Scott Arfield received a straight red card against Hearts of Midlothian on Sunday for a slide into the keeper. The card was harsh, but it was not totally unfair.
In the second half of Rangers Scottish Premiership match against Hearts Of Midlothian FC at Tynecastle in Edinburgh, Scott Arfield received a straight red card.
The card was the result of a slide into Hearts keeper Zdenek Zlamal. It came after a pair of shots on goal by Rangers. First, a shot that was deflected wide, then Alfredo Morelos put it on goal again and a scrambling Zlamal barely grabbed hold of it and was trying to get full control of the ball right on the line. Scott Arfield saw his chance and slid in, but by the time he arrived, the ball was in control and he had simply slid into the goalie.
The reason that the card was harsh is that there was clearly no malicious intent from Arfield. The Canadian international slid in with his boot down and even pulled his leg back as much as he could, surely realizing that his window had passed. On top of that, Arfield has no history of dirty play at all and has a long history of being a well-behaved player who is well-liked by his colleagues.
Despite that, it is hard to say that it was unfair for him to receive a straight red. Any time that you challenge a keeper, especially out in the open and on the ground, you are taking a huge risk. As such, it was a fairly daft decision by Arfield to try anyway.
So in the end, it is frustrating to see such a wonderful player sent off (and now be suspended for their next match) for a play with no malicious intent and no real harm done, but when you go at a keeper like that, you can’t really complain if you are sent off.