Liverpool Message Board
Watching the highlights of the Man U v Liverpool match (a week late), I was once again disappointed with how Benitez couldn't see why his player had been sent off. Mascherano was a red card waiting to happen with his continual harrassment of the referee. When finally he went, you could see the referee warn him in advance and still he continued. But Benitez thought otherwise and couldn't see it. He seemed to think Mascherano was a nice boy minding his own business.
I don't watch Liverpool that closely and I find Benitez interviews nearly as dull as Avram Grant interviews, but I'm reminded of when Liverpool players have been sent off against Chelsea. When Crouch was sent off earlier this season for his flying karate kick against Mikel, Benitez thought it was all Mikel's fault, for not being injured enough or something, and when Reina was sent off a couple of seasons ago, first for scything down Gudjonssen and then for smacking Robben in the face, according to Benitez it was all Robben's fault.
Does Benitez ever think a red card for a Liverpool player is anything but someone else's fault?
By now you should have heard that Mascherano has been fined by the club (and he asked that the money be given to charity); I wouldn't call that condoning the player's actions.
Regarding Crouch's dismissal, Benitez quite rightly questioned why Mikel (a real Mr Clean, that boy) wasn't penalised for hacking away at Crouch only seconds earlier.
As for Reina's red card, I suggest you find a copy of that particular game and watch it again (doesn't matter that you don't follow LFC, if you're going to post messages like this, you should have all the facts). "Smacking Robben in the face"?? Not on your life! That "smack" wouldn't have felled my gran - and she's been dead for 20 years! You can't deny Robben didn't earn a reputation for going down far too easily while he was playing in the Premiership.
Of the last 4 red cards LFC have received, only Crouch's and Pennant's (last seasons CL ) weren't given in controversial circumstances and were well-deserved. And Benitez certainly didn't condone the players actions.
The reason for this attitude that you're wondering about, is simply that since Benitez arrived he has strengthened the culture of respect towards refs at LFC (I know this because I have missed maybe 6 games since Rafa took charge). This explains why they have one of the best disciplinary records in the Premiership.
Pity it hasn't prevented LFC from getting such raw deals from refs recently...
Thank you for your comments and of course everyone is entitled to their point of view.
Nonetheless, I am struck by how many are seemingly missing my point. The point isn't whether the first yellow was deserved (I've expressed no opinion on this) nor Mascherano's behaviour after being sent off (I've expressed no opinion on this either). It isn't really about Mascherano at all although I am happy to argue about the second yellow as long as anyone else. Liverpool fans here, and you above, seem to miss what was shown on MotD - the repeated challenging of the referee by Mascherano. Just as we probably all agree that repeated fouls can add up to a yellow card, so we can I think agree that repeated hassling of the referee can add up to a yellow. When it happened again on the Torres incident, the referee clearly seemed to be saying to Mascherano, to the effect of, "Go away or I'll send you off". He continued, got his yellow and off he nearly went.
To ignore all that went before and the warning and say "why did he get sent off for asking a question" is either disingenuous or ignorant of what went before.
But all that isn't the point. The point is that each of the three times I have seen Liverpool players get sent off in recent times Benitez has acted affronted, made out someone else was to blame and that it affected the outcome of the match. That is my point. Benitez has gone much further than just not criticising his player - he has blamed others. In a nutshell, and two metaphors, he's thrown his toys out of the pram. He's let his mediterranean temper get the better of his reason.
But you're right - this has now gone on far too long and probably no-one is really listening to anyone else.
Well the thing is equate with how many times Man Utd or Chelsea get any of their players sent off!!!
You'll find it's extremely rare and not because Man Utd & Chelsea are saints.. far from it. They've gotta be the dirtiest clubs in the EPL..
I think Rafa holds back a bit regarding refs as Rafa knows that he too could get fined and banned from the touchline as SAF has in the past.. I think Rafa displays his frustration more in the changing rooms rather than in public.. the obvious time I saw Rafa really show his frustrations wasn't at the refs it was when H&G messed him about regarding transfers..
