The A-League has put us through one hell of a ride over the past few months and it’s now time to review the tape and unveil the most controversial moments of the season.

VAR

It’s fair to say that the introduction of VAR was far from a success this season.

Nearly every week the video review system drew criticism from coaches, players and commentators along with the aggressive anger of fans.

Numerous interventions occurred throughout the season that polarized everyone but the referees with red cards, penalties and other VAR-corrected decisions all up for debate from day one of the campaign.

The non-use of VAR also became a much talked about topic. A-League coaches John Aloisi and Ernie Merrick were both frequently outspoken on the use of VAR by officials but in the same vein were also quite vocal on instances they felt deserved VAR treatment.

The Darije Kalezic era at Wellington Phoenix

The Nix narrowly avoided the wooden spoon this season but their season was unfortunately still a huge mess.

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Darije Kalezic eventually left the club in March after a tumultuous stint in Wellington that resulted in the exit of key players Gui Finkler and Dario Vidosic and also seasoned A-League coach Rado Vidosic from Kalezic’s coaching staff.

Finkler eventually spoke about the incident in an interview with Goal following Kalezic’s departure from the A-League coaching stables.

“After the incident in the game I think he made his decision and I had no choice but leave the club,” he said.

“I made a mistake (a back-heel pass) in the game but it is the way I play since day one in the league and I wouldn’t change otherwise I couldn’t enjoy myself so he took me off and for me that was him saying we lost because of me.

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“He didn’t shake my hand and turned his back on me when I got off the pitch, it was the first time it happened to me in my whole career.”

Dario put his exit from the club down to a matter of family integrity after what he described as his family name being put through the mud following father Rado’s forced exit from the coaching staff.

“My father was texted and told that the coach said that they couldn’t work together,” Dario said.

“There’s a truth to that. Their playing philosophies were very different. The coach was very defensive and my father is more attacking minded.

“The disappointing thing is people, especially my father, have been made out to be a scapegoat with the lack of results.”

David Carney vs. Jean-Paul de Marigny

Passion from opposing sides boiled over in the dying embers of Melbourne Victory’s incredible semi-final win over Sydney FC.

Sky Blues midfielder Carney and Victory assistant coach Jean-Paul de Marigny came together out of nowhere which resulted in a heated exchange.

De Marigny apparently thought the golden goal rule was in play and after Terry Antonis’ goal ran onto the field on impulse only to be confronted by Carney.

Victory goalkeeping coach Dean Anastasiadis came in to break up the altercation but was also then later sent off following a drawn-out VAR process.

Both Victory coaches were subsequently handed four-match bans by the match review panel meaning they will not be on the sideline at the 2017/18 A-League Grand Final.

Spitting

Two spitting incidents occurred this season, one was sanctioned, the other was not.

Brisbane Roar defender Avraam Papadopolous spat directly at Sydney’s Matt Simon during their November clash with both players seeing red.

Former Greek international Papadopoulos would receive a seven-match ban for his conduct while Simon would receive a one-match ban for retaliation.

Later in the season Sydney captain Alex Brosque was caught seemingly spitting in the direction of referee Kurt Ams during Brisbane Roar’s 2-1 win in round 23.

Despite plenty of heat on social media Brosque would not receive any punishment.

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Josh is in the final stages of a journalism degree at The University of Queensland and is also firmly aboard the Arzani hype-train.