The PL X series is back with the newest in football technology in the spotlight, stay with us as we look at the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the Premier League this season.

You could be forgiven for thinking that the introduction of VAR would make the Premier League more entertaining and fair but it has not been received well at all… apart from by Spurs fans.

The latest team to really suffer at the hands of VAR was Aston Villa in their away game against Crystal Palace.

Being 1-0 down away from home is never an easy task to manoeuvre but in the very last minute of the game at Selhurst Park, Villa looked to have got a very important point before referee Kevin Friend consulted VAR and ruled out the strike by Henri Lansbury.

In a statement, the Premier League said: “The referee considered that Jack Grealish committed an act of simulation in the penalty area, and blew his whistle to stop the game before the ball went into goal.

“Under the IFAB protocol the video assistant referee system (VAR) is allowed to review the potential penalty situation. Having reviewed the incident the VAR judged that no ‘clear and obvious’ error had occurred and the on-field decision of simulation remained.”

In my personal opinion, VAR will eventually better the game. There are so many refinements and so much clarity that needs introducing to the process but ultimately once the powers that be have gone through it with a fine tooth comb it will mean a more consistent approach to the laws of the game being abided.

For now, fans in the stadiums will have to persevere with the constant waiting whilst referees consult with there counterparts in the office and teams will feel the nerves as they ponder any little aspects of goals or decisions made.

Whether you like it or not VAR is here to stay. It’s still the same game of football, just reimagined.

Jack Dawson.

DF Previews…

Dan previews his teams upcoming season.

Aston Villa

Manager: Dean Smith 

Last season: 5th (Promoted via Play-Offs

key player 

Jack Grealish – our captain, our best player and by far the most influential player on the pitch. He’s at the heart of everything that we do. 

Though you could argue it is now Wesley Moraes, because our new record signing looks to have become burdened with being our primary goal threat this season.


Wesley: £22m

Tyrone Mings: £20m

 Matt Targett: £17m

 Ezri Konsa: £12m

 Anwar El Ghazi: £8m

 Jota: £4m

 Kortney Hause: £3m

 Total: £86m 


 Douglas Luiz: £15m

 Bjorn Engels: £7m

I, personally, would say that the best piece of business we’ve conducted is Man City’s Douglas Luiz. Though, at the time of writing, the transfer has not been finalised, to sign Brazil’s U-23 captain, the golden ball winner at the recent Toulon Tournament and a player Pep Guardiola wanted in his squad for last season (but for a failed work permit) is a huge coup for just £15M.


We seem to be in the market for a new goalkeeper, but a new, yet proven and well-established right-winger is essential in my eyes. Though El Ghazi and Wesley are both very capable players, they are both very young and inexperienced at Premier League level. To have another player in that front three that we can rely on would be ideal.

We were linked with Pablo Fornals before West Ham signed him. Somebody of that stature is what I have in mind.


For any newly-promoted side, survival is the obvious and immediate target. But I truly believe in this squad, the coaching staff and the board, which combined with the fact we look set to spend almost £125M this window, means I think we could place very respectably this year.


We’re back in the big time, after a three-year absence, so I can’t wait to see us square up against the top six once again. Going away to Spurs on the opening weekend is a perfect way to kick-off our campaign.


No, not just yet. Though if we can guarantee survival early on, a nice run in the FA Cup wouldn’t go amiss.

@_DJMW on Twitter.