Bukayo Saka called for referees to give extra protection to players after being on the wrong end of a Tyrone Mings challenge, but former Premier League referee Mark Halsey claims the Arsenal star is overexaggerating.
The young forward scored the only goal of the game as his Arsenal side went onto victory, but shortly after he had put his side in front, he was floored by a reckless challenge by England team-mate Mings, and the incident has caused mixed reviews.
Some Arsenal fans believed the player had his studs up, and should therefore be red-carded, while home fans made no secret of their belief that the player shouldn’t have even been booked having clearly got the ball first.
This still blows my mind! 🤯
— 7500 to Holte (@7500toHolte) March 20, 2022
Pictures courtesy of BT Sport
Former ref Halsey claims that Saka made a meal of the tackle however, but also insists that the challenge from Tyrone was a little unnecessary especially with the pair both on the same side during the international break.
“The challenge by Tyrone Mings, he gets the ball, but it’s just that follow-through that catches Saka,” Halsey stated in his column with CaughtOffside. “Maybe it wasn’t as hard as Saka made out, and that puts the doubt into the referee’s mind.
“We have to remember that a careless challenge is a free kick and nothing else, but a reckless challenge is a free kick and a yellow card. It’s interesting, because I don’t know why Mings went in on him that hard when they’re about to meet up for international duty and we need Saka playing for England! It was quite amusing, to be honest.
“Still, it’s part and parcel of the game, physical challenges like that, so I’m a bit surprised Saka was complaining about it. Obviously referees have a duty of care towards players, but they also have to be mentally tough and not let players influence them too much.”
Saka doesn’t seem the type to complain where it isn’t due however, and was clearly still feeling the after-effects of the tackle, and the reaction sounds like a typical referee’s answer by claiming that both players were a little in the wrong.
With that in mind, Saka is now tipped to potentially miss the international break after the foul, which surely means that he wasn’t milking the tackle at all?
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