David Moyes has asked for referees to give more protection to Adnan Januzaj after another match where he was on the end of some rough treatment.
The 18-year-old was floored plenty of times by Aston Villa who chose fouling Januzaj as the best option to stop him and it is something that has happened all season.
It was highlighted by Riether’s disgusting stamp on Januzaj but that is just the tip of the iceberg as he has suffered the most fouls on average per game in the Premier League, and is only behind Ross Barkley and Eden Hazard (43) as the most fouled player in the league (35).
“In every game, I don’t know how many tackles there have been on him,” Moyes told Sky Sports.
“That is why I am annoyed with fourth officials and referees. He is definitely not getting protected and before you know it the boy will get a sore one.
“It is terrible what they [the officials] are allowing to go on at the moment. They (opposition players) are queuing up to see who can kick him next. [Matthew] Lowton was booked but there were that many tackles on him from different players.
“It is a recurring theme and it’s the referees’ job to sort it out. You would hope they would recognise that. Adnan will just get up, walk away and get on with it. That is one of his biggest attributes.”
Ferguson was similarly critical of referees about their protection of Ronaldo but it is the nature of the beast that when a footballer is simply too good for a defender to stop within the rules, cynical fouls are often the first choice solution as has been the case with Januzaj.
To his credit, he held his own against Villa at times yesterday and those that he couldn’t avoid, he dusted himself off and carried on but Moyes is right in that sooner or later, one of these tackles is going to do some damage so something needs to be done before it happens.