‘No regrets’ – Souness defends ‘man’s game’ comment made after Chelsea vs Spurs game

Graeme Souness insists he does not regret his remarks after the fiery Chelsea vs Tottenham draw on Sunday.

The Liverpool legend came under fire for saying the thrilling Premier League showdown at Stamford Bridge ‘showed it was a man’s game all of a sudden’.

talkSPORT

Souness explained his comments, but had no regrets

Souness was referencing the more liberal approach taken by referee Anthony Taylor to allow a number of tackles in the 2-2 draw between Chelsea and Tottenham, but faced criticism for saying the comments while sitting next to Karen Carney, a former England Women’s international.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Souness said: “Referees are letting a lot more go and it makes for a better watch. We’ve all played the game, with simulation and people throwing themselves into the ground. I haven’t seen that in the two games today. It’s a man’s game all of a sudden now.”

Souness joined White and Jordan on talkSPORT for his now regular Monday morning appearance and addressed the controversy surrounding his remarks.

When asked by host Jim White if he regretted what he said, the 69-year-old replied: “Not a word of it. Let me explain. I’ve been advocating for years that the referees have such a major part to play in the success of the Premier League.

“We’ve got to be careful what we say today and I’ve not been very good at that, but we were becoming like other leagues.

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“They were blowing the whistle all the time and it wasn’t a good watch. Our game has always been unique, more meaty, more in your face and more intense and we got away from that.

“My comments yesterday were saying we’ve got our game back. That is the kind of football I remember playing in.

The ‘Battle at the Bridge’ boiled over on several occasions

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The ‘Battle at the Bridge’ boiled over on several occasions

There were lots of question marks raised about Taylor’s officiating at Stamford Bridge, but Souness liked the fact he let things go

Rex

There were lots of question marks raised about Taylor’s officiating at Stamford Bridge, but Souness liked the fact he let things go

“We’ve got to be better for it. The directive to the referees is long overdue, we’ve got our game back. 

“I enjoyed two games of football yesterday where men were playing men and they got about themselves and were falling out with each other.

“Okay, I don’t think we should be condoning the thing on the touchline, but I’ve been there. If you are on the touchline and things aren’t going your way and you feel there’s been an injustice. You’ve worked all week for these 90 minutes.”

Carney’s former England teammate Eniola Aluko tweeted her criticism of Souness following his comments.

“Awkward turtles, Graeme Souness talking about ‘it’s a man’s game again’ sat next to an England centurion Karen Carney, two weeks after the Lionesses end a 56 year wait and win European Championships,” she tweeted. “Come on. It’s not okay.”

talkSPORT host Simon Jordan hit back at Aluko, calling the outrage ‘ridiculous’.

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He said: “It’s preposterous. I’ve seen some of the blowback. What an absolute load of nonsense. How can somebody, a man describing a game featuring men can’t apparently use the words man or men in conjunction with a game featuring solely men.

“Are we losing context here, have we got to a point where we have to say ‘hang on here, the Women’s Super League that’s bias’.

Spurs grabbed a 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

AFP

Spurs grabbed a 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

The flashpoint between Conte and Tuchel was the talk of the game

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The flashpoint between Conte and Tuchel was the talk of the game

“Are we getting into that territory? It’s ridiculous. Graeme made an observation about a game and made it in conjunction with what he was watching.

“If someone wants to turn it into something more, they do a particular cause of equality and injustice. It is lightweight activism. I’m seeing players from the England Women’s football team making a song out of thing, I’m so disappointed by it as I think it is unnecessary.

“If you want to take anybody’s conversation out of context, misrepresent it and turn it into something it wasn’t, then that’s for you to do.

“It doesn’t mean people should be castigated, it doesn’t mean we need presenters on the show to say ‘it’s a women’s game as well’.

“You don’t need it. I don’t think Graeme is a dinosaur, I don’t think he’s misogynistic, I don’t think there is anything wrong with what he said.

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“I’ve got a 14-year-old daughter and I want her to compete in the world and be given the best opportunities, what a load of old cobblers.”

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