Man City analyst: Replays on bench will create 'huge controversy'

Bredice has been with Manchester City since 2013

Bredice has been with Manchester City since 2013

MANCHESTER CITY analyst Richard Bredice says he expects the introduction of electronic devices into the technical area to create “huge controversy” this season.

The City opposition analyst says that allowing coaches to watch replays from the bench while referees are NOT allowed access to VAR is a recipe for “madness and theatre in equal measure”.

As exclusively revealed by TGG in May, “small, hand-held electronic or communication devices” are now allowed in the technical area “if used for coaching/ tactics or player welfare”.

Players cannot be shown any footage during a match and video is not to be used to contest decisions - but Bredice still expects chaos to ensue.

“For the first time ever, technology will be allowed in the technical area and it’s sure to provide a whole new edge to our match-day experience,” he wrote for the Travelling Peach website.

“As an analyst myself I’m hugely excited. However, I can’t help but think giving coaches replays that referees cannot see is going to cause huge controversy.

“The managers won't be personally watching it during the game, rather the assistant managers or coaches [will], so they won't be distracted, but it could lead to people we don't often see being vocal in front of the cameras becoming a lot more animated.

“The new technology ruling states that video cannot be used to contest decisions, but I’m going to set the scene: a 95th minute winner hits the net with the striker marginally offside.

“The goal is awarded, but on the bench the coaching staff have clear evidence that the goal is offside. The coaching staff can see it, the manager can see it and the subs can see it.

"However, the men in the middle cannot see any replays due to the strange decision not to introduce VAR in conjunction with this new technology ruling.

“In a ruckus of cursing, hand gestures and fake televisions being frantically drawn, coaches will be sent off and the result will remain. Madness and theatre in equal measure!

“It’s strange that when VAR was used so well in the World Cup, the Champion's League and Premier League, [we] won't be using it this season. It sends a confused message. Surely, they should be using both.”

Bredice, who joined City from Reading in March 2013 and was promoted to opposition analyst a year later, also highlighted the fact that clubs do not have to provide a live feed on the bench during a game.

However, if they use one, they have to provide the same service for the away team.

“Not all clubs will be using the technology,” Bredice added. “Teams have the choice to provide it or not at the start of the season - many aren't - but that can be overridden during certain matches as whatever infrastructure the home team has, they must replicate for the away team.

“When put on the spot, having to use technology they'd prefer not to, or be put at a disadvantage, how will they cope?

“At some Premier League stadiums we won’t see a jot of technology on the bench all season long - a decision that seems somewhat baffling with the potential of instant feedback and replays to coaches and managers alike.

“The human eye may have more pixels than a camera, but the ability to watch a scene with unlimited playback can surely only improve decisions coming from the bench.

"Expect to see more tactical tweaks earlier in matches - the battle between managers has just been given another dimension.

“Coaches have been using video for years, but never had they been able to do it live from the bench. The purists may not like it, but the tacticians amongst us have just had another rook placed on our chess board. Let the battle commence!”

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