Troy Deeney expressed his disappointment at the antics of the Tottenham Hotspur players, believing their behaviour contributed to the one red card and four yellows dished out at Vicarage Road yesterday.
Harry Kane sprinted from the centre circle to tell Anthony Taylor he should take action against Miguel Britos for a perfectly legitimate touchline tackle on Kieran Trippier. Jan Vertonghen then charged 30 yards to harangue the referee into sending off Nathan Ake for a challenge on Erik Lamela. Danny Rose, who had a spell on loan at Vicarage Road, also went down claiming injury at the hands of Deeney in the dying minutes.
“I maybe old school but as soon the red card is shown, he [Lamela] is jumping up and down and running off,” said Deeney. “That frustrates me. You’ve got ten players running around the ref trying to get him [Ake] sent off against little old Watford. You are supposed to be running over us so why do you need to get a man man sent off?”
Sebastian Prödl, who had only been on the field three minutes when Ake was sent off, concurred.
“I think the referee got a little bit stressed because too many Tottenham players ran over to the injured player,” he said. “From my point of view it wasn’t a red card. It was a hard foul of course but not worth a red.”
Deeney was first to protest to Taylor over the decision and earned a yellow card for dissent.
“If he’s going to book Dele Alli for being out of control, when he won the ball [against Etienne Capoue], then he’s got to be saying that [Ake] was out of control or done it on purpose. If that is viewpoint then he’s got it massively wrong. He’s saying he got him [Lamela] on the knee but there were no marks on him.”
Ian Wright, in his role as a pundit on Match of the Day, described the challenge as “wild” while Alan Shearer went even further.
“The referee got it absolutely correct,” said Shearer. “It was a high challenge, it was dangerous, it was above the knee and he missed the ball completely. It was a straight red card, he can’t have any complaints with that.”
Watching it live, BBC Sport commentator Alistair Mann said: “Ake was looking for the ball but he went straight into the midrift of Lamela, studs showing. It didn’t look like it was an out of control challenge, it just looked like it was mistimed. Does that really constitute a red card? Was it out of control? Was it violent conduct? Anthony Taylor says it ticks both boxes.”
Ake will receive a three-game ban for serious foul play, ruling him out of the games against Manchester City, Newcastle United and Southampton.
*Additional reporting by David Anderson