Tag: Liverpool

Match Of The Week: Liverpool 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur

The weather has not been a friend to football supporters of late. The cold snap did for a majority of matches scheduled below the Premier League, and this evening, an hour before kick-off at Anfield, there is a possibility that it might strike again, with a thick fog over Liverpool. The fog clears in time for kick-off, though a lack of clarity will turn out to be a common feature of the evening. The top of the table has the feeling of being a house built on shaky foundations. No team is in outstanding form and it feels as if, although there is more than a third of the season left to play, the questions of who will win this year’s title and which four teams will make up next year’s Champions League places doesn’t at the time of writing feel a great deal more decided than it did in August. After eleven minutes, a cat gets on the pitch and play is held up for a couple of minutes while players stand around with that familiar, slightly befuddled expression that passes across the face of the professional footballer that isn’t a football match, a training session or the opportunity of a fight outside a night club at three o’clock in the morning. It’s one of the rare highlights of an otherwise indistinguished half. Perhaps the absence of Harry...

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The Bizarre Rituals Of Mutual Loathing

The FA Cup may well be the oldest football cup competition in the world – a fact that television viewers will doubtlessly be reminded of around three hundred times over the next seventy-two hours or so – but football supporters that don’t have to habitually wipe rage-induced spittle from the corner of their mouths could well be forgiven for approaching this weekends fixtures in the Fourth Round of the competition with a degree of trepidation. The draw for this weekends matches was as kind as it was unfair to the Football Association. A flagging competition needs a “big” match in each round, and it got it in the form of a trip to Anfield for Manchester United. But this match is more than just a renewal of old rivalries and an opportunity to claim a place in the last sixteen of a venerable – if somewhat grubby, these days – cup competition. We don’t need to go over the Suarez affair or Liverpool Football Club’s terrible handling if it yet again. That much is, outside of the red half of Liverpool and the madder elements of those of the opinion that political correctness has gone mad, a given. What is, however, perhaps worth reflecting upon is the extent to which this particular football match, to be played by two national and international institutions, and which should be a showpiece...

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After The Dust Has Settled On Liverpool

At least, we might pause to reflect, they didn’t choose to take the matter any further. The small matter of fuss surrounding the charges brought against Luis Suarez finally started to recede this week, after several months of headline-hogging. It passed with a final round of brow-furrowing from two sides of a debate that has become so entrenched as to resemble a First World War battle reconstruction, with the bloodhounds of the press finally being released after Liverpool and Suarez issued public statements themselves. This isn’t, however, a matter which is going to completely blow over. The already fractious relationship between Liverpool FC and Manchester United, which had finally been showing signs of starting to thaw in recent months, has seen any lasting vestiges of detente blown away, and the return of Suarez from his suspension may yet become a celebration of noble ideals and solidarity which have, over the last few weeks, become tarnished in defence of the indefensible. If the now infamous T-shirts worn at Wigan just before Christmas are anything to go by, such an eventuality would come as no great surprise. We are not going to go back over the verdict of the commission yet again. It has already been done here, as well as almost every other website, newspaper and podcast in the land. Suffice to say that, if we hold it up to anything like reasonable scrutiny, it seems...

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The Suarez Report: The FA’s Commission Finally Has Its Say

At one hundred and fifteen pages and a little over forty-four thousand words – getting on, for the purposes of comparison, for two and a half times the size of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto – at least no-one can argue that the Football Associations independent commission into the allegations of racist language levied against Luis Suarez wasn’t thorough. It is now twenty-four hours since the full report was released by the FA, and the new year means that rigorous analysis it in the mainstream press may be delayed by a couple of days. The full results of the enquiry were never going to please everybody, of course, and the delay in and timing of its release was unhelpful in assuaging those of a Liverpool persuasion who felt that that this was the summation of some sort of conspiracy against their club. Was the timing of its release, they may contend, deliberately timed in order to The report itself does, however, demonstrate reasonably clearly why the panel reached the guilty verdict that it did, if the reason for the length of the ban is somewhat muddier. The proofs and burdens of the case are made very clear in its introduction. “It is not for Mr Suarez to satisfy the Commission that he didnot breach the Rules.”, it says, “Rather, it is for the FA to satisfy us to the required...

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An Extraordinary Statement From Liverpool FC

On the details of the case itself, we will have to see the full details of the FA’s investigation before passing any comment. We can, however, say with a degree of certainty that the reaction was as hysterical as might have been predicted and that oil has been poured onto an already raging fire by an official club statement from Liverpool Football Club itself which the club may yet come to repent at leisure. There can also be no doubting that the disciplinary action taken against Luis Suarez after having been found guilty of misconduct, regarding “using insulting words towards” Patrice Evra during the match between Liverpool and Manchester United in October, was far from lenient. An eight match ban is a lengthy one, although it is worth pointing out that trying to draw equivalences between this verdict and others from the past (and especially, in the case of John Terry, whose name has been thrown around as if the allegations made against him have any bearing whatsoever either way on this case) would appear to be barking up the wrong tree. After all, if the FA are as blindly incompetent (or, as some are claiming this evening, somehow under the influence of Alex Ferguson) as many Liverpool supporters seem to think this evening, then who is to say that previous judgements that they have passed down were all correct,...

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