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“Not a dirty player”- Graeme Souness sends warning to Manchester United star about referees

Graeme Souness is a Liverpool legend. Copyright: Vincex Mignott PMI-2228-0059
Graeme Souness is a Liverpool legend. Copyright: Vince Mignott PMI-2228-0059

Graeme Souness warns Casemiro that referees will be keeping a close eye at his tackles

Football pundit Graeme Souness wrote in his Daily Mail column about referees looking out for Casemiro after receiving two red cards in his first season in English football.

After getting a straight red card against Southampton last Sunday (the second of this season), Casemiro was suspended for four domestic games.

Manchester United managed to beat Fulham in the FA Cup without him, but there are three important league games after the international break (against Newcastle United, Brentford and Everton) that he will miss.

Raphael Varane feels Manchester United need to find different balance without Casemiro.
Graeme Souness warns Casemiro of being the marked man of the referees. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Here’s an excerpt of that Souness piece talking about Casemiro and his disciplinary record (h/t Daily Mail):

“Casemiro at Manchester United is not a dirty player, either, but he does have a record. Consider this: in his last three-and-a-half seasons for Manchester United and Real Madrid, he has been booked 53 times! That is astonishing.

“He has also been sent off three times, his latest red coming against Southampton last weekend. The upshot of his second red card for United in a short space of time is that when he returns from his four-game ban he will find referees looking out for him — and not in a good way.

“In football, a reputation as being someone who likes to play on the edge of the law can be hard to shake.”

Whatever you think of Souness as a pundit (he tends to make weird comments), he is spot on here.

When a player is prone to making malicious challenges that are worthy of a straight red card in a short space of time, referees will always have a closer look at him when he returns from suspension.

If we look at Casemiro’s disciplinary record before he came to United last summer, the 31-year-old had received 129 yellow cards and zero straight red cards in 467 appearances. The two red cards previously accumulated was from a double yellow card.

Casemiro of Manchester United reacts after being shown a red card during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on February 04, 2023 in Manchester, England.
Casemiro has received two straight red cards in quick succession in the Premier League. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

So, he did average around 10 yellow cards per season before coming to England. It shows that the disciplinary record depicted here is nothing surprising. The only difference is that he has not been clever with his challenges here, hence getting directly sent off instead of getting yellow cards.

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The Brazilian is such an experienced player though. He is expected to learn from his mistakes and be astute with the lunging type of tackles. United will miss him in the three league games after the break. Let’s hope we win them before welcoming the 31-year-old back.

Written by Mizgan Masani

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