Stop the Brutality | Keith Hackett

Stop the Brutality | Keith Hackett

It is easy to criticise referees, I know, because I have been the man in black on the receiving end. Referees have a duty of care towards players and to detect and punish where the laws of the game deem appropriate.

Lee Mason when he reviews his performance in the Southampton v West Ham United game will be disappointed that he failed to detect the brutal illegal foul challenge by Noble of West Ham on an opponent. It was a clear act of Serious Foul Play and a missed red card. It is difficult to understand  why players continue to challenge with one or two feet forward leaving the ground at pace. This action is a red card offence.

The referees failure to detect this challenge contributed to West Ham’s Arnautovic deciding foolishly to take matters into his own hands by committing an outrageous brutal act, deliberately using his elbow on an opponent. This should be a five match ban!

To Mason’ s credit this illegal act was detected and received the appropriate red card. His prompt action ensuring that a mass confrontation by players of both sides was avoided. It is my belief that at the moment we are witnessing too many challenges that are reckless with excessive force.

The PGMOL need to call a meeting with the Premier League, PFA and LMA to express their concerns so that everyone understands the seriousness of these challenges. Players safety must be paramount that is why the laws of the game exists and must be applied.

Our game must not be tarnished and the image of the best league in the world protected.