Souness hits out Liverpool star with ‘hell of a lot to say’ and ‘overboard’ reaction to Hatzidakis

Joe Williams
Liverpool defender Andy Robertson looks unhappy as he walks away from an incident

Liverpool legend Graeme Souness thinks the reaction to the incident involving Andy Robertson and assistant referee Constantine Hatzidakis was “overboard”.

The Reds defender suffered an apparent elbow from the linesman after the half-time whistle had been blown in Liverpool’s 2-2 draw against Arsenal last weekend.

But the Football Association confirmed on Thursday that Hatzidakis will face no further action over the incident after the referee had been stood down while the FA investigated.

The Sky Sports cameras, which zoomed in on the incident, showed Hatzidakis throwing up his arm and making contact with Robertson’s face in reaction to being touched by Robertson.

Robertson was furious over the linesman’s reaction with a number of team-mates having to calm him down and Souness reckons the Liverpool defender often has “a hell of a lot to say for himself”.

Souness wrote in his column for the Daily Mail: “Like everything else in football today, the moment when Liverpool’s Andy Robertson approached the linesman at Anfield last Sunday has been analysed in microscopic detail — but I wouldn’t say it’s all that complicated.

“Perhaps it’s because he’s a wide player, in the immediate vicinity of an official, but Robbo’s got a hell of a lot to say for himself and it was very much the case in that match against Arsenal.

“There had been an earlier conversation between him and the official, Constantine Hatzidakis, and you didn’t need to be a rocket scientist — or a lip reader — to work out what he was saying when he approached him again, as the teams left the pitch at half-time.

“Let’s just say that Robbo was not enquiring after the health of that official’s family. It was language for adults only.

“Robbo is among the most guilty when it comes to Premier League players letting the officials have it. And to compound things, he then placed an arm on Hatzidakis.

“I don’t care how light that contact might have been, you never touch an official in a moment of criticism or aggression. Not in my day. Not now. And that’s why I have sympathy with the linesman in this case. I don’t see him throwing out an elbow.

“What I see is a reflex response which says: ‘Get away. Go away’. In the days which have followed, this official has been hung out to dry by his peers.

“I wouldn’t like to be on the receiving end of a proper elbow from Hatzidakis, by the way. He’s clearly someone who spends a lot of time in the gym.

“But I don’t think there’s been a common-sense response to this incident. That’s just where we are in the world, not just football. Everyone goes overboard with their reactions.”

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