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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Isaac Johnson

Casemiro is being punished for sloppy mistakes by his Manchester United teammates

When Casemiro gave away a free-kick near to the edge of the Brighton box on Thursday, Manchester United fans held their breath to see what type of mood referee Andre Marriner was in.

The midfielder had already picked up a yellow card just before half-time and he had not shown any restraint going into challenges after the break despite this. Casemiro has been sent off twice this season and missed a total of eight matches through suspension.

His absences have proved costly to United, with losses to Arsenal and Newcastle during his spell on the sidelines. However the majority of his cautions and dismissals have not been his fault.

ALSO READ: Erik ten Hag reacts to Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes argument

A defensive pivot is accustomed to going into the notebook, Casemiro having done so 92 times during his seven-year stay at Real Madrid. It’s part and parcel of the role, especially in the fast-paced modern game.

Casemiro has picked up 12 yellow cards in 45 United matches this season - almost one every three games. When he is not in the side, the team suffers and they look lost without him, but they are partly to blame for it.

Against Brighton, he was yellow-carded for mistiming a tackle when trying to recover the ball after a careless give away from Marcus Rashford. Many Brighton fans will argue he was lucky not to get a second later on in the night.

His first ban of the season came for yellow card accumulation in January. His fifth Premier League caution was picked up late on in a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace, meaning he was out of the forthcoming Arsenal match.

Casemiro had made a tackle when the ball had run through midfield after Bruno Fernandes backed out of a challenge. His raised eyebrows and shrugged shoulders towards his on-field skipper told the story of what he thought of that.

His second straight red against Southampton in March came as a result of Lisandro Martinez getting sucked into the press in a rare lapse of concentration from the Argentine. Casemiro was forced to put a challenge in to stop a potential forward run and the angle of his studs meant they caught Carlos Alcaraz.

For all the portrayal of LaLiga being a softer league, Casemiro received just two red cards in 336 Real Madrid games. He had never been shown a straight red in that time with both coming as a result of two bookings.

All of Casemiro’s United suspensions have been avoidable and it’s clear to see why the star is so adamant about positioning and role tactics. He has twice been seen remonstrating with Fernandes about this after games, including in the League Cup final win.

It's these high levels Erik ten Hag wants at United. Casemiro does have responsibility to rein it in when on a yellow - three Premier League red cards in a single season would be a joint record.

But United need to do much more to protect Casemiro as much as he protects them.


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