March 24th, 1997 and Robbie Fowler has just won a penalty for Liverpool at Highbury, the game is evenly poised at 1-1 in an important match. Arsenal keeper David Seaman had come rushing out and referee Gerald Ashby adjudged the England number one had brought down Fowler.
But the Liverpool forward quickly jumped to his feet and waved his arms to gesture no penalty and told the referee there was in fact no contact. Fowler went on to miss the spot kick – although Jason McAteer followed it up to give Liverpool a 2-1 win – and UEFA later awarded Fowler for his honesty.
March 12th, 2006 and Xabi Alonso’s momentum causes him to slide into Matthieu Flamini, the game is evenly poised at 1-1 in an important match. The referee is looking in the opposite direction, the linesman doesn’t wave for any incident and the Arsenal players do little to stop Steve Bennett brandishing a second yellow.
Firstly, Alonso is not a dirty player in the slightest – yet the shower of bastards that are Arsenal‘s arrogant players felt the need to surround the Spaniard and make a meal out of his first yellow, no doubt causing the ref to later adjudge Alonso’s slip worse than what it was.
Secondly, why could Flamini not have – just like Fowler had 9 years ago – told the ref what really happened? Well, the answer there is that a lot of footballers nowadays are a bunch of selfish, arrogant, dis-honest c**ts (particularly if they ply their trade in the captial for Messrs. Mourinho and Wenger).
So now with FIFA recently deciding appeals cannot be made unless of the grounds of mistaken identity in the case of two yellows, there can’t be an appeal to Alonso’s dismissal and he’ll miss Wednesday’s match with Fulham at Anfield.
Fair enough, we were poor yesterday – particularly in the first half – but Alonso’s dismissal came at a time when we looked more the likely team to go on and win it if anyone was.
Aside from that though, I was hugely disappointed with certain decisions by Rafa. The main one being to play Crouch up front on his own, not only because then we resort back to the good old Houllier-era of long ball shite, but also because it is evidently clear Garcia cannot cut it playing just off the front man. It was ineffective in the Champions League group match at Chelsea back in November and the same on Sunday in the first half.
Only once Gerrard moved in the middle (his fourth position in the game having started left midfield, then just off Crouch, then right midfield) did we look a decent side, creating chances.
Things aren’t looking too rosy all of a sudden with the god awful striker situation, the blip in form and the effects of a long season seemingly taking it’s toll. Third place must be our main priority now and a trip to Cardiff in May would be nice, but not essential.
It would be irony of all ironies if we were to finish fourth, Arsenal fifth and win the Champs League – but im sure it’s not going to happen! Please!
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