Monday September 25 2017
Wk6: Human error

Football cannot exist without errors, judgment calls and disagreements, so Susy Campanale warns it's all about the great imponderable elements.

It is impossible – nor is it desirable – to completely remove human error from sport. VAR’s truth is in the eye of the beholder. Players making mistakes to cause or miss goals is what football is based on. A Coach will always be accused of doing something wrong, no matter how much or little he changes his team from match to match. Errors, and the avoidance of them, are what make sport possible. It’s also why there are so many debate shows, podcasts, Twitter feeds and blogs like this one, because we don’t all agree on what is right.

The introduction of the Video Assistant Referee technology has until now been an issue of pace, but this weekend we got the first real taste of controversy. Luca Pairetto really didn’t fancy trotting over to look at a monitor on the side of the pitch, so if his assistants in the booth did radio down urging him to take another glance at the footage, he wasn’t much inclined to try. It’s difficult to see how Etrit Berisha grabbing Gil Dias by the ankle could’ve been a more obvious penalty, yet it was ignored and Atalanta went on to get that last-gasp equaliser. Fiorentina were understandably furious, as this is precisely the kind of human error that was meant to be eradicated this season.

Juventus director general Beppe Marotta is fond of referring to the “great imponderable elements” in sport, those incidents that cannot be predicted. Arkadiusz Milik will know exactly what he means, having damaged the ACL on his other knee one year on from the first massive setback. Simone Inzaghi lost most of his defence midway through the defeat to Napoli midweek, but corralled his Lazio to crush sorry Hellas Verona anyway. How this makeshift side will fare against sterner opposition is another matter.

Torino could not predict Daniele Baselli would commit two stupid and entirely avoidable fouls in the opening 25 minutes of the Derby della Mole. The first was debatable, but if you are already on a yellow card, you cannot in good conscience fling yourself sideways at an opponent and expect to get away with it. There’s a difference between human error and outright idiocy. Juventus march on with maximum points, but are still yet to be genuinely tested. Napoli at least have been forced to comeback from a goal down and prove their character, something that never happened in previous seasons.

Milan have faced only two tricky fixtures this term and lost both of them badly. The same fans who were already preparing Scudetto parties are now turning the knives on Vincenzo Montella, as if he is the sole figure to blame. This is a completely new squad, one that only really started playing together a couple of weeks ago and needs time to gel. It’s true, using 11 different line-ups in 11 competitive games this season is not a good sign, but Montella is inevitably at the tinkering stage. It also doesn’t take a genius to see Suso is wasted in a more central role and Cristian Zapata will never be a reliable defender, but mistakes are made so you can learn from them. Let Montella and Milan learn before wiping everything out to start again.

It seems the attitude of some Rossoneri supporters has rubbed off on the team: having a big name is no guarantee of success. You must earn every point and every tackle, just like Sampdoria did. Inter have scored more goals in the final 15 minutes than any other side this season, but a statistic like that cannot just be luck. Luciano Spalletti’s men do not give up and keep pushing for the result, even if they didn’t particularly deserve it, because this isn’t a sport based on merit. It’s about not making too many errors and pouncing on opposition mistakes.

Football is a fickle business. Just as Milanisti turned on Montella, the same critical Roma fans are now on board the Eusebio Di Francesco train. At least he can’t be accused of over-tinkering, with his 4-3-3 system set in stone like some Ancient Roman monument, but the Giallorossi are starting to get into the swing of things.

Next weekend it’s Milan v Roma and we’ll see who is jumping on or off the bandwagon. A Giallorossi victory would be devastating for Montella’s hopes of convincing an impatient fanbase, a Rossoneri success emboldening those who say EDF only beats minnows. Of course, one or even six games are not enough to judge a project, but that won’t stop them anyway. It’s a very old, very human error.

