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There it is. The innocuous, blink and you miss it event which turned Saturday’s match.

Mick Keane on Aaron Connolly. No one who was watching – in the stadium, on tv, even on the pitch – thought it was a penalty (save for perhaps Connolly) and of course VAR.

VAR. Football’s all seeing eye. Football’s pedantic autocorrect. Manned in this case by Lee Mason at Stockley Park who whispered sweet nothings in Andrew Madley’s ear until he awarded a penalty.

At that point we were winning 2-1. Mason Holgate had just strolled out of the back and slid a beautiful pass through to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and he’d swept an equally beautiful finish home.

There wasn’t long left. Surely we were going to see this out? Surely!? Hope, that nasty imposter, grows like weeds with us. It’s incessant. It presses like Richarlison.

There’s no FFP for hope, no cap on optimism. And it wasn’t that outlandish an idea anyway was it? Winning two games in a row?

That’s what hurts the most about this. I let the hope in. And as soon as I did, three points turned to one point and then turned to none.

One thing I can’t understand, is the blame that Silva is getting for this. I can understand that some dislike him. This season has been a grim disappointment. But the last two games shouldn’t have furthered anyone’s agenda against him. I wonder, are all the people saying “a loss is a loss” about the Brighton game – stubbornly refusing to look at the circumstances of the defeat – are they the same people who chipped away at our win against West Ham? For them, a loss is a loss, but the opposite isn’t true – a win isn’t a win. Myriad excuses were made when we beat West Ham – Silva stumbled on that lineup, West Ham are terrible anyway, of course we won – it’s a home game! And the fact remains, that barring that myopic VAR decision, we could well have gone on to win yesterday. It was a turning point, heads dropped, and in a horrible fatalistic way, I almost expected Lucas Digne‘s 90th+ minute own goal. It was a wretched way to lose, and we’ll all forget about Holgate’s delicious pass, how Alex Iwobi always seems to make things better when he’s on the pitch, and how we deserved three points.

Away from home we’ve amassed one single solitary point. A win would have helped us shrug this off, instead we all indulged in a mass session of primal scream therapy. Sufferance is the badge of all our tribe.

Tuesday brings us the League Cup, and another trip wire has been set up by some. Lose this, and Marco has to go, apparently. I don’t really agree. This is the League Cup, a tournament we’ve never won, and rarely seem to play like we care about. A win though, would see us in the quarter-finals.

There it is again. Hope. Chasing me down and pressing like Richarlison.

  1. It stands for Video Assistant Referee, so it also describes the human being watching the "tv screen." I guess you could call that a TV ref if you wanted.

    Sort of missed my point. When reading match reports they always refer it as a system when its really not.

  2. It was supposed to be a joke on the fact that I couldn’t make out the word myopic because you know, myopia? My hit rate on gags has been worse than an Everton striker’s accuracy to be fair.:(

    Sorry mate. In retrospect…good one!

  3. "And the fact remains, that barring that myopic VAR decision…"

    It was supposed to be a joke on the fact that I couldn’t make out the word myopic because you know, myopia? My hit rate on gags has been worse than an Everton striker’s accuracy to be fair.:(

  4. If we’re staring down the barrel of the second coming of the Moyesiah, then I fervently hope that Silva gets his [Poor language removed] together
  5. Personally I think we will win against Watford, hopefully anyway!

    It was a horrible way to lose but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves otherwise it’s pointless and may as well give up.

    My other main disappointment apart from the pen decision was not seeing the game out , the pen was to make it 2-2 and I was hoping it would anger the players enough to take the game to them and even win it.

  6. Can everyone just stop referring to VAR like its a sentient being. It’s just a guy looking at a tv screen with his own interpretations of what happened? He is just a tv ref!

    It stands for Video Assistant Referee, so it also describes the human being watching the "tv screen." I guess you could call that a TV ref if you wanted.

  7. Can everyone just stop referring to VAR like its a sentient being. It’s just a guy looking at a tv screen with his own interpretations of what happened? He is just a tv ref!
  8. For starters, it isn’t going to be. Unless you mean just the EPL but surely you know football isn’t England’s sport. It’s never been more global.

    So it becomes a case of both recognizing that it’s here to stay, but also ensuring it’s implemented and used properly. The EPL is a disaster with this. VAR works when applied properly. It’s not being applied properly in the EPL.

    You’re right. VAR isn’t the issue – it’s the way it’s being used to manipulate results so the brands stay top for tv revenue.

