Derby Day Blues
This season, we have been unbelievably poor against bitter rivals, Everton. Earlier in September, we lost at Goodison Park 3-0 in one of the most humiliating defeat by the Blues and we only managed a goal-less draw at Anfield.
The atmosphere that day went from electrifying to subdued. The first 5 minutes was a brilliant show of what the Liverpool fans were capable of especially after the recent 'Reclaim The Kop' RTK project.
But it went deadly quiet after Liverpool failed to gain a foothold in the game and were frustrated. Perhaps anxiously chewing finger nails, the fans waited with anxiety and frustration.
After the match, Rafa had a go at Everton for coming to Anfield to set 9 men behind the ball and defended. He mentioned that only 'small teams' play this way and it infuriated many Everton fans as well as a small portion of the Liverpool fans.
To me, I don't see anything wrong with it. BUT ultimately, saying it after a supposed small team held us at home, are we supposed to feel any better or like me, red faced. To say such thing after a result that was not in our favour just makes it sounds bitter although you could argue the rivalry between the clubs added fuel to fire to the already frustrated Rafa.
All Hands On Deck. Dive Dive!
United went to White Hart Lane, full of confidence after brushing aside Watford 4-0 previously. A game that deemed to many as a potential banana skin became like a walk in the park for the soon to be champions and they opened up Spurs just like peeling a banana. Easy.
And you have to question Spurs yet again. Have we seen such a talented group of players playing with such mediocrity? They seemed to have bought a huge amount of talent and yet, no idea which are their best players, partnership or tactics. As I've mentioned, they always buy for the sake of buying.
But the United victory was not without controversy, again. England's favourite player, Cristiano Ronaldo was up to his usual antics again and this time, falling to the ground after Steed Malbranque deemed to have touched him. Replays show minimal contact. Intent or not, I do not believe it is a correct decision.
But we can't discuss this with perspective until we actually talk about the referee in the game. Mr. Mark Clattenburg. He has had a horrid game. Every decision he made in that game was fairly debatable and he awarded a penalty that never was while turning a blind eye to two penalty incident which were more obvious.
Firstly, Gary Neville's wrestling with Pascal Chimbonda in the United penalty area during a Spurs set piece. He held Chimbonda, WWE style. Stone wall penalty turned down.
Next, Anthony Gardner's tackle on Henrik Larsson. He was chopped down from behind, inside the area. Waved play on again. Although United DID have the penalty, but a referee can't just think that 'everything balances up' because I believe a referee's job is to make decisions on the spot and not wait and see.
Anyway, the turning point of the game would've been the point when Ronaldo smacked the penalty past a hapless Paul Robinson. And after that, Spurs managed to epitomise the term 'roll over and die'. Literally.
There was no spirit and belief in the team. It's far too inexperienced especially with Jol's fetish with youth with English blood. I certainly believe the departure of Carrick is one of the stumbling block but there is more than meets the eye.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Derby Day Blues