January 2012 Archives

As the day began yesterday, Anfield was bathed in Sunshine and it signalled the beginning of what would turn out to be a day to remember not only for the football on the pitch but also for the behaviour from both sets of supporters.

It was of course the first meeting of Liverpool and Manchester United since the Suarez/Evra Racism situation came to light and with the world's media watching, all parties concerned did their best to ensure that the powder keg which was waiting to combust, was dampened before it had a chance to do so. 

Managing Director, Ian Ayre gave an interview during the previous week stating how important it was for the clubs supporters and players to be behave.  This was followed by Kenny and Stevie stating the same in their programme notes.  Sir Alex also played his part by ensuring that Manchester United's match going supporters were aware that no abuse would be tolerated.  It was repeated by stadium announcer George Sephton before the game started.

The storm of course was our game against Bolton at the Reebok Stadium last Saturday.  A game in which the players indicated that they simply had no interest in doing what they are paid to do.  Their performance as we all know was diabolical and was a shock to everyone's system, so much so that many people were calling yet again for Kenny's head.

Kenny of course was as angry as the rest of us and said what we were all thinking during his post-match press conference.  He explained that any player who does not realise what playing for the club and wearing the red shirt means, would be shown the door - quite rightly so of course. 

What the dressing room must have been like after that game is anyone's guess but I suspect most of the players went home with their heads bowed.  

And quite frankly it should not be, but having just witnessed what I can only describe as a horror story, is the impression I got.

That horror story began three minutes and twenty eight seconds into our game against Bolton when Mark Davies ran through what I can only describe as our hapless defence and the ball was in the back of the net. 

Now don't get me wrong, but is that the same defence that people are saying is 100% better without Jamie as part of it.  They appeared to be all over the place, there was no reading of each other's movements and it seemed as though nobody seemed to realize what position or indeed what formation the team were playing.  Jamie I believe would not have allowed that to happen and with the score still at nil - nil, the team may well have found their feet and gone on to get the result they wanted.

Or did they?

Over the last seven days we have seen Liverpool progress in what old romantics like myself believe to be the more important Cup competitions.  They are of course the FA and the Carling Cup competitions'.  Competitions, which until the advent of the European Cup/Champions League and Europa League competitions, were a major part of the Football supporters Calendar.

Liverpool of course have not had much luck in either of these competitions since our FA cup win in 2006 but the return of Kenny Dalglish has once again instilled the importance of both competitions into the players so much so, that they now have one final within their sights.

 

Whilst I was growing up, Racism in America was on the television news most evening's and although it was happening in this country, I don't recall it being in the news.  I suspect it was one of those things that the BBC and the ITV felt was best kept from our screens. I certainly never came up against it in my own life until I married.  My late ex-father-in-law was a racist and it got to the point where I would simply leave the room, when he started insulting those around him, who had a different colour skin, spoke a different language or indeed followed a different religion. I was brought up properly and it never occurred to me to insult a fellow human being.


Many years have passed since then and with the introduction of world travel, multicultural societies became the norm.  Everyone was equal, not only in the workplace, but in the sporting world as well. Or so we thought.


In October 2011, the sporting world was rocked by not one, but two race related cases.  Luis Suarez was accused of using a word in a racial manner.  That word also had several meanings, depending on the company you were in.  He was of course found guilty in late December and will now sit out an eight match ban and pay a fine of 40,000.  

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