Dermot Gallagher was asked by Sky Sports to look at the Matt Ritchie challenge on Sunday.

The Newcastle winger having been booked for a high foot when challenging Swansea’s Alfie Mawson.

Pundits, including those on Match of The Day 2, have made much of the comparison between that incident in the Swansea game, compared to Sadio Mane’s in Manchester City v Liverpool.

Former referee Dermott Gallagher says that the Matt Ritchie incident has sent out the wrong message because ref Mike Jones failed to show a red card as a deterrent to others.

He agrees with the decision to send off Sadio Mane on Saturday and says he ‘can’t defend’ the referee at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.

Sky Sports ask Dermott Gallacher to consider the Matt Ritchie/Alfie Mawson incident during Swansea 0 Newcastle 1:

SCENARIO: The Newcastle man only picks up a yellow card for a similarly high challenge (to the Sadio Mane one) on Alfie Mawson.

DERMOT’S VERDICT: Wrong decision.

Dermot Gallagher:

“I would say it’s a red card.

“I was surprised, especially after it came 24 hours after the Mane incident.

“The only difference between the two challenges is the blood and the outcome.

“I fully endorse what Moss has done (sending off Mane), but I can’t defend Mike Jones for this decision (only a yellow for Ritchie).

“The law doesn’t say the player has to have sustained an injury.

“If this one was given then we wouldn’t be having this conversation as it would send out a deterrent.”

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    when it happened i thought it was a certain red card

    • Toonbadger

      And me

      • Dublintoon

        The ritchie incident was far more similar to that of a huddersfield player on mbemba at the start of the game at the john smiths. ie player was not injured but grazed. Mbembas was actually worse as blood was drawn. Not even mentioned during the commentary on sky, never mind after the fact. Stamp from van le parre in the same game. Absolutely no mention of that in the studio either. Im not a conspiracy theorist but these are adding up

        • nevfur

          Fers scissor tackle also conveniently not mentioned or the kick in the nads for Joselu. This trial in retrospect is great if the whole game is analysed not just the incidents carefully selected by those on tv who may have a biased reason for it. Either judge the whole game again or none at all.

          • Damon Horner

            This one in particular is now topical because of Mane, by guess is without the Mane incident this would have gone without a word.

    • Gareth Robson

      yep and I wouldnt have defended him.

  • Dave Emmerson

    They shouldnt be having the discussion, the incident happened, the punishment given, nothing else can be done

    • ghostrider


  • joolzyoungman07

    What’s more worrying is that they also discussed a Mo Diame incident (which wasn’t carded) and concluded Diame should have seen red. Expect retrospective punishment because the PL seems to slavishly follow their pundits views.

    • steve

      I don’t remember any incident but I’m sure it would have been caused by a shocking first touch, a ban would be a blessing.

    • Jezza

      It does seem inevitible that Ritchie is going to get a retrospective ban.

      • Damon Horner

        Ritchie can’t for the raised foot, it’s already been addressed.

  • Marco

    The difference for me is Mane’s foot was directly into the goalkeepers face whereas Ritchie tried to intercept the ball by getting in front of the defender and caught his arm.
    It’s irrelevant anyway, retrospective action can only be taken if the referee didn’t see the incident so the idiots saying Ritchie needs to get a retrospective Red need to read the rule book.
    Tv is ruining the game by over analysing everything, its in the past move on

    • Damon Horner

      Agreed. Ritchie’s challenge was near the player not at the player and it makes the difference for me. Ederson had no choice but to clattered with the studs.

  • Lord

    What did Dermot think about Sanches’s boot to Joselu’s groin or wasn’t he asked to look at that?

    • GToon

      If you see the refs reaction he’s actually laughing as he trots back alongside Sanchez.

  • molend

    Hang on a minute, mateys. When Harry Kane scissored Lejeune, some people here said that it wasn’t a card, because there was no intent. Does any body think Ritchie intended to injure the defender? And if if comes down to the nature of the tackle, which one was worse?

    • ghostrider

      The rules are different if you wear Newcastle United colours. It just is.
      It has to be.
      We can’t be allowing our players to go around making contact with other players and expecting to get away with it, even if the ref already penalises it with a yellow card.
      Any incident involving Newcastle players must always be scrutinised by a selection of independently biased referees and independently biased pundits and then put before a totally above board FA panel, who will then deliberate over the incident for a few seconds as they are writing out the 3 to 5 game punishment.

      All the Harry Kanes and Sanchez’s etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, that injure our players or attempt to butcher them but miss, should at least warrant a slightly stern, fleeting look from the ref before play resumes and an after match conversation over everything good about that team, whilst totally leaving out the bad.

      Don’t you just love the fairness of football. Haha.

      • Jezza

        For once I agree with you.

    • Damon Horner

      Personally I wouldn’t have sent either of them off.

