Mixed feelings (did you see the title of the post?) after last night’s football.
Happy (that’s the first bit) to see the return of Premier League football, albeit in weird, unsettling circumstances. And happy to get our first game out of the way: a wholly lacklustre affair at an empty Villa Park.
Not Happy, though (second bit now) about the goal that never was:
Just look at all those faces. They know. All of them.
Clumsy, sure. Messy, maybe. Maybe undeserved, even. But they all count.
Or usually they do, anyway.
But despite the fact that this was way over the line, the technology didn’t pick it up.
Hawk-Eye (the company responsible for the goal line technology) later told us:
“During the first half of Aston Villa v Sheffield United match at Villa Park, there was a goal line incident where the ball was carried over the line by Aston Villa goalkeeper, No. 25 Nyland.
“The match officials did not receive a signal to the watch nor earpiece as per the Goal Decision System (GDS) protocol. The seven cameras located in the stands around the goal area were significantly occluded by the goalkeeper, defender, and goalpost. This level of occlusion has never been seen before in over 9,000 matches that the Hawk-Eye Goal Line Technology system has been in operation.
“The system was tested and proved functional prior to the start of the match in accordance with the IFAB Laws of The Game and confirmed as working by the match officials. The system has remained functional throughout. Hawk-Eye unreservedly apologises to the Premier League, Sheffield United, and everyone affected by this incident.”
Quite why it wasn’t then referred to VAR, no-one really knows, but that’s only fuelled the number of conspiracy theories going around about this which are now rivalling 5G, the moon landings (or lack of them) and Bill Gates inserting vaccine chips (or whatever) in all of us.
For this morning at least.
Because if that extra point keeps Villa up, it will cost another club tens of millions of pounds. And if those two lost points means that we don’t make the Champions League this season, that will cost us tens of millions of pounds.
Perennial Premier League favourites Man United will be chuffed though. Just saying.
Such are the implications and fine margins* of modern day football.
Of course, all this can be sorted out immediately by using the “definitive replay”. Because the goalie and the defender (and all the other players) can be removed from that image:
Sooo… Even if they were in the way, they won’t be once that is released.
When it is released. Then we’ll know. Any time now. Coming soon.
If, of course, it was switched on. *cough*
Onward. Upward. Newcastle on Sunday.
* this one wasn’t very fine