The challenge by Samuel Eto’o on Suarez wasn’t a foul. It was assault.
For a referee who has officiated at a World Cup final, it was an awful decision. And it was one of many in the game last week against Chelsea. Eto’o shouldn’t have even been on the pitch after his earlier challenge on Jordan Henderson. Howard Webb’s history of giving decisions that aren’t in our favour are well documented so I hardly need to go over them.
However, the fact that Mourinho chose to not only support Mr Webb, but also tried to condemn Suarez for diving, was laughable. Mourinho, a stellar manager who has won the Champions League with teams from two different countries, has always been a fan of mind games and, while he was being successful, his comments might have been seen by many as part of his charm. Not now. The self appointed special one is more special needs at the moment.
What was most disappointing is that the ludicrous decision not to award Suarez a penalty against Chelsea came after Lee Mason and his linesman had failed to spot that Sterling was two yards onside against Manchester City a few days earlier. Both of these decsion have cost Liverpool a point and, had they gone in our favour, we would have been 3rd in the league on 41 points, one ahead of Chelsea, two behind City and only four behind Arsenal.
This evening it has emerged that Brendan Rodgers is to be charged by the FA for his comments relating to Mason after the City game. Whikst this was inevitable, it’s yet another decision that anyone connected with Liverpool will find thoroughly disappointing.
I think there’s a feeling within the club, and certainly amongst many Liverpool fans, that we do seem to regularly be on the reverse of harsh decisions – decisions which could cost us a place in the top four or even a shot at the title. From the club’s point of view, with the money in the game nowadays, this could be monumental in our future fortunes, as well as our ability to keep and attract the best players.
Even against Hull, a game we won, there were some terrible decisions that didn’t go our way. These haven’t really been highlighted because we got the points but it’s still unacceptable.
Rodgers and the club should contest the charge and furthermore, document evidence over the years of poor officiating in our games. I’m sure many fans on here will remember Mason harshly sending off Javier Mascherano against Portsmouth a few years ago. So again, just like with Howard Webb, there is history there.
It’s appalling that referees are hardly ever punished for their mistakes, no matter how costly, and this doesn’t give fans or managers confidence that decisions are made without bias. In a world where players are being found guilty of match fixing it’s not unimaginable for a referee, who earns a lot less money than footballers, to be guilty of the same thing.
Of course I wouldn’t dream of accusing either of the referees mentioned in this article of corruption. I’m merely pointing out that all fans want their teams to do well and to be treated fairly. If the same referees repeatedly give wrong decisions against certain teams then it’s natural for people to ask questions.
How refreshing it would be for the FA to drop the charge against Rodgers and admit there had been an oversight in appointing a referee from Greater Manchester to handle a game involving a team from Manchester. It would be great for all football teams, not just Liverpool, if the FA issued a statement saying that they had seen both incidents and they would be reminding all referees that their performances can be as important to results as the performances of the footballers. And it would be superb if the FA and the referee’s association (PGMOL) were to say that they would be keeping an eye out for continual wrong decisions by individual referees against the same teams.
Refreshing, great, superb. And also highly unlikely.