  9. There is phrase which is often used by authorities when a rule has been stretched to its limit without quite being broken it is referred to as being ‘against the spirit of the game’ and being found to have acted thus can result in official admonition or even punishment.
    For me this penalty decision means the authorities themselves have acted ‘against the spirit of the game’ , and not for the first time since VAR has been introduced either.
    I have already come to believe that VAR is a poor idea being poorly administered. This decision merely reinforces my growing antipathy to its continued use.
    It’s an aberration that should be removed as soon as possible from our sport.

    For starters, it isn’t going to be. Unless you mean just the EPL but surely you know football isn’t England’s sport. It’s never been more global.

    So it becomes a case of both recognizing that it’s here to stay, but also ensuring it’s implemented and used properly. The EPL is a disaster with this. VAR works when applied properly. It’s not being applied properly in the EPL.

  10. There is phrase which is often used by authorities when a rule has been stretched to its limit without quite being broken it is referred to as being ‘against the spirit of the game’ and being found to have acted thus can result in official admonition or even punishment.
    For me this penalty decision means the authorities themselves have acted ‘against the spirit of the game’ , and not for the first time since VAR has been introduced either.
    I have already come to believe that VAR is a poor idea being poorly administered. This decision merely reinforces my growing antipathy to its continued use.
    It’s an aberration that should be removed as soon as possible from our sport.
  11. It isnt.
    You are in a very very small minority if you think it is.

    well…it is a penalty to the letter of the law

    but it should never have been called (it wasn’t!), and Madley should never have capitulated to Mason’s VAR suggestion that it was

  12. In the words of Leonard Cohen:

    Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
    Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
    Everybody knows the war is over
    Everybody knows the good guys lost
    Everybody knows the fight was fixed
    The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
    That’s how it goes
    Everybody knows
    Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
    Everybody knows that the captain lied
    Everybody got this broken feeling
    Like their father or their dog just died
    Everybody talking to their pockets
    Everybody wants a box of chocolates
    And a long-stem rose
    Everybody knows
    Everybody knows that you love me baby
    Everybody knows that you really do
    Everybody knows that you’ve been faithful
    Ah, give or take a night or two
    Everybody knows you’ve been discreet
    But there were so many people you just had to meet
    Without your clothes
    And everybody knows
    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    That’s how it goes
    Everybody knows
    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    That’s how it goes
    Everybody knows
    And everybody knows that it’s now or never
    Everybody knows that it’s me or you
    And everybody knows that you live forever
    Ah, when you’ve done a line or two
    Everybody knows the deal is rotten
    Old Black Joe’s still pickin’ cotton
    For your ribbons and bows
    And everybody knows
    And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
    Everybody knows that it’s moving fast
    Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
    Are just a shining artifact of the past
    Everybody knows the scene is dead
    But there’s gonna be a meter on your bed
    That will disclose
    What everybody knows
    And everybody knows that you’re in trouble
    Everybody knows what you’ve been through
    From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
    To the beach of Malibu
    Everybody knows it’s coming apart
    Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
    Before it blows
    And everybody knows
    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    That’s how it goes
    Everybody knows
    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    That’s how it goes
    Everybody knows
    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    That’s how it goes
    Everybody knows
    Everybody knows

  13. How come you didnt pick a tweet or quote from the other 99.999% of the football world that agrees its a total injustice.

    Not like you to trawl through the media to point out something to have a dig at the club now is it ?

    Not interested in the quotes, look at the picture and tell.me how that’s not a penalty

  14. I think a loss in the cup and a bad performance may see him go, what worries me is the way we just collapsed after the penalty which obviously wasn’t a pen. A team aiming for top 6 would be pushing for a 3rd but we conceded again, it’s the mentality. I’m hoping for a win in the cup and an up and at them approach against spurs also. Everything and everyone seems to be against us at the moment so let’s get our game face on and make goodison an absolute bear pit for opposition to come to and get behind the team, they are going to need lifting after the Brighton game and we can play our part in that.
  15. I don’t think excuses were made for the West Ham win but I think people were wondering would he have played Davies if Morgan wasn’t injured? It’s a perfectly valid question and no one was taking the win away from him, Neither is the goals he conceded against Brighton his fault but on the other hand you could argue his caveman subs and tactics led to Brighton’s third goal where they’re breaking at the 94th min with 4 on 3 defenders and Davies is on the right wing but like I’ve mentioned before it’s another loss and the manager takes the heat for it.
  16. Very good article and pretty much the way I see it.

    As soon as we went 2-1 up and I allowed myself to start to think about where in the table 3 points might take us it was snatched away.

    We just can’t have nice things

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