Have your say...
@vini_london come now lets be fair to everyone here there are just as many juve trolls as there are inter trolls on these blogs. Just look cb shortage article you have a array of troll opinions not just from juve milan and inter a array of childish insults and opinion on football.
on the 27th September, 2017 at 8:10am
I didnt know this site attracted so many trolls, especially those supporting the inter club. Before even those fans had some decency to debate properly. Look how funny one of them behaves: i'm not here to bash Juventus, but im doing it nevertheless. And then he continues by saying ridiculous statements, such as 'i love italian football but Juventus'lol! Juventus is the embodiment of the italian football, you imbecile.
on the 27th September, 2017 at 12:11am
You idiots suffer from short term memory loss or what? Take a history lesson on match fixing in italy please before you point your fingers. I know your young idiotic minds might find it hard to go past 06 but please try so we dont have to waste time reading the same commemts for the last 1000 articles or so. Jeez what a bunch of sore losers.
on the 26th September, 2017 at 1:27pm
See Inter fans don't have the justice or humility to acknowledge a stonewall penalty for Roma and curiously it didn't even a VAR. In a game where Inter only played well the last part of the game, if Roma had gone 2 up it could have been a different result.
When it goes against Inter big sob story and when it goes for them they still play the victim.
The Milan sides have had the rub of the green with VAR so far. To the injustice to their opponents.
on the 26th September, 2017 at 12:02pm
@ Juveman and Anonymous
You can always trust the Bianconeri to say video footage is a lie. There is no doubting the penalties that were given to Inter unless of course you decide to close your eyes during the slow motion replays..
I will admit Inter got a few favorable calls in the middle of the park but definitely not any contentious decisions in the Inter or opposition box.
Welcome to a fair world! I would be upset too if I was a Bianconeri...
on the 26th September, 2017 at 7:52am
Once a cheater always a cheater ... look at what just happened to the current president of JuBe.

I really love Italian football but Juventus. They are doing their best to disgrace the league ... when are they going to learn? Doping to players, Cheating their ways, collaborating with criminals,... (just look at the news YESTERDAY!!!).

What the hell is wrong with this club ... such a disgrace to football ... ABSOULUTE DISGRACE!
on the 26th September, 2017 at 7:46am
I love when VAR introduced suddenly Inter got lots of call in our favour (correctly)...
on the 26th September, 2017 at 6:18am
VAR is definitely flawed but the times it has been used the call was correct. Maybe they​ could include some kind of challenge system too sort of like the NFL. Refereeing will always be an issue in this sport as fans, players, coaches, and referees have their own interpretation of the rules and how a foul is judged. In the end the (slightly) better team always wins. As for Milan fans calling for montella's head remember Milan bought 11 new players most for the starting 11. No matter FORZA Inter
on the 26th September, 2017 at 12:49am
I think Susy has a crush on Montella.
Because I can't imagine even the most hardcore fans absolving Montella from any blame.

@ " The observer"..

Please look up the definition of "neutral".

@ Rosario

That theo guy is obsessed with the US.
on the 25th September, 2017 at 10:19pm
Human error would be this farce called the FIGC. Even with Clear evidence in front of them that Agnelli didn't commit any crime, and didn't associate with connected Ultras, they still ban and fine him. The evidence in the case CLEARLY states that there was no offence committed, and they did a HORRIBLE job in explaining their ruling. Juve have already launched an appeal, and once we get this ruling over turned, Juventus FC should sue the Pants off of the FIGC. Never fails with those guys.
on the 25th September, 2017 at 5:44pm
Italian football and European football in general doesn't need VAR , it just needs 100 Pierluigi Collina quality referees! He didn't care if the game was Milan - Inter , Fiorentina - Atalanta or Spezia - Venezia. He whistled and refereed fair for everyone. Nowadays these new referees are a joke.
on the 25th September, 2017 at 5:42pm
Typical Inter fans always playing victim. They seem to cry even louder when they are the ones getting the favourable calls over other teams. Crocodile tears.
on the 25th September, 2017 at 3:51pm
Montella played a provincial system. Top teams do not play the system he played. Bonucci long balls to outer space, sometimes to Abate who can't keep a line and always offside or cant do anything great with it anyways. Not impressed with Biglia, imo he is Montolivo no. 2. Always pass the ball backwards or sideways to wingbacks who aren't even open. Never attack the space vertically with ball himself even when no one in front of him and he has room. You are to forgiving for garbage, Suse.
on the 25th September, 2017 at 3:25pm
It is a shame about milik the guy just can't catch a break at the moment hopefully he will be back in serie sooner rather than later.
on the 25th September, 2017 at 3:25pm
@tchi criticism yeah but calling for his sacking is completely overzealous honestly have some patience the season has barely kicked off and apparently the best course of action is to fire the coach. It's absurd this group of players is new to each other they need to gel together professionally and as human beings. Lets remember milan may have lost 2 games but they have won 8 i wouldn't write off this team or coach just yet.
on the 25th September, 2017 at 3:24pm
@ Gi-Al-Lorossi, you are right my friend. If you read my comment carefully, I said to give a responsibility to those in VAR room so that they inform the referee. I agree that the implementation needs some work, but the system is very helpful. My aim here is to emphasize the importance of VAR and work on required improvements. In dubious situations the referees must review at all times. If such things are in place then we might see a fair judgement. BTW, good luck Roma. Forza Serie A except JuBe!
on the 25th September, 2017 at 3:02pm
on the 25th September, 2017 at 3:00pm
Inter is finally getting the calls (rightly thanks to VAR) that were usually denied due to refereeing incompetency or perhaps on purpose. Yes there will be times when VAR will work against us, but I as a fan am OK with that as I'd rather have a game changing incident be properly reviewed than leave it up for debate, whether it is for us or against us. I agree there are other problems with VAR, but so far all the calls VAR has made in any game have been valid.
on the 25th September, 2017 at 2:33pm
@Theo. Unacceptable comment in every sense. That comment should be removed. Don't bring political issues from other countries to this website.
on the 25th September, 2017 at 2:15pm
Without hysterics, Montella got it wrong. Playing Zapata because Samp has a Zapata too? Ridiculous.
Should have made subs earlier and as much as I love Cutrone, once you take off Jack&Suso, Cutrone isn't getting any service to make an impact. Silva would have added pace. Not even getting into Borini.
Tactically we lack penetration/verticality and physically we lack pace up top. Stale.
Hope Montella and the team can get it together quickly so we don't lose pace with Inter, Roma, Lazio.
on the 25th September, 2017 at 1:22pm
Feel terrible for Milik. Great striker but it seems his Napoli adventure will be coming to an end soon. Wish him a speedy recovery and hope he can still make an impact down the stretch for the Partenopei .
on the 25th September, 2017 at 1:15pm
@ The Observer

