A few minutes of madness costs reds as pantomine comes to the “Theatre of Dreams”

Manchester United 2
Rooney (47), (50)

Liverpool 1
Suarez (80)

It was cold day on the pitch and there was certainly no warmth among the players, the managers in their post match comments and the fan’s chants.

It is a sad, not to mention strange, indictment of football these days that, instead of the game, pundits on Sky and then Match of the Day, were analysing and re running slow motion footage of a pre match handshake. I was praying for someone to say “look this is silly let’s concentrate on Rooney’s goals”, but they didn’t. If racism wasn’t the stain running through this sorry mess it would be laughable however, despite this sense of proportion needs to be maintained much of the coverage over “handshake gate” has been hysterical and pompous.

Prior to the match I assumed the question would be “will Patrice Evra offer to shake Luis Suarez’s hand” and not whether the Uruguayan would accept it. The fact Suarez chose not to when, and this is important, he had indicated that he would, is surprising and as much as it is foolish.

No doubt many, will view Suarez’s gesture (or lack of it) as childish and unnecessary just as others will see it as something else – a “wronged” player defiantly and blindly standing up the over whelming climate of opinion? Us against the world eh? Right on man, let’s sing Depeche Mode! Personally I don’t care, if you feel strongly about it why should you shake someone’s hand? However, such is the knee jerk, simplified way things are seen these days a handshake would have gone some way to putting things to bed – that’s it now, put it in a box, file it away we can now talk about Whitney Houston. However, this grisly issue lumbers on making things worse with every clumsy ham-fisted movement it makes..

It is true that Saturday was the perfect opportunity for Suarez to draw a line under all the recent shenanigans but foolishly and with scant regard for his club and his manager who, rightly or wrongly, has supported him all the way, he didn’t take it. It is disappointing for those who want to move on and it’s not something that will help Suarez’s rehabilitation.

Yesterday Suarez issued an apology, he has done the right thing, but has the damage been done? I think most people have made up their minds about Suarez as a person now and no apology will change that. The handshake is a small irrelevance it is a “bit part” of an issue that has wider significance, racism in football and, bringing it nearer to home, the reputation of Liverpool Football Club. There is nothing bigger despite what Suarez might have you believe and that is why yesterday’s statements, from player and club, are welcome. The only question that needs to be asked is “what took you so long?”

I hope Kenny’s post match emotional outburst was bourn of frustration at the defeat. He clearly seemed not to know what had happened at the handshake stage. Once he knew he apologised for acting in the way he did. Kenny may defend his players in public come what may but surely deep down he must have felt let down? What also remains unexplained is that he, after the appeal, and Suarez, via Twitter after the game, have hinted, “that all is not what it seems”. OK then, fine, well let’s have it out in the open! What are you hiding? It’s become too serious now to cryptically hold things back assuming there is someone to hold back?

As for Fergie’s post match comments, no one can disagree with what he said about racism. As for his assertion that Suarez is a “disgrace” and shouldn’t play for Liverpool well Sir that is none of your business, it is Liverpool Football Club’s business. However the Mancs statement yesterday, in response to our apologies hit the right note

“Manchester United thanks Liverpool for the apologies issued following Saturday’s game. Everyone at Old Trafford wants to move on from this. The history of our two great clubs is one of success and rivalry unparalleled in British football. That should be the focus in the future of all those who love the clubs.”

Hear, hear and I trust that is the end of the matter?

Anyway enough. Always keep them guessing they say which is what Kenny did with his line up to the extent that Fergie admitted it had taken him by surprise. Carroll was dropped to bench, a surprise perhaps given the run around he gave de Gea a few weeks ago? Elsewhere Henderson replaced Adam, Downing took over from Bellamy and Kelly made way for Enrique.

As expected The Mancs began by taking the game to us Rafael and Rooney had chances however we held up well. The one danger moment was when Scholes was allowed to produce a point blank header from six yards out that thankfully went straight to Reina, did he know anything about it? At the other end our efforts were limited, Johnson’s shot went just past de Gea’s post and then Skrtel fired over the cross bar from a corner. Suarez’s “impact” was limited to just that, on Ferdinand in the first minute and a challenge towards to end of the half were he felt the centre half had felled him as he was the last man on goal. It was difficult one to call which saw the referee assuming that the Manc defender had got a touch on the ball.

We finished the game fairly comfortably having ridden the early Mancs pressure and were slowly beginning to apply some of our own if not terms of chances but certainly possession. Apparently at half time there were fisticuffs, handbags and slaps in the tunnel oh dear no tea or TV and early to bed!

Perhaps this wasn’t the thing to happen? Having kept things at 0-0 we needed to start the second half in a focused way. As it was it seemed to galvanise The Mancs. Giggs sent over a corner which, after a flick on, found Rooney who got in front of Glen Johnson and scored. Minutes later Valencia fed the same player after dispossessing Spearing. Rooney was allowed to get away by Glen Johnson and run untracked and unchallenged to score his second. Glen Johnson and the art of defence I’m banging my head against a brick wall! Rooney nearly got his hat trick but flicked it just wide with the outside of his foot.

