You've simply got to hand it to the ‘Professional Game Match Officials Limited’, they have even managed to whisk away the art of ‘fronting up’ as the last thing in English football Manchester United can claim to be the best at.

It may just have crossed your radar that the beleaguered lads at the PGMOL have been having a rather torrid few days, owed to the mother of all VAR mishaps during Liverpool’s Saturday evening defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. Video referees Darren England and Dan Cook somehow failed to realise that Luis Diaz had been flagged offside after rushing through to put Jurgen Klopp’s side ahead, and – believing the on-field decision had been ‘goal’ – instructed the on-pitch officials that they had reached the correct conclusion.

The bizarre turn of events sparked an outcry that, on Tuesday, resulted in the audio of the officials’ communications being released to a baying public. The recording is even more excruciating than expected, peaking right around the agonising seconds between the refereeing team’s initial self-congratulations and the ‘oh f**k’ which follows a realisation that proclaiming ‘well done boys, good process’ was a tad premature.

I’m not sure how these boys’ performance is evaluated in-house, but I’m not sure ‘becoming a meme’ scores too many points.

The obvious course of action would have been for VAR to inform on-pitch referee Simon Hooper that a colossal blunder had been made, and to stop the game. Instead, panic sets in, and a flustered England repeatedly blurts out ‘I can’t do anything’. And so, the game continues, Liverpool finish it with nine men and eventually lose thanks to a Joel Matip own-goal deep into second-half stoppage time.

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Matip’s palpable misery will have been exceeded only over at Stockley Park, where it’s not difficult to imagine a collective moment of silence to contemplate the storm about to descend. Liverpool were quick out of the blocks with a statement about sporting integrity being undermined, demanding ‘escalation and resolution’, England and compatriot Dan Cook have been stood down amid their continued evisceration on mainstream and social media, and there have even been reports that the game could be replayed, with Jurgen Klopp demanding it should be. That is probably an unlikely outcome, but if we even contemplated going down such a route then football seasons would be never-ending.

Don't get me wrong, this was a grievous error, and one Liverpool have every right to be appalled by.  And yet, I can’t help but feel the most striking conclusion is that this is surely the final nail in the coffin for the argument that VAR has done anything to improve football.

The supposedly indisputable premise underpinning its introduction is that human error in refereeing decisions would be eradicated. But – and it seems so obvious as to be barely worth pointing out – so long as humans are operating the technology, things will go wrong. A group of experienced officials managing to demonstrate this in such outlandish fashion proves that when there’s pressure and emotion involved, people will always make mistakes, even incredibly far-fetched ones.

It is confirmation that the pursuit of perfection in officiating football matches is a complete fantasy, and as long as it is sought, we will forever find new and more unlikely ways to get angry. Binning it wouldn’t stop the stooshies around incorrect calls, but it’s now surely beyond ‘clear and obvious’ that everything VAR was supposed to solve still ends up the subject of endless, tedious debate, anyway, just with more camera angles.

Football was always too emotional, too tribal for this intervention – one man’s career-ending challenge will forever be another man’s ‘play on, ref’. I’m aware of the argument that if VAR had done its job correctly, the Diaz call would have been overturned and justice would have prevailed. But from the very same half of football, VAR interjecting to punish Curtis Jones for almost snapping Yves Bissouma’s ankle in two has somehow been painted as another injustice. The rulebook classified Jones’ challenge as ‘reckless’ and ‘endangering an opponent’, and yet you will still find half of Merseyside maintaining that wasn’t the case, and half of North London adamant it was.

And then there’s the inconsistencies around applying the handball rule, the joy being sucked out of celebrations, the interminable, confusing waits during checks for those who actually attend games. Is any of this actually better than what came before? It’s already been established that VAR will not remove human error, nor stifle outrage, so what exactly is it adding to the game?

It may seem a tad ironic given the nature of its latest indiscretion, but the only thing I can make a case for is offside decisions. Saturday was a freak error, unlikely to be repeated with such consequences any time soon, and most such calls are made correctly in the end. That aside? I just don’t think it has improved the experience for anyone, even down to referees. It was supposed to make their jobs easier, but it seems they just end up facing even more fervent abuse when they inevitably still get something wrong.

Errors are part of football – players make them several times a game, as do managers. Having now had several years’ lived experience of VAR, not the idealist notion of what we thought it would be, I’d like to think most people are more inclined to accept that officials can get split-second decisions wrong, a price worth paying to get rid of this soul-sapping alternative.

Of course, there would still be flashpoints, controversies and recriminations without technology, but maybe it’s time we all took a breath and considered what we actually want football to look like. You may argue that accepting mistakes is an error in itself, but I’d contend there is no greater folly than believing we can achieve refereeing perfection. It’s a pipe dream, one that will only continue to set an impossibly high bar, and stoke untold fury every time it is not reached.

Sadly, VAR is most likely here to stay – too much time and money has been invested in it – but it has never been clearer that we’d be better off without it.