Neil Humphreys: EPL must wake up to VAR
Sleepy league spoiling games with human errors caused by officials who can't keep up with the speed
Despite all evidence to the contrary, some folks still believe that the Earth is flat, climate change isn't real and the English Premier League doesn't need VAR.
Such a motley crew of conspiracy theorists, conservatives and traditionalists can cling to their archaic viewpoints while the rest of us watch replays of Liverpool's disallowed "goal" and lament the loss of common sense.
After the World Cup in Russia awoke to the benefits of video assistant referees, the English Premier League remains the comatose ostrich with its head in the sand.
But Liverpool, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City supporters should be championing VAR this morning.
Before its introduction at the World Cup, there was a fear that the constant referrals might disrupt the natural ebb and flow of such a frenetic sport, but the opposite now holds true.
VAR wouldn't stop EPL games. It could potentially save them.
Just ask the outraged Reds.
Sadio Mane tapped the ball home against Arsenal, but his effort was disallowed for offside. However, replays showed Mane was onside during the second phase. The goal should've stood.
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp managed a wry smile when discussing the error, but he must be privately seething.
His side are already drawing too many games against top-four rivals. He needs legitimate goals unfairly ruled out about as much as we do.
There's always an uneasy sense that Manchester City are just a couple of victories away from breezing towards another title like a Yellow Jersey rider sipping champers on the final stage of the Tour de France.
Klopp understands the magnitude of the task ahead, even without the additional burden of officiating mistakes.
Not that the officials were really at fault in the weekend's three major errors.
Aside from Liverpool, Wolves had a "goal" chalked off against Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City's Jamie Vardy saw his goal-bound effort saved by a Cardiff handball.
Vardy's short-range strike was so quick and powerful that a couple of replays were required to spot Sol Bamba's raised arm, which deflected the shot onto the crossbar, but the handball was spotted nonetheless.
Sharp, 4K technology can keep up with the ever increasing pace of modern athletes, prepared by an army of sports scientists to perform at their optimum. Referees cannot.
All that counter-pressing towards cluttered EPL penalty boxes can be too quick, confusing and blurry for the naked eye.
Leicester still won the game and had deeper emotional issues to contemplate than a handball, but Wolves had a far greater grievance.
Already 2-0 down, Raul Jiminez thought he'd pulled a goal back against Tottenham, but a linesman flagged Matt Doherty offside in the build-up.
Replays proved the linesman wrong and VAR advocates right.
Not surprising, Wolves and Liverpool fans soon subscribed to the Chaos Theory, complaining that a single decision changed everything, robbing them of fair goals, denying them a comeback and ruining their games.
It's an impossible theory to prove and not particularly relevant either. They suffered an injustice that VAR would've fixed in seconds. That's it.
At the World Cup, VAR intervened to help award Spain's Iago Aspas a goal that a linesman had incorrectly flagged for offside. England's Harry Kane also benefited from video technology. So did South Korea against Germany.
Three crucial offside decisions, among others, went the right way in Russia, thanks to VAR. Three EPL decisions went the wrong way at the weekend, thanks to boardroom caution.
A two-thirds majority of clubs voted against VAR being implemented back in April, when voters felt the technology required further trials.
The World Cup suggested the trials were satisfactorily passed.
In September, an early review at ESPN showed that La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A all enjoyed high percentages of VAR correctly overturning decisions, which leaves the EPL in an awkward position.
After the dazzling Technicolor progress in Russia, the erratic decision-making feels like we're watching English football in black and white, which we are in a way. Referees either get it right or badly wrong. The margin for human error is too big.
EPL clubs will have a chance to vote for VAR again ahead of next season, when they'll be able to finally achieve the same result as video replays - overturn an earlier, incorrect decision.
The EPL must keep up with the speed of technology because officials can't always be expected to keep up with the speed of the game.