Erik ten Hag once again voiced his frustrations at the lack of consistency from Premier League referees as Casemiro was sent off in Manchester United’s 0-0 draw against Southampton on Sunday.
It was a game that turned on Anthony Taylor’s decision to dismiss Casemiro for a lunge on Carlos Alcaraz near the end of the first half, with the referee initially brandishing a yellow card before he upgraded it to red after consulting the pitchside monitor.
The match was packed with controversial decisions, and Armel Bella-Kotchap somehow managed to go unpunished after the ball struck his arm in the box, with Taylor and the VAR officials in Stockley Park both feeling it wasn’t worthy of awarding a penalty. Marcus Rashford also had a softer claim turned down in the second period after he was lightly touched by Gavin Bazunu inside the area.
Ten Hag was left frustrated with the performance of the officials, and aired his grievances after the match. “What I think is the inconsistency, players don’t know anymore what is the policy,” he said. “I think, all across, you see this weekend yesterday Leicester vs Chelsea, VAR is not coming on the line.
“Today it is coming on the line and today two penalty situations they don’t come on the line. I think especially the first it is clear and obvious handball. So, what is the policy?
It’s the second time time Casemiro has been sent off for United this season, with the former Real Madrid man also given his marching orders against Crystal Palace in February. Ten Hag also bemoaned the lack of consistency then, and feels Casemiro has suffered unfairly as a result of the refereeing standards, with the Brazilian now suspended for the next four domestic matches.
“There is another one [that is] inconsistent. The refereeing is coming at the start of the season with a policy: ‘We are Premier League, we are going strong and want intensity’.
“Casemiro is across European leagues in over 500 games - he never had a red card and now he has twice [been sent off]. He plays tough but he plays fair. Also in this he is playing fair. Also against Crystal Palace. It is very debatable.
“When you freeze it looks bad,” Ten Hag added, on the dismissal against Southampton. “But everyone who knows something about football, they know what is bad and what is fair. Casemiro is a really fair player, tough but fair. It shows, over 500 games in big leagues, never sent off.
“When you act like this you have to be consistent across all the games and all the decisions. Now they isolate one. A little bit the same as against Crystal Palace. When you show that incident, you should have sent off, when you are consistent, three, four players and not only one.”
Asked whether he will appeal the red card, Ten Hag replied: “We will see.”