I don't favour the introduction of video technology in football. I'm sure, as in cricket and rugby, it would be straightforward enough to introduce and wouldn't disrupt games. But for me, it's not just about the impact on football at the top level, but the grass roots. There is already a shrill sense of entitlement running through football as it is. See a comment under a recent post, here, to see my point.
This evening on 606, once again, we had Robbie Savage saying a decision was "disgraceful" having had the benefit of slow motion, freeze frame and replays. The referee has to make a decision based on what he sees. In the midst of this, there are 22 professional athletes trying to con him constantly with appeals, dives, leaving a foot in, shirt tugging, nipping, spitting, or to put it mildly, cheating. That ugly Real Madrid v Barcelona game is a case in point.
The constant abuse of officials is killing football. And it is in turn fuelled by a lack of respect for their decisions. Every TV programme, every radio phone-in amplifies the injustice - "come on ref" - making it harder and harder at the grass roots. Every decision is scrutinised on TV, so the sense that you don't dust yourself down and get on with it, you jump up and down and cry like a baby if it doesn't go your way.
The game will not benefit from a fifth official with a replay. It will make the bigger problem even worse. To me the beauty of football is how the same rules apply to every game. The Dog And Duck v the Red Lion is 11 v 11, a ref, a pitch and a ball. Liners help sometimes. Same as Real v Barca. How soon before buffoons with mobile phone cameras start offering their services?
No, what football needs is a sense of perspective and this whole debate is a symptom, once again, of a sport that has lost it completely.