Lets hope that situtation between H&G gets resolved soon as it seems H&G have insisted that they sit well apart from each other!! So that would seem that one or both of them is about to sell their shares in the club.. it would be great if it was Hicks but I just can't see that happening most likely Gillett will sell his shares and mostly likely to DIC..
Robert, your a sensible guy based on what you've posted here in the past, and therefore I reply to your posts with some respect. Your welcome to your point of view, and I'll not tell you your wrong. But its a point of view, which may or may not be truth.
I and others here have a different point of view, which I think is also worthy of respect. Liverpool has one of the best records in terms of red cards. Yes Rafa tends to defend his players in public, but no more or less from my perspective than any other manager in the Prem. In fact, as we get so few red cards, maybe a little less.
Do I agree with what he says in each case, no, but I'd also not agree with him putting down his own players in public either. If you watch what he says in all interviews, and not just on cards, you'll see the same approach. When a player has a stinker, he does not call them out in public, even though you know he's talking more directly in the dressing room. Same is true for praise. He will rarely call out a player for direct praise either. Can't remember the game, but Torres scored a couple, while Gerrard got one, and the reporters were trying to get him to heap the praise on Torres, and he said he thought the Gerrard goal was good. Its his style, he neither inflates or deflates egos in public.
In the Masch case, on balance I agree with Rafa. I don't think the first yellow was deserved as studs were down, and it looked to me he was tryin to pull out of the challenge by putting his studs down. At best I think it was marginal. However his display after went to far, as did much of his talk back between the cards. However there are many refs in the league who would have seen this as a player letting off steam in a big match at a hostile ground. While I think the statement skating on thin ice is appropriate, in fact any player on a yellow should consider themselves on thin ice, what actually happened between Masch and the ref right before the second yellow, IMO was not enough to break that ice. Another hasty challenge, or swearing, or real disrespect back to the ref would have been, but asking "what's going on" does not rise IMO.
What happened after the red was issued is not defensible, and I did not see Rafa defend this. This is where he talking about the player making a mistake. However, maybe you, and I'm sure many are putting the two together. Fact is his not leaving the ground has nothing to do with the second card. Its after the fact, but many in the press love to talk about disrespect, the need for more cards, and then show his not leaving the pitch. The fact is he did not get a second yellow for not leaving, but will serve at least a one match ban for that behavior that neither the player the manager or the club has tried to defend.
But as I said, we all have different points of view, and on this subject think we should let it rest there.
Benitez actually went on a long-winded whinge about how Mascherano just asked the referee a question and it was outrageous how this could be a sending off. You were rather closer to the truth earlier when you said he had been skating on thin ice, or a similar phrase, all through the first half.
Again, there is a difference between not blaming your player in public, and what Benitez did in all three examples, which was to try to exonerate the player and make out the fault was elsewhere.
All the Liverpool fans don't agree with it, no. Surprise. I think as a group you're probably as defensive as these board get. I expect you're as bored with it now as I am. Let's wait for the next time a Liverpool player gets sent off and see what Benitez's reaction is. If your boys are as good as you think, the argument will go away for a good long time.
Robert, I think we get your point, but just don't agree with you. As I said before unless its a blatent offense the majority of managers are not going to blame their player, at least in public, and if they don't blame the player, what are they really saying?
I think Rafa's actual comments were, that he thought the sending off was harsh, but the player knows he's made a mistake. Not sure that really rises to the threshold of Rafa always blaming the ref for red cards. I know you have 2 other examples, but really, if your total case is just 3 red cards, I think Rafa and the squad should be complimented for having such a good disciplinary record, rather than the point your trying to make, but, like I said, I think most here, just don't agree with.
You've missed the point, I think. The point does not apply to either Wenger or Grant. It is not about backing your players as such, it is about making bitter complaints and erroneously (and childishly) blaming someone else when a Liverpool player gets sent off. I have observed it in the three interviews Benitez gave after his team lost with a red card, once to Man U now and twice to Chelsea.
Other managers often don't seem to see fault in their players, most famously Wenger. But Benitez takes it a couple of stages further, seemingly repeatedly. I haven't ever noticed any other manager do that - it does seem to me to be peculiar to him.
That is my point.
- View More Messages