisions for = 3
Against Tottenham, the Blues had two huge decisions go their way as they were given a penalty and saw Heung-Min Son sent off for a kick out at Antonio Rudiger.
The only other call which has gone their way was when West Ham’s Michail Antonio had a goal ruled out for handball.
8= Burnley – VAR decisions for = 3
VAR has helped the Clarets in many ways this campaign.
Aston Villa had a goal taken off for offside, Chelsea saw a given penalty overturned for a dive by Callum Hudson-Odoi, while they were given a spot-kick of their own against Watford by technology.
8= Bournemouth – VAR decisions for = 3
The Cherries have been handed two reprieves this season with two goals chalked off but then given after the Video Assistant Referee’s intervention.
They also saw Brighton have Dan Burn’s goal cancelled at the weekend.
5= Man City – VAR decisions for = 4
Recently City have had VAR help them as it gave them their penalty against Wolves, while allowing them to retake it due to encroachment after Raheem Sterling’s miss.
It also disallowed a Lys Mousset goal against Sheffield United, and earlier in the campaign allowed Sergio Aguero to retake a penalty against West Ham.
5= Manchester United – VAR decisions for = 4
Their first VAR encounter saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang given a goal against them but the last four times used it has gone their way.
They saw Sadio Mane have a goal disallowed, while they have been given three penalties – but only scored one of them.
5= Liverpool – VAR decisions for = 4
Prior to their game with Wolves, the Reds had actually only seen two decisions go directly in their favour – disallowed goals for Chelsea and Crystal Palace.
Mane’s allowed goal on Sunday and Neto’s cancelled effort take their tally to four decisions in their favour.
2= Tottenham – VAR decisions for = 5
Spurs have had quite the season with VAR.
Early on they drew with Man City after Gabriel Jesus’ goal was disallowed for a handball in the build-up, sparking jubilant scenes.
Since then it’s been a love-hate relationship but in their defeat to Leicester they saw Ayoze Perez’s goal chalked off and later in the campaign David McGoldrick’s effort for Sheffield United was cancelled out for offside.
West Ham’s Declan Rice also had a goal disallowed, as well as Pukki at the weekend.
2= Southampton – VAR decisions for = 5
The Saints may have had Ryan Bertrand sent off against Leicester thanks to VAR but that’s the only decision not to go their way.
Sheffield United, Bournemouth, Wolves, West Ham, and Crystal Palace have all had strikes cancelled out against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
2= Leicester – VAR decisions for = 5
The Foxes have found technology going for them five times with Wolves, Tottenham, and Burnley having goals against them ruled out.
Kelechi Iheanacho had a goal given despite originally being called offside, while Ryan Bertrand was sent off against them in their 9-0 win over Southampton.
1. Brighton – VAR decisions for = 7
The Seagulls top the lot when it comes to decisions going in their favour.
Graham Potter’s men have seen four opponents have goals disallowed for offside, while Leicester were forced to retake a penalty and Aston Villa saw a strike chalked off for a foul.
Brighton were also given a penalty, scored by Neal Maupay against Everton.