Manchester Utd fans won’t thank me for writing yet another article linked to their continuing disastrous season, which reached new depths in the 0-3 mauling at the hands of a rejuvenated Liverpool team last weekend.
With SAF looking on helplessly in the stands it was a depressing sight for any ardent United fan. Incredibly, there could have been four penalties awarded quite easily had Clattenberg not ‘bottled’ the fourth decision, which was a blatant foul by Carrick on Sturridge. The last time a Liverpool player scored a hatrick of penalties was the ‘plumpish’ Dane Jan Molby who scored three in a cup back in 1986 when ‘Pool’ played Coventry City.
As exciting Liverpool are to watch this season, there has also been a side to their game which has undoubtedly got the stamp of Suarez written all over it. We saw the latest chapter last weekend with the decision of the third and final penalty which let’s face it was an outrageous dive and led to Vidic being sent off – a decision that will no doubt be rescinded in due course. Justice was served as Gerrard stepped up and with the keeper going the wrong way he rattled the post missing a chance of his first ever penalty hatrick for Liverpool.
So, in the space of a few words and three paragraphs I have probably managed to ‘pee’ off both Manchester United fans and also Liverpool fans but this is what football fans are talking about. In the age of some footballers earning £300,000 per week, many earning in excess of £5M a year, don’t football fans deserve more honesty from the game, as cheating has become pandemic in the Premiership (and no doubt our lower leagues). It was not my intention to ‘politicise’ this article, but with our soldiers out in Afghanistan risking life and limb, our nurses here in the NHS saving life and limb, these people have to work 10 years to earn what Wayne Rooney earns in a week. This can’t be right?
Anyway, back to Mr Sturridge. I have to say that I was genuinely shocked when I saw him so convincingly go over Vidic’s leg in a way which at first glance looked like a blatant penalty. In the ‘slow-mo’ it was obvious Clattenberg had been ‘had good n proper’. I had never seen Sturridge simulate a dive before and I had previously held him up as an honest forward; Hard-working and gifted. Liverpool fans have a brilliant reputation and have had to put up with a lot of issues in the last few decades. I am sure there will be many who will be torn by the welcome fact that they are at long last again a force to be reckoned with in football, but this has come with a price and this is that Brendan Rodgers appears at best to be ignoring the inherent unsportsmanlike behaviour that threatens to ruin the proud footballing name of Liverpool Football Club. The fact that Rodgers has come out publicly and backed Sturridge by saying “he did not dive” is as outrageous as the dive itself. Football needs a reality check. The saying “cheats never prosper” is sadly not true in the mega-bucks lifestyles of professional footballers as clearly they do.