Sky Sports pundit destroys William Saliba after Everton v Arsenal incident
Stephen Warnock was left raging over William Saliba’s reaction to a stray arm from Everton striker Beto, calling the Arsenal defender “embarrassing.”
The Toffees were poor and uninspiring in their defeat to Arsenal on Sunday (17 September) but both sides were critical of referee Simon Hooper and VAR as he made several decisions early in the contest that frustrated both sides [Liverpool Echo, 18 September].
Saliba challenged Beto as the ball bounced up to the Portuguese forward’s chest and as he controlled it, his arm brushed across the French centre-back’s shoulder only for him to go down holding his face, leading to plenty of criticism from Warnock.
Speaking on Sky Sports on Monday (18 September) the former Liverpool defender said: “Get up, carry on. It was embarrassing, that’s not what we want to see in the game. That’s almost simulation, you put it in that same bracket where you don’t want to see that.
“Maybe we get to the point where you do have to punish players, give them yellow cards if they’re trying to feign an injury, trying to get a player sent off because that was really poor. That’s just the physical side of the game.”
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It’s safe to say most of Goodison Park were vocal in letting Saliba know what they thought of his performance after a fairly innocuous brush of the arm from Beto and it was an absolutely ridiculous piece of play-acting from the Arsenal defender.
What makes it worse is the fact that Hooper waved play on having seen the forward hadn’t made contact with the Frenchman, only for the Arsenal players to stop and Everton to kick the ball out of play, just in time for Saliba to get back to his feet.
It seems ridiculous that in a day in age where we have VAR that can have a second look at every decision made by referees, they can’t go back and punish a player for clear and obvious deception. The Toffees can count themselves lucky that this decision wasn’t too crucial in the game.
It was a tough afternoon in general for Beto who only had 18 touches of the ball before being substituted in the 66th minute. For him to be a success Everton are going to have to start being much more creative, otherwise he isn’t going to be particularly involved in matches.