When speaking to the BBC Podcast Sportsweek last weekend, Watford midfielder Etienne Capoue was quick to admit that he was lucky not to have been sent off for his foul on Wilfried Zaha in the opening minutes of the Eagles’ trip to Vicarage Road.
Thanks to the game being broadcast live on Sky Sports last Sunday, millions of people were aware of Capoue’s foul from the moment it happened, with referee Anthony Taylor coming in for a huge amount of criticism after deciding to show a yellow card rather than a red.
In the Sky Sports studio, Graeme Souness, Jamie Redknapp and Shola Ameobi were all quick to express their shock that the Hornets midfielder had stayed on the field and to give credit to the man himself, he has been humble enough to admit that he should have walked for it.
Speaking to the BBC, Capoue said:
“A lot of people talk about it. They’ve told me because I don’t have social media, I don’t follow after the game. So I watched it again and I didn’t expect it was that bad. During the action it was so quick, I didn’t want to do that, I didn’t mean to do that. Because it’s very dangerous for the player and if he has a lot of pain I am sorry. It was part of the game. I didn’t think it was like this but I will not do another thing like this. On one camera it is a red card, on another camera it’s like nothing. So I was lucky to not get sent off and it’s part of the football sometimes. Maybe sometimes it will happen but against me. He’s a sharp player and he maybe was too quick for me.”
Whilst every neutral observer was quick to call out Capoue for the foul, plenty of Watford fans across social media had suggested he had done little to nothing wrong in the immediate aftermath of the incident. Perhaps now, after the man caught up in the centre of the storm has admitted he should have seen red, the Watford fans will accept that they got away with a potentially game-changing moment in the early stages of our meeting.