Yesterday morning, I awoke with an unfamiliar feeling of confidence ahead of our trip to the Theatre of Shite. By lunchtime, it had been replaced by the more customary feeling of nerves and dread. It took just 5 minutes for these to be once again replaced with supreme confidence as el Nino rose to head in uncontested. 1-0! We were on the way to a repeat of last year.
7 Minutes later, United’s 12th man interceded to play more than an insignificant role in giving Man Ure a route back to level terms. I will never argue that it was not a foul. Even the most blinkered Liverpool fan will admit Mascherano had a handful of Valencia’s shirt but the foul was OUTSIDE the area. Valencia tumbled inside the box but our man from Argentina had let go by the time they entered the penalty area. Free kick yes but penalty no. Of course, this is forgetting rule 1, section 1, paragraph 1, of the referees’ Officiating at Old Trafford Handbook edited by a certain Slur Alco Fergushite, which states: Should a Manchester United player fall or be fouled (always a bonus) within 5 yards of the penalty area, a penalty will be awarded and a minimum of a yellow card shall be issued.
Horward Webb ensured his inclusion on Slur Alco’s Christmas card list when he turned a blind eye to Gary Neville’s attempted decapitation of Maxi. It is hard to believe that Webb is the FA’s best and sole representative at this year’s World Cup. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is a plan to help England’s bid. Send a dodgy ref and hopefully he will get a big game where one of his decisions will lead to Brazil, Spain or Argentina getting knocked out before they can trouble England!
I do not completely blame our defeat on the presence of Man Ure’s 12th man thus exonerating our players from their share of the blame. Nor can I single anyone out to shoulder the rap. However, our Captain Fantastic for so many years deserves a dishonourable mention. On many occasions, he has inspired the men around him by his own deeds. Sadly, he appears either incapable or unwilling to play his role these days. He just did not appear interested yesterday. Some captains can inspire and lead by word, Stevie is NOT one of these. As sad as it sounds, this could be his last year for us.
I hope Melwood is not a happy place this morning, because if it is not shrouded in the black clouds of depression, it will prove the players just don’t care. They have 6 days now to clear their heads and get some well needed rest, as the 3 games in the previous 6 days certainly looked to have caught up with them yesterday.
Forget 4th, and concentrate on the Europa League. Liverpool have a long tradition of winning trophies, let’s not end the season empty-handed!