We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett to the MOT Leeds News team. Each week, Hackett will discuss the big moments from the latest Leeds United games and deliver his verdict on whether his successors got their calls right or wrong…
Raphinha should be banned for Leeds United versus Arsenal at Elland Road on Saturday, according to Keith Hackett.
The ex-FIFA referee says the 25-year-old winger should’ve been booked for the fifth time this season for sarcastically applauding referee Paul Tierney following Manchester City’s third goal in their 7-0 rout of the Whites on Tuesday.
Before Kevin De Bruyne’s goal, Raphinha went down under a challenge and surrendered possession to Man City.
Clearly, the Brazil international thought he was fouled and showed that with a display of dissent towards Tierney once De Bruyne scored his first of the night.
Hackett says Raphinha should’ve been shown a yellow card and as that would’ve been his fifth of the season, he’d have joined Junior Firpo in being banned for the clash with Arsenal on Saturday.
Speaking to MOT Leeds News, Hackett said: “The referee goes in with a blank canvas and it’s clearly going to be a challenging game as it’s got a lot of history, therefore he can only manage what effectively roles out in front of him.
“When it gets to a big score, he’s got two areas to watch.
“Firstly, he’s got to maintain his own levels of concentration and not relax because, in a game like that, there can be an explosion. There wasn’t, so in that sense, I think he did his job.
“The second point is frustration by players and as a result, they can either put in some stupid challenges and obviously, we saw Raphinha clapping a decision.
“That is a cautionable offence, every day and any day.
“He’s fortunate that’s been missed by the match officials. Had he been seen, then I think he’s very fortunate to escape.”
Had Tierney spotted Raphinha’s sarcastic applause, Marcelo Bielsa would have been dealt with an even bigger selection headache this weekend.
Firpo’s suspended but the injuries at Elland Road are crazy with Daniel James and Jamie Shackleton suffering setbacks against Man City.
They’ve joined Kalvin Phillips, Liam Cooper, Patrick Bamford, Rodrigo and Pascal Struijk on the sidelines ahead of the clash with Arsenal on Saturday.
In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has mooted a cost-effective move to sign this central midfielder in January.