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The Premier League without VAR: How the table would look

The Premier League without VAR: How the table would look

ESPN

FIFA has named Arsene Wenger as their chief of global football development, world football's governing body said on Wednesday.

Wenger had been in the running to take over as Bayern Munich boss following Niko Kovac's sacking before he fell out of the running.

On his new role at FIFA, the former Arsenal manager said: "I very much look forward to taking on this extremely important challenge, not only because I have always been interested in analysing football from a broader perspective but also because FIFA's mission as world football's governing body is truly global.

"I believe that the new FIFA we have seen emerging in recent years has the sport itself at the very heart of its objectives and is determined to develop the game in its many different components. I know I can contribute to this objective and will put all my energy into this."

FIFA say Wenger will be responsible for overseeing and driving the growth and development of the sport for both men and women around the world.

President Gianni Infantino said: "Arsene Wenger's profound knowledge and passion for the different aspects of our game sets him apart as one of the most respected personalities in football. I am delighted to welcome him to the team.

"Since I arrived at FIFA, we have placed football at the centre of our mission, striving to learn from those who know the sport inside out. Arsene is someone who, with his strategic vision, competence and hard work, has dedicated his life to football. His arrival is just another example of how we keep strengthening our purpose to bring FIFA back to football and football back to FIFA."

Sources told ESPN FC that a sticking point regarding the Bayern job was that Wenger would not accept a short-term contract until the end of the season.

Bayern dismissed Kovac after a string of bad results and uneasy mix of stagnation on the pitch and conflicts off it. 

Wenger, 70, has been out of work since ending his 22-year reign at Arsenal in 2018.

VAR this, VAR that, VAR, VAR, VAR. Yep, that's all we talk about these days. And it's all we're likely to talk about for years to come. It's the Brexit of Premier League football. 

So yes, this is another article on VAR -- but with a difference! Just how much impact has VAR had on the table?  

ESPN and the team led by Dr. Thomas Curran at the London School of Economics have compiled the Anti-VAR Index, which shows how the league would look if VAR decisions were removed from games. 

But we're not just removing goals here to get the amended results. That would be far too simple. We've developed an algorithm which takes into account many factors, such as form, performance and relative strength, then we've put that into the mix with the VAR decisions and got a whole new set of results. 

Man City shoot up to second, Sheffield United move closer to the top four, Wolves are into the European places and Southampton get cut adrift at the very bottom.

Liverpool have surged clear at the top, and believe it or not VAR has not been working in Jurgen Klopp's favour with overturns having no effect on their points tally. Liverpool are given a victory at Manchester United (drew 1-1) and a draw at Chelsea (won 2-1), which even themselves out. Maybe the title isn't going to be won in the VAR room.  

Manchester City, however, climb into second and the gap is cut to seven points, with two extra points from their late winner against Tottenham that was ruled out by the VAR after the ball hit the arm of Aymeric Laporte. 

But the VAR cannot help Tottenham's poor league position, with a loss of the point at City dropping them into 15th. 

Leicester City have been one of the real winners with VAR, having four decisions go in their favour -- more than any other club. Brendan Rodgers' side lose three points in the Anti-VAR table, which sees them drop to fourth. And they also lose a total of eight goals, with the red card for Ryan Bertrand removed in the Foxes' 9-0 win at Southampton to make that result a 3-0 win.

Speaking of Southampton, they might have that thrashing minimised but they still lose four points to drop to the foot of the table with an eight-point gap to safety. Their win at Sheffield United becomes a defeat, while they lose the point they gained at Wolves. Without VAR, Saints are in serious trouble.

However the Eagles are soaring with VAR, as Crystal Palace drop from 12th to 17th, into the midst of a relegated battle. Brighton also slide, down three places into 11th after their VAR-inspired penalty comeback against Everton.

If there's one club that really should hate VAR it's Wolves, who pick up four points -- more than any team in the Anti-VAR table -- to climb to sixth. While the VAR has only got involved in their matches twice, they have been key incidents against Leicester and Southampton in games which they drew. 

It will come as no surprise to Chelsea fans that they are the most hard done by, with all four VAR overturns going against them. However only one goal, when Mason Mount was flagged offside against Liverpool, made a material difference to their results. Arsenal and Manchester United both gain a point but lose a place due to Wolves' ascent. 

It's no wonder Marco Silva hates VAR so much and wants it scrapped altogether, because the biggest winners by league position are Everton, moving up six places from 15th and into the top half of the table after the loss at Brighton becomes a victory.

Sheffield United are three points better off, which moves them to within touching distance of the Champions League places. West Ham have three points added too, nudging them up two places to 14th. 

Latest VAR stats

Total overturns: 29Leading to goals: 7Disallowed goals: 18Penalties awarded: 5 (2 missed)Penalties overturned: 1Red cards: 1Most net decisions: Palace, Leicester 3Most net against: Chelsea 4Most involvement: West Ham 6Most decisions for: Leicester 4Against: Chelsea 4

Only club yet to experience overturn: Newcastle

Yet to get overturn in favour: Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Newcastle, Sheffield United, Wolves

Yet to get overturn against: Crystal Palace, Newcastle, Watford

ESPN