Should Fleck have been red carded?
However, the game was marred by the controversial incident between John Fleck and Giovani Lo Celso with the Scotsman catching the Argentine’s head with his studs.
The incident was reviewed by VAR, but Peter Banks did not deem it to be a red card offence and allowed the game to continue.
Speaking on the ESPN FC podcast, Onuoha slammed the decision by Banks at Stockley Park and insisting the 29-year-old Blades midfielder was lucky to escape punishment (1:03:50).
He said: “I agree it should 100% have been a red card. And the only way I can think that it wasn’t, is if maybe the referee said to the VAR that you know, he’d seen it and that he had a clear view of it, and so as a consequence, I guess they couldn’t overrule him. But to look at that video, and to not have that other bit of context around it, it just seems obvious.”
“For me, that’s horrendous, and I think looking back he’s been so so lucky to escape that and I think looking at the VAR system it’s stuff like this which shouldn’t be happening because someone could have been seriously hurt there and they’ve missed a huge call, you know, Fleck ultimately didn’t deserve to be on the field after that challenge.”
TIF Thoughts on Onuoha’s comments…
We absolutely agree with Onuoha. From the replays shown both during and after the game, it appears Fleck could have placed his foot elsewhere but it seems he intentionally stepped on the Argentine’s shoulder.
Whether he meant for his foot to slip down onto Lo Celso’s head is a different matter. However, to intentionally trod on a player who is already on the floor would surely be worthy of a red card?
The incident had no impact on the result, but it was clear the interim Spurs manager was left absolutely furious after the game and we believe rightly so.