Scott Parker has warned Antonee Robinson to be “careful” with his tackling now the defender has served a ban.
Robinson is back in the squad after serving a three-match suspension following a straight red card against Chelsea two weeks ago.
He will almost certainly be at left-back against West Brom on Saturday.
In a 20-season playing career, Whites boss Parker picked up just one straight red – and that as a youth player at Charlton.
He believes those days are long gone.
“Can you coach how to tackle and stay just the right side of OK? I don’t think you can in this day and age,” Parker said.
“We’re close to tackling being eradicated from the game and players not having to wear shin pads is not that far away.
“The days of going in and winning a ball are gone, and any slight bit of aggressiveness is not allowed.
“For me, tackling is an art. We look at the best strikers and the midfielders, the best passers, and we look at them and (ask) how they do that. I think the same about tackling.
“My comment to Antonee Robinson is you need to be so, so careful. Do I think that was a red card (against Chelsea)? No, I don’t.
“But we’re in a world where I hear experienced professionals, now pundits, who were in the generation I was in and loved tackling and who now see any slight contact could be a sending-off. It’s pretty difficult to coach.”