So far so good for Leeds United but VAR still rankles - David Prutton

THE November international break is always a good time to step back, take stock and evaluate the start to the season.

Monday, 16th November 2020, 8:31 am

Leeds fans will be fairly pleased with how things have gone so far, I am sure.

If you had said in August that they would have three wins and a draw from eight games you would have believed it to be a fantastic return for a newly-promoted side.

If we’re looking desperately for a positive in the last couple of results, then it has maybe been a bit of a reality check over just how hard the Premier League can be.

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'LUDICROUS': Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford chips Crystal Palace 'keeper Vicente Guaita to seemingly put the Whites level only for VAR to rule out the goal for being offside with his arm. Photo by Glyn Kirk - Pool/Getty Images.

The first campaign back in the top flight was always going to be very tough and testing for Leeds and I’ve always stuck to the fact that it has to be about consolidation for the club on the whole.

I see a few supporters out and about and on the school run - they always seem to go from one extreme to the other, they’re either saying there’s a chance of Europe or they’re in the depths of despair.

People are still understandably adjusting to the fresh optimism that comes with looking upwards and it might take a little while for expectation to hit the right level.

The defeat at Crystal Palace was disappointing, but again we were all left talking about VAR rather than the game afterwards.

I cover a lot of leagues around the world and you do wonder how long we allow these issues to be classed as teething problems.

In the MLS it has become part and parcel of the game and it seems to pass without incident.

I do like the theatre aspect of it in one regard, but a lot of times it just takes far too long for the process to take place.

When the discussion boils down to a striker pointing where he wants the football it is utterly ludicrous and we have lost the plot.

That decision against Patrick Bamford in isolation was an extremely poor one and that’s when it really does hinder the fans’ enjoyment of games.

There’s an aspect now that has slowly crept into the game that when someone scores you’re immediately looking for something wrong with it rather than celebrating and we need to get away from that fast.

There seems to be misleading language around VAR with the whole ‘clear and obvious’ aspect.

It leaves a lot of us banging our heads against the wall. Football is, after all, supposed to be a form of entertainment.

Let’s not forget it is a hard job being a match official and there has to be some understanding over that.

I’m not saying they don’t know what the profession is and everything that comes with it, but we are all human and mistakes can be made.

Referees are the subject of attention, vitriol and they’re pulled apart by all of us over every decision they make on a weekly basis - yet without them the game is utterly floored and lawless.

There is a lingering feeling that the whole VAR things isn’t quite working how it should be at the moment and we need to sort it quickly before it starts to disillusion people even more than it has done already.

We’re at a point now where we are basically waiting to see which game is going to throw up this week’s VAR controversy.

On another note, Pablo Hernandez missing the game at Selhurst Park was an eye-catcher I have to say.

He has been at the absolute core of most of the positive things that have happened for Leeds on the pitch since he arrived and his reaction against Leicester was probably borne out of a lot of frustration.

Pablo comes across as a very humble player who is low maintenance and devotes his life to his job and career.

There are two schools of thought over his public display of frustration.

The first is that it shows passion and the second is that there is a professional side to being a footballer and you have to make sure you channel that in the correct way.

It’s easy for us to say we wouldn’t have reacted like this or that, because we haven’t been tearing around a training pitch all week doing our utmost to be involved or make that difference on match day.

I’m sure after a hard few weeks there will be the proverbial kissing and making up between him and Marcelo Bielsa.

He’s so well-loved by the fans and the manager himself that it is impossible to see it sowing seeds of discontentment.

Pablo doesn’t strike me as someone who would’ve stormed into Thorp Arch last Monday morning shouting ‘I told you so’ and that’s a big part of why we all love him.

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Thank you Laura Collins