‘It’s an assault’ – Holgate blasted for ‘one of the worst tackles in years’ that could’ve ended career

Ciaran McCarthy
Mason Holgate, Sheffield United, February 2024
Sheffield United defender Mason Holgate is sent off for a horror challenge

Jamie Redknapp has blasted Mason Holgate for a red-card challenge on Kaoru Mitoma that he labelled “an assault” and felt was “one of the worst tackles in years.”

Sheffield United were hammered by Brighton, in their second 5-0 loss in the space of three games. They got off to a poor start when Holgate was sent off in the 13th minute for a horror challenge on Mitoma.

The defender went over the top of the ball, missing it and connecting with the Brighton man above the knee, scything him down in the process.

He was sent off after a VAR review, hurting his team’s chances, and they conceded the first of five goals seven minutes later. Luckily, Mitoma was able to carry on, but Redknapp felt Holgate could have ended his career as he ripped into the defender.

“It’s an assault. It’s one of the worst tackles I’ve seen in years. Even in my era that would have been a scandalous tackle.” Redknapp said on Sky Sports.

“How on earth Mitoma’s managed to get his left leg out of the way, I’ve got no idea. Thank goodness he has, otherwise that’s career-ending. His career would be finished.”

Redknapp also detailed his sorrow for Blades boss Chris Wilder, who had to alter his side after Holgate’s sending off – an unwanted stress for the manager of a side bottom of the table and staring down the barrel of relegation.

“I feel so sorry for Chrissy Wilder in this instance, because his best-laid plans… he’s said ‘alright, let’s not make any mistakes, let’s not give anything away this first 10 minutes, and you have a player that does that,” Redknapp added.

“I’ve got no idea what [Holgate’s] thinking, but he’s cost his team – they’ve got to run around, chase, try and get into a game, and obviously the [opening] goal’s going to come from that, but a scandalous tackle.”

The loss keeps Wilder’s side rooted to the bottom of the table, level on points with Burnley but with a goal difference worse by a measure of 13.

That the Blades have concede five goals in a single game six times this season is very clearly not helping matters, and having to face opponents with 10 men when you’re already going to be put under pressure is an unneeded headache for them.

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