I found it puzzling and disappointing that I was given flack by some for praising Fergie over his support in ensuring that last Sunday’s pre match Hillsborough events went off OK.
Some, with a lamentable lack of understanding, even accused me of being pro Manc which is nonsense. My distain for the Mancs runs as deep, as it does in any red fans blood, and I have in these pages, on more than one occasion, had a go at Fergie particularly when he indulges in what are now his predictable wind ups, his moaning, self centred attempts to advance the interests of his team by playing the “conspiracy theory” and then the ”we are The Mancs so we are different” cards with equal regularity. I will continue to do so a so long as Fergie is behind his desk at the theatre of delusion, however a sense of perspective needs to be maintained.
Some things are more important than football and slagging off the Mancs and Fergie. Ninety six people dying as a result of going to football match on a bright April day is one these instances. When you view this such rivalries, are secondary. Fergie’s efforts in the lead up to Sunday’s game contributed towards a trouble free occasion and should be praised. He joined everyone’s appeals for both sets of fans to cut out the chanting and was generally supportive over everything we did on the day, we also learnt that apparently he was one of the first to phone Kenny after the incident. In short he did what any decent human being would do and I am not embarrassed to praise him for it and, in this instance, do not see any “conflict of interest” with my normal anti Mancs stance. He and the majority of the crowd got things in perspective, they understood where the tipping point was between normal “business as usual” (rivalry with the Mancs) and descending into vileness and sickness at the expense of the dead. Sadly there are still a few individuals who doesn’t appreciate this either because they do not understand, have bad judgement or are basically just sick human beings.
So what is the different between calling someone a “negro” and calling someone a “f*cking black c*nt”? Four games if you are the FA it seems. Specifically why did Luis Suarez receive an eight game ban for his misdemeanour whilst that well known Champions League Winners celebration gatecrasher John Terry only got four, just one more than the punishment for a red card? Apparently the FA rule in question is E3 (2) which… oh let’s leave the explanation to yesterday’s The Guardian
“Terry, like Suarez, was charged with a breach of the FA’s Rule E3(2) which states that football people should not use “abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour”. The rule states that if such abuse includes “reference to a person’s ethnic origin, colour or race”, the panel can consider doubling the penalty it would have imposed had that “aggravating factor” not been present”
So why the difference in bans are Terry’s words less provocative than Suarez’s?? If by giving four matches instead of eight the FA are recognising Terry’s plea that he did not use the words as an insult then surely they should fall into line with the civil court and not ban him at all which would of course be equally as wrong in many eyes. If they are saying that there are varying degrees of racial insults then they are on dangerous ground, surely racism is racism regardless of the degree, full stop? The full report has yet to be produced however we should be used to this now, the one thing that is consistent about the FA is it’s inconsistency.
Onto more positive things it was a great tonic to see the way the youngsters performed against West Brom on Wednesday night. Said BR
“It was fantastic to see so many babies on the pitch. It was great. We have seen their confidence but, importantly, we have seen their character. If they have got talent and personality as well as the confidence and bravery to play football for me it doesn’t matter how old they are. As long as they show that hunger to learn I would have no qualms about putting them in.”
It’s almost as we have two separate “top flight” Liverpool sides “Youth” and “Regular” (LFC Club 11 and LFC Club Junior!)? Clearly BR will want the two to merge and encourage more “cross pollination”? No doubt this will happen in time as “youth” gains more experience and the “regular” side ages? Wednesday showed us that when this happens, we will have much to be positive about however, I suspect today we will see BR revert to the team that started in Sunday. As I said hopefully the two will merge and I guess injuries an suspensions to the first team will help this? For today’s visit to Norwich Jonjo Shelvey is suspended and Daniel Agger (knee) and Faboi Borini (ankle) are 50:50. Opportunity knocks for someone?
Prediction? After the games against The Mancs, Arsenal and Manchester City we are now entering, with respect to the teams involved, a small run of fixtures where we should be reasonably confident of picking up some wins. Norwich, despite being at home, represent such an opportunity, their form has mainly consisted of draws but not against opposition of the quality we’ve faced. Last season Luis Suarez got a hat trick in this tie, I’m not expecting that to happen today however I take him make his mark in a 2-0 win for us.