Eddie Howe was typically bitter after Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Newcastle on Thursday night, with fans pointing out his hypocrisy in a series of bizarre post-match comments.
The Reds coasted to a strong victory over the relegation candidates at Anfield, with Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold all scoring after Jonjo Shelvey’s opener.
It was a game Liverpool deserved to win, but there were at least two incidents that left Newcastle fans furious, and most prominently that was Mike Dean’s decision to play on during Jota’s equaliser.
Jota powered it through Martin Dubravka with his second effort, but with Isaac Hayden on the ground holding his head, Howe believed the game should have been stopped.
“I need to see it again, but it was clear to me that Isaac went down holding his head immediately, and in my opinion the game should have been stopped,” he told BT Sport.
“Two players down in the middle of our six-yard box, and I think it’s had a huge bearing on the game.”
He added: “He was dazed for four, five minutes after the game. It’s a dangerous moment where we have to think of the player’s safety.”
The Newcastle manager seemed to have convinced himself this was the hill to die on, but Howe opened himself up to criticism after effectively claiming his player had concussion symptoms but was left on the pitch for the full 90 minutes.
Later on, Alexander-Arnold made a stunning last-ditch challenge to deny the onrushing Ryan Fraser in the box, and despite clearly getting the ball, Howe told reporters that “other people’s opinions were that it was a penalty.”
Just to clear it up:
1. Eddie Howe has admitted a player was "dazed" and "not 100% himself" – but kept him on for the full match
2. Claimed a penalty for a tackle where Trent clearly gets the ball
— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) December 16, 2021
It is not a surprise to hear an opposition manager bemoan various decisions following a Liverpool win, but Howe rightly took the flak on social media after the game:
Eddie Howe complaining about “danger” as one of his players was down in the box when Liverpool got one of their three goals.
If he’s genuinely worried about player safety, why was that player kept on when he was, according to Howe, “dazed four or five minutes after the game”?
— Jim Boardman (@JimBoardman) December 16, 2021
If a player is "dazzled for five mins" and left on the pitch you aren't following your concussion protocols correctly.
— Jonathan Higgins (@Jhiggins3) December 16, 2021
Eddie Howe just said his player was dazed for five minutes, but he let him play on? Either you’re lying pal or the concussion protocol isn’t enacted at Newcastle, which is it?
— Chris Williams (@Chris78Williams) December 16, 2021
If Isaac Hayden was dazed, why did Eddie Howe keep him on?
— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) December 16, 2021
Why is Eddie Howe disappointed with the first goal??? Both his players were clearly play acting and ref didn't buy it, it clearly wasn't a head injury, embarrassing from him
— John O Sullivan (@Corballyred) December 16, 2021
Eddie Howe moaning about the first goal.
Your player was faking it Eddie, stop crying. Pathetic.
— ??????? ?????? (@AnfieldEffect) December 16, 2021
Eddie Howe talking scutter. Saying Heyden was still dazed after the game, yet he kept him on for the whole game from an incident in the 21st minute ?
Example of players chancing their arm to relieve pressure, delighted they didnt get away with it. Wasnt even a clash of heads ?????
— Keith Plunkett (@KeithPlunkett4) December 16, 2021
Eddie Howe said his player was dazed for 4-5mins after that “head injury” so why didn’t they use concussion protocols and why did they let him play on?!
— KloppGirl (@kop_girl77) December 16, 2021
Was Eddie Howe concerned for his player’s health or that his team lost a goal? Pretty poor from Howe. Not for the first time.
— Ewan Murray (@mrewanmurray) December 16, 2021
When a player very obviously lied about a head injury, can we blame a ref for not believing his acting?
I don’t understand the focus on Mike Dean here, as shit as he is. Absolutely players welfare should be paramount, but then players should have more respect and not lie
— SimonBrundish (@SimonBrundish) December 16, 2021
This is nothing out of the ordinary, but Howe was rightly mocked for his stance on two big decisions that Dean called perfectly, with Liverpool deserved winners.
For what it’s worth, Klopp told BT Sport: “I saw Eddie’s interview, [but] I didn’t see it back.
“Both got up later. I don’t say in this situation it was like it, but quite frequently players go down in the box when they lose a challenge.
“The assistant on my side said ‘no, all good’, but I didn’t see it back.”