Yesterday, at Ewood Park, the Hatters were unfortunate to lose their midfielder, Allan Campbell, as early as the 11th minute.
The Scottish midfielder was the victim of a challenge from the Blackburn Rovers captain, Darragh Lenihan, that was, to put it mildly, awful.
The Blackburn captain saw his attempted challenge go over the ball and come down, hard, on the shin/ankle of Campbell and left him writhing in agony and in no position to carry on.
Lenihan, for his misdemeanour, was shown a yellow card, by the referee Oliver Langford, whilst many who saw the incident thought it was a nailed on red card.
It was an incident that Nathan Jones had to talk about after the game and the Hatters boss did with his views being reported by Luton Today with the gaffer remarking:
“Let’s clarify, I know Darragh, I’ve tried to sign Darragh, well my club tried to sign Darragh when I was at Brighton, so I know he’s not malicious in any way, but it’s a terrible challenge.
“It’s season ending, I’m not saying career ending, it’s a season ending challenge.
“If his ankle ligaments don’t go, his leg does, so praise the lord his ankle ligaments went and not his leg as it’s a terrible challenge.
“I’ve been in to see the referee very calmly, as they have to see that, because it’s a game changing challenge.”
Clearly, Nathan felt that justice was not done even more so when he added:
“Ten minutes later he (Lenihan) plays a ball inside, they break and score, so it’s an absolutely game changing challenge.”
Sometimes the fine line between success and failure can come courtesy of an incident like that we witnessed yesterday.
But whenever a player is affected by an injury like we witnessed yesterday, our immediate concern is how long the player is going to be side-lined, something Nathan was unable to shed much light on in his post-match interview:
“It’s his ankle ligaments, we don’t know, we’ll have a scan and see, but he’s in a boot.
“Instantly he can’t continue, so we haven’t even tried it.
“It’s a horrific challenge, it’s over the top, it’s shin high, and all I can say is praise the lord his ankle ligaments went and not his leg because then you’re looking at eight, nine months.”
Here at Vital Luton Town, we hope that Campbell is not out injured for too long and that he has a speedy recovery.
But returning to the subject of referees, the opposition manager, Tony Mowbray, as reported by Luton Today, had an interesting take on the incident, especially when it comes to the new lenient attitude being adopted by the officials, this season, to some challenges:
“Lenihan makes full contact with the ball and his foot goes over the top of it and he catches the lad.
“Last year 100 per cent it’s a red card, this year I don’t think the officials know what they’re doing, how lenient to be, how strong to be.
“They haven’t got the balance right and today it was always going to be that kind of game.”
Has he hit the nail on the head?
Although returning to the choice of card colour by the referee, the Hatters faithful are in no doubt what the colour should have been, as the following social media posts show:
how is that not a red seriously
— Dan 🔶 (@dlbateman031) September 11, 2021
Dirty challenge man that’s a red all day
— IGidane (@gidane_i) September 11, 2021
And it is a decision that even the following Blackburn fan knew was wrong;
I’m a Rovers fan & that’s 100% a red
— Amy Prescott Diaz (@MoCuishle_) September 11, 2021
Sadly, what is done is done and we now must live with it, but like I said earlier, all we can do is wish Allan Campbell a speedy recovery, something I am sure you will wholeheartedly agree with.
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