It would be an understatement to say that without VAR, Southampton would not be as high in the table as they are now, which is to say, they would be in the relegation zone.
The Saints currently find themselves in 17th place after nine games in the Premier League table, yet Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side can count themselves lucky that this was the season that VAR was introduced to the top-flight of English football, with the newly-introduced yet already controversial feature saving Southampton important points.
Last weekend saw Wolves have two goals ruled off by the power of VAR in the Saints 1-1 draw with the Molineux side, and Southampton’s last win in the Premier League, a 1-0 victory away to Sheffield United, was only a triumph as Oli McBurnie’s strike was ruled out by the fine folks at Stockley Park.
Fans know that VAR has saved their skin this season, and so does club legend Matt Le Tissier, who speaking to The Southern Daily Echo waxed lyrical about the technology that is seemingly saving his former club from entering the dreaded relegation zone.
Le Tissier said: “I like fairness, that’s the thing (VAR) about it all, certainly with the offsides. That’s my main point and the one rule I wanted it brought in for. Years ago I said no goal should ever be scored in the Premier League that’s offside, with the technology we have at the moment, we’re getting there, and that makes the game fairer.”
VAR might be making the game fairer from Southampton’s point of view, yet if you were to ask a Watford or Liverpool fans, they might give you a different answer based on their experiences with the technology over the past weekend that saw the Hornets denied an obvious penalty against Tottenham as well as Dele Alli scoring with a handball assist in the final minutes and the reigning Champions League holders having Manchester Untied score against them despite a foul in the build-up to their goal.
The newly-introduced technology certainly has its critics, but for Le Tissier and Southampton, VAR has arguably been the main contributing factor as to why the Saints currently don’t sit in the relegation zone.