A few minutes of madness had undone al the good work. Kenny made some changes going for bust – Carroll and Bellamy came on for Spearing and Downing who had a truly awful game? It nearly worked another goal we’d be back in it however, initially we seemed unable to “up” ourselves to the challenge and bedside the Mancs wouldn’t let us being negatively content to keep us back, let us pass across the pitch in a rather forlorn way whilst attacking whenever the opportunity presented itself. However, just as the game appeared to be petering out Kenny played his last card bringing on Adam. His free kick came at an awkward height for Ferdinand, it bounced off his thigh and before he could recover to clear, guess who nipped in. However despite another chance for Suarez, a header that was just offside, we couldn’t build on it

At the end of the game Evra dented his credibility and any sympathy by childishly and provocatively cavorting in front of the Mancs fans and then Suarez. Sigh… you can put it down to passion if you want but aren’t footballers complete arseh*les at times, the whole sodding lot of them. I think I’ll start watching sheep dog trials!

Manchester United: De Gea , Evra, Ferdinand, Evans, Rafael, Giggs, Carrick, Scholes, Valencia, Rooney, Welbeck Substitutes: Amos, Fabio, Park Ji-sung, Cleverley, Pogba, Berbatov, Hernandez

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Agger, Skrtel, Gerrard, Henderson, Kuyt (Adam – 75′ ), Downing (Bellamy – 61′ ), Spearing (Carroll – 61′ ), Suarez Substitutes: Doni, Carragher, Kelly, Adam, Shelvey, Carroll, Bellamy

Att: 74,844

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2 Responses to A few minutes of madness costs reds as pantomine comes to the “Theatre of Dreams”

  1. redbird says:

    It will be a day that we will never want to remember again when it comes to liverpool-manure games…the game that shall not be mentioned again due to the sheer ridicolousness of media coverage on the race issue that had been blown out of proportions..

    fine i agree in hindsight it is easy to say suarez should have shaken evra’s hand but you cant fully fault him as he felt evra had totally wronged him before…so why shake a man’s hand when you dont respect him?however it is sportsmanship to shake a persons hand before a game and in that spirit football is still a game…and it should always remain that..

    if you want to talk about handshakes then ferdinand should have shaken the hand of suarez but no one is talking about it…manures can do no wrong…and 30seconds into the game evra aims a suicidal tackle for suarez like a heat seeking missle on target but instead clatters into ferdinand..no one remembers that one either..and finally the sheer inmaturity and rubbishness that evra showed at the end of the game by celebrating like a gorilla in heat beating his chest and chest puffed out in front of manure fans??again no one is talking about that either…

    all we hear is how fergie thinks that suarez should never play for liverpool again and the whole world agrees…personally i feel fergie knows that suarez is the one player that liverpool finally have the chance to build a team around and bring success to liverpoool in the coming years…
    a threat and a real one at that…so he is trying his best to unsettle him with his mind games..we will be idiots if we listen to him…

    so it is true what the board said..no one is bigger than the club..but lets not over-react by dumping kenny(unless we have mourinho in the wings) and definetely let us nurse suarez….build the team around him…tame him as he is a wild stallion he in spirit and we will have a hero just like cantona was for manure…misunderstood,supposedly evil but brilliant and inspirational..

    we are not playing manure anymore this season so lets forget about this crap and lets go win the league cup…

    YNWA.

  2. redbird says:

    sorry floyd im still pissed..have to vent out..

    I seriously think the English FA (from the chief to the referees ) and the media are abseloutely pro manure scum…how else can a player get banned for 8 games for a charge that was not fully proven?? manure players have acted so shamefully in the past but they get away scot free everytime! Examples :

    1)Ryan giggs has an long afair with his brothers gf of all people and yet he is the one of the greatest manure players ever!!

    2)rooney does old ladies for hire yet he is a living hero among manures and touted as the most gifted footballer of his generation!

    3)remember when arsene wenger and fergie didnt shake hands??oh thats ok..if suarez dosnt do it he should be thrown out of the front gates of anfield..what a hypocrite fergie is..disgusting

    4)when cantona launches himself 2 legs up into a chest of a player its ok he was instigated it wasnt his fault..no need to sell him as he didnt disgrace his club

    5)when roy keane lunges himself against the knees of an opposing player and nearly ends the players career its ok..he is another living united legend..no need to reprimand him

    6) remember a scheimichael racially abusing ian wtight??what short and selective memories we have!!

    I hate manure and they are huge scums and are a pathetic whining lot..what goes around comes around..

    In suarez we trust in kenny we believe…YNWA!!!

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