Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is facing a potential punishment from the FA and a fine as well for his post-match comments wherein he accused referee Anthony Taylor of ‘influencing’ his side’s goalless draw against Southampton. The Dutchman also went on ranting against the VAR, branding the use of the technology in the Premier League as ‘inconsistent’ which could further draw the ire of the FA.
Ten Hag’s frustration was quite visible after his talismanic midfielder Casemiro was sent-off for a straight red after the VAR advised Taylor to reconsider his initial yellow card, whereas United’s call for a Southampton handball and a foul on Bruno Fernandes in the box and subsequent penalties were ignored.
Erik ten Hag lashes out at Premier League’s ‘inconsistent’ refereeing
Erik ten Hag stated that the referee ‘influenced’ his team’s 0-0 draw with Southampton before calling the officials’ performance ‘inconsistent’ all around. The clash between the two sides at Old Trafford was indeed marred by controversy. In the 34th minute, Casemiro received a straight red card for a studs-up challenge on Carlos Alcaraz, despite Anthony Taylor initially flashing a yellow at the Brazilian.
However, after being instructed by his fellow officials from the VAR room to refer to the pitch-side monitor, Taylor had little reluctance in changing his mind. Soon after, Kyle Walker-Peters fouled Bruno Fernandes while sliding in to win the ball, and Armel Bella-Kotchap appeared to have handled the ball in the box, but both of United’s penalty cries were denied. A perplexed and furious Erik ten Hag said after the game:
“Casemiro played over 500 games in Europe and never once got a red card,” he said. “Now he has two in the Premier League. His absence is not the issue, we will deal with that. This game was influenced by the referee.
“Everyone who knows something about football, you know, and of course, when you freeze it, it looks bad. But everyone who knows something about football, who was acting on top football, they know what is bad, what isn’t bad and what is fair. And I tell you: Casemiro is a really fair player, tough but fair.
“What I think is the inconsistency, players don’t know anymore what is the policy and I think it’s all across. We see it with Premier League yesterday. Leicester [against] Chelsea, the VAR is not coming on the line. Today, it’s coming on the line. And then it’s two penalty situations, but they don’t come on the line. Especially the first one, it was clear and obvious handball, so what is the policy?
“Of course we talk [with referees] but not a lot, so some questions we have. There’s another one, inconsistent. The referee is coming in the start of the season with a policy, we are Premier League, it’s coming strong here, we want intensity.”
While Erik ten Hag made his feelings known, the FA might not just let the United boss escape a potential punishment. The football governing body of the UK has lately been acting strict over the slightest breach of a rule or players or managers failing to conduct themselves in an orderly manner. While it has not been confirmed yet by the FA whether they are charging Ten Hag for his comments, a fine is expected to follow.