‘I don’t like the whole theatre around it’ - Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou discusses VAR ‘circus’ during Hearts win
The Hoops manager refused to get sucked into the drama surrounding the technology but he bemoaned his side’s lack of penalties.
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The Scottish champions ran out 4-3 winners in Gorgie on Saturday after Lawrence Shankland’s penalty on the stroke of half-time had cancelled out James Forrest’s 14th minute opener.
The Jambos striker bagged a hat-trick against the Premiership leaders, but it wasn’t enought to prevent the Hoops from claiming maximum points in a highly entertaining encounter.
Second half strikes from Giorgos Giakoumakis, Daizen Maeda and Greg Taylor settled a compelling match, with arguably the most controversal incident coming when Michael Smith handled the ball in the box but escaped an on-field VAR review and any form of punishment.
Postecoglou refused to get drawn into some of the contentious decisions, but claimed he doesn’t enjoy the “Standing around” involved in VAR calls.
He said: “Credit to the lads, it’s not easy coming here, their crowd is up and about, the conditions the way they are, it’s always going to be a 50/50 game and with the whole circus around VAR it becomes anything but the football.
“For us, within that context just to stick to try and play our football and finding a way to win is credit to the lads. As I said before the game, I would much prefer if it wasn’t involved at all but it’s here.
“I’m not a fan of it. I don’t like the whole theatre around it, I think there’s too much emphasis on it and it takes too long to make a decision. But obviously it’s going to have teething problems and it’s going to take a while for them (match officials) to streamline that process because I just don’t like the standing about.
“We’re here to watch football, not to sort of sit around and wait for people to make decisions around things. I thought we had a clear cut handball, but what do I know? Even on TV apparently that’s not clear enough. You just let it go.
“We’ve not had a penalty all year, I keep hearing opposition managers saying we get everything, the only penalties we’ve taken so far are in training. I’m looking forward to one and I look forward to fellow managers accepting the fact that VAR is not going to be clear cut.
“That’s the problem with it, people think it’s going to come in and clear everything up. It doesn’t, there’s still human beings involved. Like I said, I’m probably a lone voice in terms of how I would like it used. I just think minimal interference with minimal time taken because its no secret our football is based around having the ball in play for as long as possible. It is what it is, I’m probably on the outside on this one.
“If that’s the kind of drama you want there’s probably a good movie playing at the cinema. You can sit down, get your popcorn and watch it. I like to watch football.”
Full-back Greg Taylor stepped off the bench to notch his first goal for the club and what turned out to be the decisive match-winner on his 64th appearance in a Hoops jersey.
He admitted: “It was a good game, end to end. VAR made its addition, we had a feeling it might play a part and thankfully by notching a winner it’s stopped it having an outcome.
“It’s always nerve-wracking watching from the side and not having any impact on the game, the boys on the pitch look calm and cool but it can be a horrible feeling. I’m just really glad to get the win, it’s an important three points and keeps the momentum going.
“We’ve got a strong squad, you see everyone plays their part. Whether it’s the subs or the boys who start we’re really together and you could see how ecstatic everyone was to get that win.”