Manchester United’s Conspiracy Suspicions Grow Amidst Referee Controversies
Manchester United may look for further clarification regarding Anthony Taylor’s performance as a referee. However, the main issue lies in the lack of objectivity among Premier League referees, rather than just Taylor’s specific actions during Sunday’s game.
If Matt Le Tissier didn’t support Southampton, he might be suggesting another conspiracy theory. The referee, Andre Marriner, who gave Casemiro a red card during a game against Crystal Palace last month, was also the Video Assistant Referee who recommended the same punishment for Casemiro’s challenge on Carlos Alcaraz. Additionally, Marriner was the referee during a recent match where Ricardo Pereira made a more severe foul by embedding his studs on Joao Felix’s shin, but he did not even receive a booking for it. This incident is more relevant to the discussion.
That may have been on Marriner’s mind when he analysed Casemiro’s challenge on Alcaraz. You can imagine the scene in that cabin at Stockley Park: “I cocked up again yesterday, so better get this one right.”
And this is the nub of it with the Premier League officials: they are on different pages. So VAR, which purports to be an objective system, is applied subjectively and is inconsistent.
“What I think is the inconsistency, players don’t know anymore what is the policy,” Erik ten Hag said, “and I think it’s all across.
“We see it with Premier League yesterday: Leicester-Chelsea, the VAR is not coming on the line. Today, it’s coming on the line.”
Had Anthony Taylor expelled Casemiro immediately, it would have been more understandable than the retrospective decision to wipe out the yellow card and flourish red. Was a yellow for Casemiro a “clear and obvious” error by Taylor? Probably not.
Anthony Taylor was not helped by the fact that the replay he was presented with during the game was in slow motion. It is still confusing why incidents or fouls that could potentially result in a red card are shown to the on-field referee without proper context. In the case of Casemiro’s challenge, Taylor was only shown one angle of the incident, which happened to be the angle that made the challenge look worse.
“When you do it like this you have to be consistent across all of the games, all of the decisions,” Ten Hag argued. “And if they isolate one – it’s a little bit the same as against Crystal Palace, definitely. When you saw that incident you should have sent off three or four players and not only one if you’re really consistent.”
According to audio accessed by Manchester United, Christian Eriksen deliberately informed Anthony Taylor that the wall was farther away than necessary during a match. However, Eriksen was overruled by others. United raised this issue with the Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOL), and Jon Moss, a former referee working for the PGMOL, promised to speak to Taylor about it.
Taylor’s birthplace, Greater Manchester, has been a source of controversy in the past, with some questioning his appointments for matches involving Manchester City or Manchester United. Taylor was also the first English official to send Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp to the stands during a match against City.
One United supporter suggested that Taylor’s attempts to avoid bias might have swung the other way, likening it to Gary Neville’s approach to commentating on United.
PGMOL may receive further correspondence from United regarding the recent incident involving Armel Bella-Kotchap’s handball, which did not make the highlights of Match of the Day 2. However, there is no suggestion of a conspiracy theory, as suggested by Matt Le Tissier.