World Cup 2018 – VAR and Penalties

Today both the group F and group E got a very important game. No one would have guessed that this world cup the group stage games will be like final for many big teams. See Spain, Portugal and Argentina they had to win the last game to qualify to top the group.

If today, Mexico loses to Sweden and Germany don’t win against South Korea then Germany will be out of the world cup. In group E, If Brazil loses to Serbia and Switzerland wins again Costa Rica then Brazil is out of the world cup. Who would have thought that, forget topping the group!!

The way Brazil is playing and Neymar, he slows down the game I think, he will keep the ball with him for more time. Brazil needs to start Roberto Firmino in place of Jesus I think. Firmino is a better playmaker than Jesus which they need on top of the field for the talent they got on top of the field. Serbia will too play for the win if they beat Brazil they going to qualify so it will not be easy for Brazil too. Serbia is a physically strong team and for that Neymar’s gameplay too change. He shouldn’t try to get the call from half line and try to dribble past 3-4 players. that work is for Philippe Coutinho and Douglas Costa to make that connection between defence to attack. Neymar and Firmino must stay on top for that final ball to score goals.

It will be a tough game for the current world champion. South Korea will not give up easily, they are out of the world cup but still. A few days back South Korea President Mr Moon Jae-in met the team after Mexico game and I am for sure South Korea team will not go home without a point. They will fight till the end and they got talent for sure. Germany got their last win against Sweden on last dying minutes. They are the team t beat this world cup and no team would like to get them in the round of 16. But the fun fact is if Germany and Brazil bot wins their games today they all play each other in the round of 16. Imagine that, a potential Final away before Final. Germany need to play the correct formation or else they can tell goodbye to the WorldCup, just like last game against Sweden the chances Mr Low did in the second half, he needs to start with the same changes. playing Muller behind stick or a striker and putting Timo and Reus as wingers and Ozil behind Muller.

 

“22 penalties, more 24 games to come.”

 

Till now twenty-two penalty has been given till now with more 24 games to come in the tournament, the latest one was to Iceland against Croatia. The previous record was 18, set in 1990, 1998, and 2002, according to Fifa. Is this good for the game, a big yes. out of 22 penalties, 10 were given by VAR. VAR is god for the game, like the foul Mascherano, committed in the game against Nigeria was a schoolboy error, you cant pull the opponent player down inside the box in a corner kick. With the implant of VAR all those defenders will think twice before committing the foul and its not that they don’t know they are committing foul or they did something wrong, they are playing at the highest level of the game and with the experience each one them got it’s all up to how commitment those defenders are to commit that foul or to do a world class tackle. This will surely help defenders too to improve their quality, these days the depreciating value of defenders is widely visible. There are some good world class defenders but if you see those numbers compare to attacking players the ration is very less. “Defence is a limelight position to play and media don’t cover and appreciate us enough.” it was said by the best defensive midfielder of current time Sergio Busquets from Barcelona. VAR surely a great tool for defenders to improve their talent and commitment. VAR too need to improve like the handball incident in game Iran vs Portugal and Argentina vs Nigeria and the Harry Kane incident in game England vs. Tunisia. People need to understand that VAR can only be called by the field referee in four incident only, These are:
1. Awarding goals
2. Penalty decisions
3. Red card decisions
4. Cases of mistaken identity

So if the referee doesn’t think it’s not a foul inside box then VAR is of no use. Which is in a way correct to keep the game speed and continue the moment of the game. Too much interference will take all the fun and passion out of this lovely game. VAR shouldn’t become a time sucking Dracula for football.

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