Ally McCoist has been left baffled by the “scandalous” decision to reject Leeds United’s appeal against Pascal Struijk’s red card in the 3-0 Premier League defeat to Liverpool, speaking to talkSPORT (15 September, 9.40am).
It seems everyone in the game has given their two pence-worth about the infamous tackle that has consigned 18-year-old Harvey Elliott to six months on the sidelines.
But no-one has managed to hit the nail on the head quite like Rangers legend McCoist.
“Any level of intelligence can tell it was a horrific injury but there was no malice at all (in Struijk’s tackle). It was not a red card, just an unfortunate incident. (Rejecting the appeal) is a shocking decision,” McCoist fumed.
And therein lies the crux of the argument.
McCoist berates ‘scandalous’ decision over Leeds man Pascal Struijk
Struijk not only won the ball – and won it cleanly – it’s also difficult to argue the former Ajax youngster was ‘out of control’ or ‘reckless’ when he slid in on the unfortunate Elliott.
Even the Liverpool starlet himself insisted Struijk wasn’t to blame.
“Wasn’t his fault whatsoever!” Elliott wrote on Instagram. “Neither was it a red card, just a freak accident – but these things happen in football. I’ll be back stronger, 100 per cent.”
Elliott could be forgiven for feeling bitter after the most unfortunate of incidents brought a premature end to what looked set to be a breakthrough season under Jurgen Klopp.
The teenager, however, had the intelligence to see the bigger picture. And that’s more than can be said for the FA appeal board, it seems. Struijk now faces a three-match ban for what was, at best, a debatable foul.
“I’m not surprised (by the decision). Bampots! They had the chance to absolve the boy of any blame and they’ve not done it,” adds McCoist.
“That guy will spend the rest of his career thinking he was responsible. It’s scandalous. I’m bewildered by some of the decisions these people make.”
“It was a genuine and successful attempt to win the ball cleanly. It was a good, clean tackle – it was just unfortunate,” former England international Trevor Sinclair later argued (talkSPORT, 15 September, 10am).