Steve McClaren confirmed that he will appeal Aleksander Mitrovic’s red card after the Newcastle man was sent off against Arsenal on Saturday.
Quite what McClaren is seeing when he re-watches the challenge is anyone’s guess but it was certainly more than a ‘clumsy stamp on his foot’ and using the example of Moussa Sissoko, who was booked after just three minutes for a stamp on Nacho Monreal, is a bad idea as he could have quite easily saw red himself.
In a game that saw Newcastle pick up seven yellows and one red, the Magpies clearly had a game plan and targeted Francis Coquelin, perhaps in the hope that they could rile him up in the way Crystal Palace seemed to manage two weeks ago.
The Frenchman, to his credit, refused to rise to the attacks but the Newcastle boss is deluded in more ways than one if he thinks his side didn’t try and kick Arsenal off the pitch.
“I hope I can [appeal the red card],” McClaren said.
“No doubt we will lose it.” Yes, you will, because it was a studs-up challenge that caught Coquelin high up on his shin with no attempt to play the ball.
“Sissoko had a similar one just before, and that was given a yellow.
“I’ve seen it over and over – it’s come over his head, he’s looking at the ball, there is no intent, there is no maliciousness, it’s just coming down and he’s just stamped on his foot.
“It definitely was not dangerous. It was clumsy, but I have seen plenty of clumsy challenges. Football is a contact sport, it’s a physical sport and we cannot take that away.
“I don’t think any of the tackles were [dirty].
“It was not a dirty game and we’ve not kicked them off the park.
“They were fouls and I think the ref has reacted too harshly with every one of them – a bit too soon, a bit too rash.”
Ok, Steve. Smoke a bit too much when you were in the Netherlands, did ya?