Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson has shared his verdict after seeing Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson get elbowed by the assistant referee during the match against Arsenal on Sunday.
Speaking on The Footballer’s Football Podcast with West Ham United’s Michail Antonio, the England international couldn’t believe what he was witnessing when linesman Constantine Hatzidakis struck the Scotland captain.
“Honestly, I couldn’t believe what I was watching,” said Wilson. “I know everyone is human and you make mistakes, and you are having a reaction when someone is on your shoulder talking to you.
“You know like when someone is on your shoulder and you just want to shrug them off, Robertson is like a similar height, so when he has shrugged him off, he has caught him on the chin and Robertson does look shocked!
“It’s a tricky one because look what happened with Mtirovic when he touched the ref in nowhere near the same circumstances.
“This guy has thrown an elbow! What’s going on!?
“[If it was the other way round], he would have [been shown] a red card straight away; he wouldn’t be coming out for the second half, which I thought might happen – they would put the fourth official as the linesman – but I guess maybe they can’t do that, you know.
“But, yeah, it’s a sticky one for him!”
Wilson shocked by Robertson incident
Wilson is completely right in saying if the incident took place the other way round, then Robertson would have been shown an immediate red card – with the expectation he would receive a lengthy ban.
However, as it was a player who was struck – particularly a Liverpool player, the reception has been completely different.
With commentators in the media slamming the Scotsman for his involvement, it begs the question whether they would have the same reaction towards players from their own teams – Manchester United per say.
Regardless, it just goes to show how protected referees are, as Hatzidakis could still escape punishment – despite hitting a player.