Erik ten Hag lamented a lack of consistency in refereeing decisions after being frustrated by Anthony Taylor’s performance in Manchester United’s draw with Southampton on Sunday.
United were only able to draw 0-0 at Old Trafford after Casemiro was shown a red card in the first half – the Brazilian giving his marching orders for a tough battle against Carlos Alcaraz.
Taylor initially showed Casemiro a yellow card but that was upgraded to a red after a VAR check, leaving the United midfielder clearly despondent after replays showed him winning the ball before catching Alcaraz.
It means Casemiro is the first United player to receive two red cards in a single Premier League season since Nemanja Vidic in 2013/14 and he will serve a four-game ban instead of three as it is his second sacking .
The tackle was not too dissimilar to an incident on Saturday when Ricardo Pereira caught Joao Felix with his cleats and evaded punishment entirely and this is at the heart of Ten Hag’s frustration after also seeing some penalty appeals fall on deaf ears.
“What I think is the inconsistency; the players don’t know what the politics is anymore and I think it’s all cross [every competition]’ Ten Hag told reporters.
“We saw it yesterday at the Premier League: Leicester-Chelsea, the VAR isn’t going online. Today he goes online.
“And then there are two penalty situations but they don’t come online. Especially the first one, it was clear and obvious handball, so what’s the politics?”
Ten Hag was asked if he would seek that clarification from Taylor later, although he appeared unhappy with the outcome.
“Of course we talk, but not much, so we have some questions [still] have,” he continued.
“There’s one more thing: inconsistent. The referee comes with a directive at the start of the season, it’s us.” [in the] Premier League, it’s coming strong here, we want intensity [in the play].”
Ten Hag also feels that the slow-motion and still-frame nature of VAR assessments doesn’t help, as he believes it makes everything look worse than it really is.
“Anyone who knows anything about football, and of course if you freeze it, it looks bad,” said Ten Hag. “But anyone who knows anything about football, who’s played top-flight football, knows what’s bad, what’s not bad and what’s fair.
“And I tell you: Casemiro is a really fair player. Hard but fair.
“Casemiro has been through European games, he’s never had more than 500 games [straight] Red card. Now he has two.
“Think about it. He plays hard, but he plays fair. And he’s playing fair here too, just like he did against Crystal Palace, so it’s very controversial.
“And if they isolate you [incident] – it’s definitely a bit the same as against Crystal Palace.
“When you saw that incident, you should have sent off three or four players and not just one [Casemiro]if you’re really consistent.”