No match review yesterday as I was playing football myself and then fell asleep on the settee after coming in from the “post match” drink! Lightweight! By the time I’d woken up I didn’t really feel like writing this nonsense partly because of the result but also because it was half past four in the morning!
All in all it was a disappointing result, does it really need saying? I guess it can be put into context that this was our first defeat in six away games however, we also need to remember that we’ve stalled at home a few times and that, with the exception of Newcastle, everyone who was in front and just behind us won over the weekend, causing us to lose valuable ground. One again we failed to make chances count and the midfield was unusually blunt at times. In short it was a curate’s egg of a performance, good in parts but poor in others.
Whenever there is a defeat, the blame game comes into play. Hard luck stories also abound, so without further ado! The obvious starting point was Jay Spearings’ sending off. I certainly don’t think it merited a red card, contact was clearly made with the ball and although it was also made with Dembele’s leg after the ball had gone it was Spearings’ momentum that caused this. Expecting Spearing or Dembele for that matter to avoid each other is just unrealistic just as expecting Spearing not to try and go for the ball is. Surely there is room for common sense I don’t think Spearing deliberately set out to injury Dembele as his shocked reaction showed after the red was brandished. I am willing to offer odds that a similar tackle will happen somewhere in the four leagues this weekend and it will go unpunished. Said Kenny
“It is frustrating because nobody tells us what the level of acceptance is. Jay had no other thought on his mind other than to win the ball and he did win it. I am not a referee. Sometimes they have been given, sometimes they haven’t. As long as they are consistent, there is no problem.”
Then there is the consistency shown regarding Philippe Senderos’ challenge on Charlie Adam. Perhaps the penalty appeal was pushing it a bit however, surely our man was denied a clear goal scoring opportunity?
Many will see the sending off as key to the destiny of the game however on the whole both sides had their chances and I thought that a draw would not have been an unreasonable result. Sadly our goal had the old bug bears coming to the fore again, at least in the eyes of this blogger. Many will say Pepe Reina was a fault for spilling Danny Murphy’s shot which allowed Dempsey to net the rebound. You can’t really argue with that however Murphy should never have allowed to get into the position of been able to have a go a goal. Once more Glen Johnson was at fault amateurishly allowing him to cut inside rather than forcing him down the outside. I’ve criticised Johnson’s poor defending many times in this blog and I don’t like doing it, he is one of our players so should be supported. However, he should not be allowed to defend because he is simply not up to it, count the goals he has been culpable for since he was signed. Push him up the field Kenny!
As I write I’ve just learnt that we won’t be appealing against Spearings’ red card, pity. However, there is more controversy to contend with over Luis Suarez’s alleged hand gesture towards Fulham supporters as he left the pitch at the end. These are the same set of supporters who chanted “cheat, cheat” at our man after he was felled by Hangeland. Suarez’s direct style of play is always going to bring him into contact with players however, he needs to be careful about, rightly or wrongly, getting a reputation for going down too easily. My worry is that some referee with an eye for a populist decision and some publicity will eventually send him off for simulation regardless if it merited or not. As for the hand gesture, who cares? It is no more provocative than players cupping their hand to their ears in front of opposing fans just after they’ve scored a goal or removing their shirts. Players are human and if Suarez is bought to book for this then what action will be taken against the Fulham fans that were barracking him?
So not a good night but those who like to jump on the team after a single defeat should remember this time last week when we beat Chelsea. The desire is clearly there and it is now up to the team to bounce back. We’ve a few fixtures coming up now that we would except to win so hopefully everyone will continue to be positive? As Kenny implied after the game there is no point and picking over it, it’s gone.
“Tonight wasn’t as well as we’ve been playing, but it was enough to have won the game. We never got the luck but we have just got to brush ourselves off and get on with it.”