Football may have changed irrevocably in recent decades, from a tactical perspective all the way through to a commercial one, but it’s most defining transition, according to Celtic legend Paul Lambert, is relatively recent, and unbelievably controversial: VAR.

Speaking exclusively to UCFB as part of the LMA Insight Series, Lambert said, smirking: “You either love it or you hate it. Some of the things have been good decisions, but some have been horrendous. Does it take away from the normality of the game? A little bit.”

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Video technology was only introduced in the Premier League two years ago, and has failed to filter through the English football league system, but it’s made itself heard loud and clear – as has the backlash of its fierce opponents, in what has become a never-ending, philosophical battle that goes beyond modern football.

For Lambert, though, who won the Champions League with Borussia Dortmund in 1997, it’s all about the immediate changes brought about on the pitch. He added: “You don’t get away with anything now. You got away with things a lot more in my time. The tackling’s not as ferocious as it was back then.”

VAR, he says, only feeds into the already existing trend of a “drop in physicality” on the pitch, which is partially attributed to wider changes in the game, such as the persistent scrutiny from commentators and the unrelenting media attention on players.

Lambert finished: “The game’s got a little bit softer. I think that’s apparent when you see the fouls that are being made, people falling over for no apparent reason.”