Casemiro was sent off for Manchester United today after a straight red card for a foul on Southampton player Carlos Alcaraz.
Referee Anthony Taylor initially gave a yellow card but was called by the VAR, Andre Marriner, to review his decision and subsequently changed it to a red.
United struggled with a man short for most of the match and could only scrape a 0-0 draw against the relegation-battling Saints.
For Casemiro, it means a four-match ban because it is his second straight red of the season, the first being awarded by the same official as was on the VAR today, Marriner.
Most United fans agree that today’s was an incredibly harsh decision, especially given the fact that Casemiro clearly won the ball before making contact with Alcaraz.
His studs were showing, but he was to all intents and purposes on the ground and it would have been impossible to make a sliding tackle whilst keeping the sole of his foot pointing downwards.
Nonetheless, questions are being asked by some observers as to whether the Brazilian has become more aggressive in his tackling since he came to the Premier League.
Podcaster “No Question About That” tweeted “Possibly compensating for less pace than he once had, perhaps because he’s playing single pivot and having a lot to cover.”
One thing on Casemiro that has become apparent, he is more aggressive than earlier in his career. Possibly compensating for less pace than he once had, perhaps because he’s playing single pivot and having a lot to cover.
— No Question About That (@nqatpod) March 12, 2023
Both are legitimate questions to ask, but perhaps more to the point is Casemiro’s adaptation to the hurly burly nature of the Premier League.
It is a different beast completely from La Liga and in general faster paced, aggressive and hotly contested from a physical point of view.
Casemiro has earned rave reviews about how well he has adapted and has been one of United’s stand out performers this season, many would say he has been transformative.
But perhaps this has come at a price of living on the edge.
Can the seven missed games be put down to the bad luck of receiving two extremely harsh decisions within weeks of each other, or is the edge he is living on simply too precarious?
It will be a difficult path for both player and manager to navigate going forward, as United cannot afford to see him getting banned persistently, but neither can be expected to do his main duty – protect the defence – if he is forced to hold back.
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