By Goodison News speaking to Keith Hackett

14th Sep, 2021 | 4:10pm

Keith Hackett blasts Tarkowski for dangerous Richarlsion challenge in Burnley loss v Everton

We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Everton.

James Tarkowski could easily have been sent off on Monday night as Burnley lost to Everton at Goodison Park, according to Keith Hackett.

Five minutes into the second half, Richarlison was completely clattered by the Burnley centre-back, who seemed to go in on the Brazilian with both feet off the ground and getting nowhere near the ball.

Referee Martin Atkinson failed to even show a yellow card to Tarkowski despite the sheer strength of the impact and the potential it could have had for Richarlison to have been injured.

“That challenge last night should not go unpunished,” Hackett exclusively told Goodison News.

“The responsibility of the referee is to ensure the game is played within the laws of the game but also in the spirit. And that challenge had excessive force and it endangers the safety of an opponent.

I think the match officials could quite easily have issued a red card.

First of all, that challenge is reckless – there’s no question that that’s unacceptable. The player also came in with excessive force and the minimum requirement of a referee in that situation is at least a yellow.

We’re seeing a deterioration and too many challenges of this nature which referees cannot allow to creep into the game because they don’t come under the banner of the lighter touch.

The minimum was yellow, it bordered on red, a sanction has got to be given for challenges of that nature.

It comes nowhere near what I would expect or players or managers would expect.”

Luckily for Everton, they managed to win the game 3-1 against Sean Dyche’s side but Burnley could have easily played most of the second-half with 10 men.

Atkinson’s failure to punish Tarkowski sets a dangerous precedent and one that could lead to similar challenges being made by him, one of his team-mates, or someone else in the future.

We saw Harvey Elliott suffer a horrendous injury against Leeds on Sunday and Pascal Struijk’s challenge was nowhere near as dangerous-looking at Tarkowski’s on Richarlison, yet the Leeds man was the one who was red-carded.

In other Everton news, Adrian Durham mocked Newcastle fans after what happened late on as the Blues beat Burnley.

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