Celtic star Matt O'Riley explains his main VAR frustration; Ange Postecoglou agrees

By Lewis Laird

February 16, 2023

Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley has admitted that the slow use of VAR this season is ‘not ideal’, with stoppages slowing down momentum in games.

The technology was introduced to Scottish Football earlier this season, and it would be fair to say there have been some teething problems.

Clubs from across the top flight in the Scottish Premiership have become frustrated by VAR for many different reasons.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

One of those reasons being the amount of time it can take for referees and the VAR officials to come to a decision.

Supporters in stadiums across the country become visibly frustrated at the time it can take, along with the lack of communication surrounding a potentially game-changing decision.

Speaking at a recent Celtic supporter event, midfielder Matt O’Riley was asked for his thoughts on VAR this season, and there is clearly frustration on the player’s behalf too.

The Danish under-21 international explained that the time it can take to come to a decision is far from ideal, as it slows down the pace and momentum that Ange Postecoglou’s squad want to play at.

He said [Daily Record]: “For us, it’s not ideal, especially the way we play and the momentum we have when we’re constantly attacking teams, it gives them a breather as well.

“The way we’re playing, we’re trying to tire teams out, so it’s a bit frustrating in that sense, but at the same time, everyone has to deal with it.”

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The pace of VAR decisions has been a huge frustration for all involved, including Ange Postecoglou

As mentioned, there have been many different faults with VAR since its introduction into the game back in October last year.

But one of the major frustrations, from the players, managers and supporters’ point of view, has been the amount of time it regularly takes to come to a decision.

Of course, some key decisions will take longer to decide, and officials will need to watch a few replays closer to decipher their final call.

However, this seems to be taking place between every stoppage, with no communication as to why this is the case. It is clearly a frustration of the Celtic squad, who would rather keep their momentum up in the game.

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglo has agreed with O’Riley’s point in the past, stating his frustrations at the amount of time it can take to come to a decision.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The 57-year-old spoke about this after David Turnbull received a sending-off in the Christmas Eve fixture against St Johnstone. He had no quarrels against the fact a red card was given, but more the length of time it took.

So it clearly isn’t just supporters and players who are getting annoyed by this, but also the top-flight managers, including Ange Postecoglou.

Here’s hoping as we adjust to the technology in the coming weeks, months and years, we see a change in pace over some of the decisions.

In other news, The Celtic manager hotseat question is put to Scott Brown and he answered it well.