Crystal Palace 0 Everton 0: Blues undone by VAR yet again

The Toffees were left fuming by another hugely controversial decision in last night's FA Cup tie at Selhurst Park.
Crystal Palace v Everton - Emirates FA Cup Third Round
Crystal Palace v Everton - Emirates FA Cup Third Round / Vince Mignott/MB Media/GettyImages

Everton supporters at the ground and manager Sean Dyche were incensed to see VAR intervene once more to reverse the original decision by the referee not to send off Dominic Calvert-Lewin for his challenge on Nathaniel Clyne.

This came on top of what looked a serious injury to Dwight McNeil, potentially leaving the Blues without two of their key attackers for who knows how long. Although Dyche initially seems positive McNeil's injury might not be too bad.

I don't know what the club can do about the seemingly endless decisions by VAR that adversly impact this team. It is particularly galling when the system is so often used to it appears, to arbritrarlly overturn on-field decisions. And it comes on top of so many other decisions hurting the club.

And I know other clubs also moan about these decisions but they do seem to hurt the Toffees disproportionally. This latest one of course coming after Everton were denied what looked a perfectly good goal at Tottenham following a call to reverse the on-field decision.

It goes on and on and the problems being created are seriously damaging football as a product. Every week now there is some VAR controversy in at least one or two matches, sometimes more.

The point about football is that first of all it is a contact sport and tackling is actually allowed, although sometimes you wouldn't know it these days.

Secondly, like most sports it is always going to lead to marginal decisions, which might be argued each way. That is actually part of the appeal of sport: the fallability of humans, both players and officials.

And furthermore, this culture of constantly interferring with the on-the-pitch officals is undermining their already badly damaged authority still further.

Referees have to be able to referee otherwise what is the point in them? There needs to be some accountability so everyone knows who's to blame as well. A faceless official locked in a booth isn't accountable either.

In addition, VAR hasn't even solved the problem of disputed and seemingly arbritrary calls by referees and officials as Blues fans (and other teams supporters) know all too well. Look at the Merseyside derby a few months ago, just as one example.

Technology cannot overcome these factors and using it as if it will always get the decision right is not only flawed but actually absurd because it is still ultimately a human being making the choice with such fractional calls, whether that's on the pitch or sitting in a booth somewhere.

Slowing down challenges on TV like Calvert-Lewin's to the endth degree is not a reasonable or valid way to manage such incidents in games of football as it always makes a tackle look worse than it was in real time.

This process simply creates ever more frustration and anger as players, fans, managers and on-field officials wait with the game stopped for a decision from someone watching countless TV replays in a booth somewhere miles away.

I have never been a fan of introducing technology like this into football, as if it is some sort of panecea for the inevitable mistakes in officiating from time-to-time. And VAR is I think doing more harm than good to the game.

Anyway, after all that, in truth this was a poor game overall with little really to get too excited about except for the usual unnecessary controversy just mentioned.

There were positives for Everton with Arnaut Danjuma producing probably his best game since joining on loan last summer and having a couple of decent chances too. It was also good to see Seamus Coleman finally back after so long out.

So, a goalless draw that should probably have been quickly forgotten, won't be now because of VAR yet again. And a further injury for Dyche to worry about and potentially stretch his strained playing resources still further.