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Opinion

Former top referee rules on shocking Paul Pogba challenge – Clear double standards with Jonjo Shelvey

9 months ago
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Dermot Gallagher reviews controversial decisions in the Premier League after each round of games, on behalf of Sky Sports.

The former top referee has now given his call on yesterday’s Tottenham v Man Utd big talking point.

Paul Pogba going in with a high tackle that caught Dele Alli on the thigh.

The Man Utd midfielder then compounding his shocking challenge when seconds later after play had stopped, he threw the ball away as far as he could as a Tottenham tried to get possession of it.

Very interesting to compare what Dermot Gallagher says about this Paul Pogba one, compared to what he said a week and a half earlier about Jonjo Shelvey (see below).

With Shelvey he said a definite red card but with Pogba saying only a yellow.

No two incidents are exactly the same but for me, these two had all the same ingredients.

If the referee had seen Shelvey’s one properly then I think he would have been sent off and could have had no complaints.

Same with Paul Pogba yesterday, he should definitely have been sent off.

I’m not convinced either player intended to injure their opponent but I do think they were very reckless, to such an extent where the chances of serious injury was so high, that they were red card offences.

Dermot Gallagher speaking to Sky Sports about Tottenham v Man U incident (13 January 2019):

Incident:

“Paul Pogba is booked after catching on Dele Alli with a high tackle, before the United midfielder then kicks the ball away.”

Dermot Gallagher verdict:

“Correct decision, just a booking.”

Dermot Gallagher says:

“I think yellow card.

“He goes to win the ball with the other foot, he has taken a step to go over it, he does go over the ball and he catches him on the back of the thigh.

“It is reckless, but he genuinely goes to play the ball.

“Is he going to be second yellow-carded for delaying the restart?

“Well, he did not really delay the restart because the restart could not take place because Mike Dean had to give him a yellow card, he probably had to speak to him and say: ‘Look, I think you are reckless, that is a high-tariff yellow card’.

“He wanted time to take him out and cool him down and in that period, you could not really restart the game.

“He may be stopping a fast free-kick, but the referee controlled that himself, so he did not really delay the restart himself.”

Dermot Gallagher speaking to Sky Sports about Newcastle United v Man U incident (2 January 2019):

Incident:

“A high tackle from midfielder Jonjo Shelvey on Paul Pogba only results in a free-kick for Manchester United.”

Dermot Gallagher verdict:

“Red Card.”

Dermot Gallagher says:

“It’s a red card because he’s high, he’s come with force, and the point of contact is just too much, it’s gone down his leg.

“The referee is behind Shelvey so whether his body has shielded him I don’t know.

“He’s given a free-kick so the argument would be no [retrospective action].”

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