Keown tells Man Utd star Casemiro ‘change’ his tackling technique after seeing red

Joe Williams
Martin Keown speaks about Man Utd

Martin Keown thinks Man Utd midfielder Casemiro should attempt to “change” his tackling technique after being sent off in a 0-0 draw against Southampton.

The Red Devils had to play for 56 minutes with ten men after the Brazilian fouled Saints midfielder Carlos Alcaraz despite referee Anthony Taylor initially giving a yellow card.

VAR recommended he took another look and after reviewing the footage again Taylor showed the Man Utd midfielder a red card instead.

Despite being annoyed at the inconsistency of some decisions from VAR in recent weeks, the general consensus seems to be that it was a sending off.

Speaking about the inconsistent officiating, Keown told talkSPORT: “The referees came into the season with a policy, that we are the Premier League, we want intensity and we want to go strong.

“Casemiro has played 500 games in Europe and never had a (straight) red card, and now he has two. He plays tough but fair.

“Of course, it looks bad when you freeze the frame but everyone who knows something about football know what is bad and what is fair. I tell you Casemiro is a very fair player.”

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag was particularly vocal on the issue. On Ten Hag’s comments about Casemiro not seeing a straight red card in his career until this season, Keown said: “To a certain extent he’s got a point.

“If you look at the Premier League we’ve only had 23 sending offs this year whereas there’s 101 in La Liga so you might look at it and think there’s a man who has just come from La Liga but was never sent off unless it was a straight reds.

“It’s worth a debate but when you look at the incidents he’s been involved in then you can’t really argue.

“Although when you look at the first one when he had his hands on the throat of an opponent at Palace, I think that the slow-motion is killing him there because he’s not squeezing the guy by the throat, he’s just placing his hand there, I think it was Will Hughes, then he pulls his hand away and that’s why it looked like more than it did.

“This one, I thought that it was a sending off and I think that’s down to the technique of tackle.

“As a tackler, that was my game as a contact defender, I went into a tackle on my side and for anyone listening, if you look at Casemiro he went in on his backside. When you go in on your backside your foot has to come up and okay he wins the ball, but his studs are showing, his foot comes up above the ball and catches the opponent.

“If he tries to slide in on his side with a different technique he can pinch that ball and not injure his opponent.

“That, for me, has crept into the game. You see a lot of it now of people leaping into a challenge and I know it looks worse in slow-mo and I would like the PGMOL to look at it that the final thing he sees when he goes pitchside is the action played at full speed.

“You can’t get hurt when you go in like that. You’re protecting yourself and endangering your opponent.

“Change your technique, go in off your side. Slide in off your hip, it’s a different technique and the modern-day player seems to go in on their backside and what happens is you fall back and it brings your legs up and so his foot is going to rise if he takes that technique going into tackles.”

Keown added: “He missed it, Anthony Taylor. There was a lack of broadcasting at the weekend and Anthony Taylor didn’t see it and it went to VAR, I believe.

“He didn’t see the actual incident and gave a yellow. It’s interesting there’s a lot of people pointing to what happened in the Leicester game after a tackle on Joao Felix and they didn’t even review it.

“It went unchallenged – no yellow card, no red card.”

On whether the referee made the correct decision, Keown continued: “100 per cent they got it right and maybe they got it right through what happened at Leicester the day before.”

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