With Sunday’s Championship clash between Leeds United and Aston Villa having quite a few talking points surrounding both sides’ goals on the day, BBC pundit Noel Whelan has defended the actions of Mats Klich for simply playing on as the referee allowed, but slammed Aston Villa’s Conor Hourihane for his actions in the aftermath.
Having come through our youth ranks as a youngster, Whelan is well known on the Leeds United circuit from his work with the BBC but speaking this week to Football Insider, he gave both barrels to the Republic of Ireland international for his involvement in the melee after the opening goal, and what appeared to be a punch aimed at Klich as they clashed.
With everyone talking about the Patrick Bamford incident, it’s only fair this issue is being highlighted as well.
“It was disgusting. Hourihane was very lucky not to get sent off. He clearly punched Klich in the chest, and that is a clear red card if it is seen. What did Klich do wrong? He was simply playing to the whistle. You are taught from a young age to play to the whistle, and you don’t have to put the ball out unless there is a head injury, or a really serious injury. That wasn’t the case with the Jonathan Kodjia injury. I can see why Aston Villa were disappointed, as they kicked the ball out when Adam Forshaw was injured earlier in the game. But players are told before the start of the season the game will only be stopped if there’s a head injury. There was no reason for the players to stop and maybe Dean Smith should be complaining about why his players didn’t play to the whistle.”
With the Football Association confirming that they have requested the referee’s report prior to them looking at the game, with Hourihane receiving a booking, it’ll all come down to what the referee actually saw.