Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville blasts 'reckless' James Tarkowski

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville says James Tarkowski's 'reckless' challenge on Richarlison has no place in football.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 11:04 pm
Updated Monday, 13th September 2021, 11:06 pm
Sky Sports Pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher are seen on the pitch prior to the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United at Anfield on January 19, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

The Sky Sports pundit, speaking in the aftermath of Everton's win over Burnley on Monday Night Football, suggested that the Clarets' centre back was lucky to escape a red card.

The incident happened in the second half when Tarkowski flattened the Brazilian forward on the touchline in front of the Burnley fans at Goodison Park, while also winning the ball.

Referee Martin Atkinson deemed the tackle from the ex-England international to be a fair one, opting to keep his cards in his pocket while awarding the home side a throw-in.

Richarlison of Everton is challenged by James Tarkowski of Burnley during the Premier League match between Everton and Burnley at Goodison Park on September 13, 2021 in Liverpool, England.

Neville, however, despite relaxed refereeing measures, believes a challenge of that nature, executed with such force, could endanger opposition players and should not be encouraged.

He said: "I don't think this has a place in football. If it had been given red I don't think you could complain.

"The one from Tarkowski on Richarlison I think is reckless, he knows what he's doing, he knows the follow through is going to hurt him, or could hurt him.

"I think it could endanger him and I think Tarkowski goes to do him, as in leave one on him.

"He goes for the ball as well but I think this tackle is one when the referee's are going back to Stockley Park and they're assessing the lighter touch of the game, the physicality of the game, it has to be a yellow card.

"That has to be a yellow card because 6ft 2in centre backs, 13/14 stone, clattering people on the touchline, which me [Gary Neville] and him [Jamie Carragher] have done in our careers,

I've done it a 100 times in a season even, but that challenge back in 1997 is a yellow card.

"Refereeing has been brilliant, I agree with Sean Dyche, the game is in a better place, but that challenge can not be encouraged by not being booked."