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26th Aug 2018

Graeme Souness goes in two-footed on referee Anthony Taylor

Souness knows a thing or two about leaving a bit on opponents

Darragh Murphy

Imagine what Graeme Souness would have gotten away with if Anthony Taylor was in charge back when he was putting himself about.

Souness knows a thing or two about leaving a bit on opponents in challenges but he was not one bit happy about Etienne Capoue’s early tackle on Wilfried Zaha during Sunday’s clash between Watford and Crystal Palace.

It was clear from the outset that Zaha was going to be targeted by Watford’s players and he found out what kind of afternoon he could expect when he felt Capoue’s studs scrape down the back of his calf.

The ball was nowhere near the Hornets’ midfielder when he made his presence felt and few believe that the yellow card he received from referee Anthony Taylor was enough.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Souness tore into the official for failing to break out his red card for Capoue.

“Look where the ball is when he’s making contact with Zaha’s Achilles. For the life of me, how does a referee not see that as a red card?” Souness said at half-time.

“It tells me one of two things. Either he’s completely bottled it or he doesn’t understand football.

“He’s trying to hurt him. He’s trying to hurt him badly. When you damage your Achilles tendon badly – and there was a real danger of that happening there – you’re never the same player again. You can ask anyone who’s had that injury.

“Watch where the ball is when he makes contact with him. It’s ridiculous! And the referee couldn’t possibly have a better view of it.

“I find it so frustrating when they pick up on little things.”

Zaha followed Capoue into the referee’s notebook moments later for a relatively innocuous tackle and Palace fans were left seething when the Frenchman set up Roberto Pereyra for the game’s opening goal.

Souness was not one bit happy about Taylor’s performance and made his opinion known in no uncertain terms.

“It’s not as if he’s got an obscure view and it’s not like it’s an ‘if/maybe/might be a red card’. That is 100 per cent a red card,” Souness added.

“It was obvious from the beginning that they were trying to mess around with Zaha physically and he ends up getting booked for nothing.

“We’ll show his tackle and you tell me that it warrants the same punishment.”