Manchester Evening News
The trouble with HARRY
DILEMMA FOR OLE AS MAGUIRE WALKS DISCIPLINARY TIGHTROPE
MANCHESTER United captain Harry Maguire is walking a disciplinary tightrope ahead of this weekend’s clash against Burnley.
The defender was booked in United’s 3-1 turnaround win against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday after bringing down Harry Kane in the 71st minute.
That caution was Maguire’s ninth of the Premier League campaign, more than any other player in the competition.
It leaves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a huge dilemma, as another booking for Maguire against Burnley on Sunday would take Maguire to 10 and result in an automatic two-match ban.
That suspension would mean the 28-year-old missing the next two Premier League matches, against Leeds United at Elland Road on April 25 and Liverpool at Old Trafford on May 1.
What makes the problem even thornier for Solskjaer is that the cut-off for 10 yellow cards is after the next Premier League matchday, so if Maguire was ‘rested’ against Burnley, he would then have to reach 15 yellow cards before serving a ban.
Maguire was central to the remonstrations with referee Chris Kavanagh after he ruled out Edinson Cavani’s opener following consultation with VAR.
The man in the middle deemed that Scott McTominay had fouled Son Heung-min in the build-up, much to the frustration of Maguire, his teammates and the wider football community.
Speaking after the match, the United skipper explained how his side used that anger to fuel their comeback which saw them leave North London with all three points.
“I think anybody who has watched football for a long time will get to the same decision as what everyone else thinks, unless you’re a Tottenham fan,” he told MUTV.
“That can’t be football, it can’t be. We play a contact sport, you’re touching your opponent. It’s not his elbow, it’s not his arm. It’s probably his finger.
Meanwhile, a former Premier League match official has claimed referees also dislike the use of VAR amid a critical assessment of the technology.
Speaking anonymously, the exofficial compared the incident to an earlier event in the Premier League, where Newcastle United were denied a penalty despite an extremely high boot from Burnley defender James Tarkowski, and stated officials were ‘just as frustrated as anyone else.’
“A kick to the head is not a foul, but a player collapsing after his face is barely touched is and we have the PGMOL coming out with all sorts of crap to justify the decisions and we wonder why there’s no trust in the process,” he told reporters.
“I have spoken to a few refs from the Select Group and they are as frustrated as everyone else. Some hate being a VAR because it is a completely different job to actually
Anybody who has watched football for a long time will get to the same decision Harry Maguire on VAR controversy against Spurs
reffing a game on the pitch.
“Some feel like they are being undermined by Stockley Park.
“I don’t know any official who agrees with the way offside is being reviewed and it doesn’t help when instead of admitting mistakes, the PGMOL tell us why wrong is right. We are talking about decisions more than we ever have because VAR is creating problems to solve.”
An explanation from the PGMOL said: “It wasn’t part of McTominay’s natural running movement. And it was careless” - which led to ridicule from Roy Keane and the other pundits on duty for Sky Sports’ coverage of the game.