What about when stone wall penalties are denied and the referee refuses to use VAR as he did with Perotti in the Roma vs Inter match? Nothing valid about that.
on the 25th September, 2017 at 1:04pm
@annonymous what there to think about? Playing Zapata ahead of Missachio? Forcing Suso to play centrally? Or not making subs when it's obvious nothing is happening till conceding in the 75th? The later is amateurish.was he waiting for us to concede before realizing jackB was annonymous and suso was struggling? The team was playinglike they met on Sunday. Too many long balls,no creativity,no fluidit,just losing my last regard for Montella. I'll soon join the #Montellaout wagon.frustratin
on the 25th September, 2017 at 11:50am
I find the criticism of Zapata laughable. He has been totally reliable so far this season. I would certainly pick him over Romagnoli currently. The chested ball to Duvan was a complete fluke. Apart from that, he had a consistent game. The blame should lay at the door of the midfield and attack who couldn't muster a single shot on target in 94 minutes.
on the 25th September, 2017 at 11:24am
Come on it is commonplace to have some supporters call for a manager sacking after a defeat you are not supposed to take them seriously. It is the nature of the beast in serie a and modern football unfortunately people lack patience. Still montella has screwed up in a couple of games now not only for his tactical setup but his reaction to the game he should be open to reasonable criticism. I would ask follow milan fans to really think about the issues before posting something.
on the 25th September, 2017 at 11:08am
More ... I wish there could be a VAR system in clubs' medical treatment room as well so that we control those club that give performance enhancer injections. Tangible example? Well ask Dr. Riccardo Agricola of Juventus.

Ohh don't cry JuBe fans, I'm not tarnishing anything ... just click the link below:

If there is any club that has no moral background to such issues ... just search scandal and Jube...
on the 25th September, 2017 at 10:15am
@Juveman, unfortunately all the penalities Inter were given or the red cards to their opponents were valid all day. So, what is exactly your point?

As a neutral, I really appreciate the VAR system. The problem I saw is not the VAR itself. There has to be a certain rule that allow the external observers (VAR room) to signal the referee in incidents such as happened to Fiorentina so that he can review from there. VAR is a must for Italian football; especially & certainly because of Juventus.
on the 25th September, 2017 at 10:00am
I love how inter haven't had a single game where they haven't received a penalty or played against 10 men yet Juve are the ones always getting helped.
on the 25th September, 2017 at 8:39am
Devastating for the young Pole.

For all of the problems in Serie A. There is no fear of political meddling or our lads refusing to stand for the beautiful anthem. Our problems almost seem quaint in comparison to our friends in sport an ocean away.
on the 25th September, 2017 at 2:11am

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