  • Dutch

    Is there a slim chance we can look ahead now instead of dribbling over the past. He got a yellow. End of.

    • East Durham Mag

      Just the usual Toon haters mate. Nowt new is it?

  • 1957

    What he is saying is there isn’t consistency in decision making and there’s not. Against Huddersfield Mbemba was kicked in the head from a high boot, which didn’t attract a red card and Hayden was stamped on, the difference being Sky chose not to make an issue of it so those incidents are forgotten.

  • ash1001

    These so called pundits and do gooders, sick of the site of them. (s**t stirrers be any other, looking for self justification for their cushy little numbers), seriously need there wings clipped.
    Do not think either Matt Ritchie on Sadio Mané wished to cause any personal damage to either Pawson or Ederson,, it was a footballing incident, probably yellows for both incidents at best, difference was Ederson was out cold, so it looked a lot worse than what it was. OK I accept feet should not be raised that high and studs were showing, but its impossible to do anything else, so where does that leave overhead kicking, and if it ends in the net its up for goal of the season.
    Pundits think on and hopefully stop glory hunting and looking for your press minutes.

    • Scottie Chugger Dearden

      I really hope the sky pundits read your post!

    • joolzyoungman07

      Bizarrely, the rule book specifically stipulates that scissor-kicks are the exception and are permissible providing contact isn’t made with an opponent.

  • Andy Mac

    I guarantee that if the Mane incident hadnt taken place on Saturday, Ritchie probably wouldnt even have had a yellow !

    The media go into paroxsysms every time an incident like this comes along yet most pro’s, including Wor Al, say its a part of the game so let’s move on. I say most pro’s apart from that Toon hating, Palace loving pillock of course.

  • mactoon

    The FA rule: A tackle or challenge that endangers the safety of an opponent or uses excessive force or brutality must be sanctioned as serious foul play which is punishable by sending off the offending player. It doesn’t matter if it was intentional or contact was made. Both red cards chaps

    • Charlie Bacon

      It wasn’t a tackle or a challenge, he put his foot up to collect the pass. The opponent tries to intercept and gets caught on the arm. I don’t think Mané was a sending off either; what happens to keepers when they mis-time a punch from a cross and clatter someone? Nothing….I don’t see any difference

      • mactoon

        Its classed as a high foot because it was above the waist not a tackle. If there was noone in close proximity thats fine. If he did it and the ref considers it could endanger another player it’s a red card. Same goes if a keeper jumps up with his knee raised that’s classed in the same way. That’s the rules from the FA site.

        • Charlie Bacon

          Not all referees are in agreement on Ritchie and Mané so the rules are obviously not clear enough. A mis-timed overhead kick or a mis-timed punch by the keeper are equally as dangerous but go unpunished….there’s no consistency with the rules

          • mactoon

            To be honest that’s the problem. The rules ARE clear enough but it is down to the individual referee’s interpretation of those rules and their opinion of what they see in real time. The basic rule states if it puts another player in danger, it’s SFP but a referee can still use their judgement as to whether they give yellow or red. I think that’s the way it should be but they are getting penalised because we can scrutinise it afterwards on TV replays.

    • Mark Jarvis

      By that description Kane should of been sent off in the first game no? A scissor tackle from behind endangers a player’s safety besides isn’t going through a player from behind an automatic red? It’s funny how MOTD put that down to a ‘classic’ striker’s tackle because he’s an England darling

  • Mal

    I have to admit that taking into account the MOD debate on the previous night and who was refereeing our match I was amazed that a red card wasn’t shown. For once we look as if we got away with this one as the referees seem to be pretty unanimous that this was a red card. This must be a first; we are usually on the wrong end of these decisions and rarely get the benefit of the doubt and/or the opposition escape a potential red card.

  • TheFatController

    On the BBC website there’s a Motson interview from the 70s with Brian clough, who says the BBC are wrong to dwell over incidents (probably for about 15 seconds on MOTD then forgotten in those days) as the ‘referees have 22 players, a 30k crowd and 5 seconds, no 2 seconds, to make decisions’

    Can you imagine what he’d make of the 24 hour coverage of every indiscretion we get these days …

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    We were unlucky not to have Kachunga sent off for karate kicking Mbemba’s face open and lucky that Ritchie wasn’t sent off for going spikes up at another player’s head. That’s a wash, so let’s just leave it at that.

  • Paul Busby

    Swings and round abouts. The number of bad decisions that go against us resulting in suspensions or players being wrongly sent off put us far in credit for a couple of mishaps in our favour here and there.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Please read the Sun page forty nine top ref Mark Halsey says it is not a sending off. The quicker the people on this site realise that the press hate us (the times) the better. Some one told me we have twelve red cards in the time an opposition player was last sent off. The Mag and the press hate Newcastle United other teams like Sunderland never get stick of the times who hate Newcastle and the North East with a passion.

  • Mrkgw

    ‘Former’ top referee. Enough said.