“In all honesty…” – Premier League legend jumps to Holgate’s defence

Former Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha and ex-West Ham midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker both expressed their dismay at Mason Holgate’s tackle on Brighton’s Kaoru Mitoma, labeling it as “outrageous” and “extremely dangerous”.

The incident occurred in the 12th minute, with the Sheffield United defender catching Mitoma just below the knee. Holgate was subsequently sent off after his initial yellow card was upgraded following a review by the video assistant referee.

There was an aura of positivity in the ground last Sunday as the Blades entered the game against the Seagulls off the back of a resounding 3-1 win at Luton the week before.

But that bubble burst within just 12 minutes of play, as Kaoru Mitoma dashed down the wing with possession, Mason Holgate aggressively charged in to halt his advance. However, his tackle was deemed high, reckless, and forceful, resulting in the Japanese international crumpling to the ground.

Following a VAR review, the referee promptly upgraded the initial yellow card to a red card, leading to the justified dismissal of the on-loan Everton player.

It was a huge blow given the positive start United had made to the contest, and ultimately the Blades succumbed to a 5-0 thrashing, which has happened in back-to-back Premier League home games.

Onuoha and Reo-Coker stated on the Football Daily podcast:

“I don’t know Mason Holgate and I don’t know his intent or what he was thinking because that challenge for me was a disgrace,” said Onuoha on the Football Daily podcast.

“When your foot is landing above someone’s knee, what are you doing? That is so dangerous.”

Meanwhile, legendary forward Alan Shearer gave his input on the incident on Match of The Day 2.

According to the former Premier League striker, the straight red card handed to centre-back Mason Holgate “proved costly” for his team, as Brighton managed to score five goals against the Blades at Bramall Lane.

“It was a terrible challenge. It was going to be a very difficult day anyway for Sheffield United – Mason Holgate made it into an impossible day for Sheffield United.”

Pundit jumps to Holgate’s defence

Surprisingly, former Everton and Barcelona striker Gary Lineker opted for a more measured analysis, taking a somewhat sympathetic stance towards the defender. Despite acknowledging the challenge as a “moment of madness,” he seemed to lean towards defending the actions of the player.

He explained his reasoning on The Rest is Football podcast: “The sending off was a moment of madness. I think honestly he just tried to kick the ball hard and followed through and missed the ball.”

No matter if you agree with the Match of The Day presenter or not, I think we all agree on the fact that it ruined Sheffield United’s chances of snatching something from this game, a fixture that seemed like a ‘must’ at this delicate part of the campaign.

Initially, the signing of Holgate was frowned upon by the majority of the United supporters. And after Sunday’s incident there have been many on social media angrily stating that the defender should never play for the Blades again this season.

Tags Mason Holgate Pundits