So another defeat and again the issue of our treatment by referees rears it’s ugly and predictable head once more, isn’t it strange that the too always go hand in hand! I guess it’s a natural thing, part genuine grievance and part wanting to lash out and have a go at someone because of the disappointment?
One can fully understand Kenny’s frustration at the decisions made at Craven Cottage on Monday night however, rather than inspiring me to chain myself to railings of FA headquarters (or do they pitch a tent in the courtyard these days?) in protest it just depresses me. Sport is riddled with incompetent committees of whose effectiveness is severely hampered by inertia, plain bloody mindlessness or an inability to keep up with the times, just look at the RFU and of course our own beloved FIFA. Kenny is right to ask for more consistency amongst referees however, although, I don’t think he should shut up about it, the journey will be a long one even though he has plenty of mangers who are willing to accompany him on it!
Perhaps the FA just accept that that referees are human and the sort of complains Kenny et all fire in their direction from time to time are just part of the game? Perhaps they think they are far between not representative of what overall is a good “service” just like those sort of complaints Tesco get when some finds a tail nail in their cheese and onion sandwich! Either way the FA doesn’t seem to care nor do they have the desire to take an example from other sports and do anything about it?
Kenny also added a little unexpected zest to the mixture by complaining about Wayne Rooney’s England ban being reduced from three to two games by UEFA compared to FA’s treatment of Luis Suarez. Double standards? I don’t think this got much sympathy outside Anfield and most just though Kenny was being a grumpy old get, as one myself I find this reassuring! Given Rooney’s performance for the Mancs last Wednesday and the fact that his club, having come third in a two horse race, now find themselves on the Thursday night European “naughty step”, one wonders if it was ever worth the bother fighting the striker’s case at all?
Kenny’s stance over the Suarez gesture after the Fulham game received support from the manager of today’s opponents QPR. Neil Warnock said
“I’m not sure the FA shouldn’t be looking into chants by crowds and fine clubs if their supporters give individual players so much abuse, like they’ve done with Suarez. If Suarez is going to get fined, if he’s going to get done, the FA should start looking into where those chants come from and fining the actual people or clubs concerned.”
Heartening however, Neil Warnock would probably defend Robert Mugabe if it meant an opportunity to have a pop at the FA and in particular referees! However, Mr Warnock soon reverts to type by dredging up old grievances from 2007 by blaming us for sending Sheffield United, the team he managed at the time, down by fielding and weakened side against Fulham one of their relegation rivals.
“I will never forget Liverpool. I thought about it again when I saw them lose at Fulham with a full strength side the other night. The team Benitez put out four years ago was a disgrace and you can’t ever forget anything like that…. I think even their fans were disgusted with what happened. It kept Fulham in the league so I’m sure they were not bothered about Benitez’s selection.”
For the record I wasn’t happy at what Rafa did and said so in this blog however, Warnock also needs to view this in the context of all the other games Sheffield United were required to play that season to stay up and under him they didn’t win enough to do it. Nonetheless, like Suarez, Warnock is probably the sort of bloke you don’t like if he’s against you but would love if he was on your side. I’m not sure what QPR fans think about him (hello Chris and Malcolm) but so far this season his side has probably done much better then most expected.
For us who we play is largely irrelevant. Manchester City? The Mancs? Norwich? Swansea? If they visit Anfield we just give them points! QPR will be aware of his and will be confident and prepared to give it a go. We need to stop the rot at home and, after Monday, this game takes on more importance? Team wise Lucas is out and Jay Spearing, who many thought would replace him, is suspended. Perhaps this will give Maxi and run in the side and may be even see Jordan Henderson move to the centre with Glen Johnson moving up to his position on the right?
Prediction? I’m loathe to predict anything regarding us at home particularly with recent injuries and suspensions. Warnock has said QPR won’t “park the bus” which may well play into our hands and should make for an attacking game. Above all however a win is a priority and not the manner of it and, as ever, I take us to achieve this by 3-1.