Soapbox in Liverpool: not a fair Kop

Pete Sixsmith had a good day out on Merseyside, watching Sunderland play their best football of the season, enjoying some decent ale and admiring the fine sportsmanship of Kuyt and Torres …

The Brucester made the point last night that all the talk would be about Stuart (“Winifred”) Attwell’s performance and/or the looming crisis in Anfield Road, L4 0TH and not about the excellent performance that Sunderland had put in.

So, let me emphasise the fact that this was our best performance of the season, that we deserved to win, that we should have had another penalty, that Gerrard should have been sent off and that the opening goal was damned bad sportsmanship and Torres and Kuyt should go to the library, where a pair of pearl handled revolvers are awaiting these two foreign boundahs.

Our football was excellent and I could not see a weak link anywhere in the team. From our lone goalkeeper to our lone striker, via our various loan players, we looked like a very competent, well organised Premier League side who will prove very difficult to beat – although we appear to find winning a bit hard at the moment.

Let’s start with Lee Cattermole. He has had a tricky couple of weeks after the Wigan game with calls for a public beheading from some less temperate fans. He showed yesterday what a very, very good player he can be. He sat in front of the back four, got forward whenever he could and looked a far, far better player than either Stevie G or Joey Cole.

As did Steed Malbranque , who burrowed away like a small, burrowing Belgian Gauloise smoker and got under the skin of the pedestrian Liverpool midfield, and as did Jordan Henderson, who bossed Gerrard for most of the game.

Jordan is having a great season and is looking about the best home produced player since Mickey Gray. He has boundless energy, tackles well and supports his team mates at all times. He needs to work on his shooting and his set pieces (a lot) and, if he is to be as highly regarded as Stevie G, his ability to elbow opponents in the face and get away with a yellow card.

The other player who stood out was Phil Bardsley. I have been known to utter the odd criticism of Phil with regard to his wayward distribution. I have never faulted him on the score of effort, (as Argus was wont to describe Bobby Kerr in the dark days of the late 60s and early 70s). He tackled tenaciously, blocked bravely and foraged forward whenever he could. He is a very competitive player and I can’t imagine Gerrard taking out his frustrations on him. Welbeck was an easier option for the Liverpool bully.

That they are in turmoil is clear to all. The crowd, and its hardened band of football tourists, was quiet and subdued and only came alive after their equaliser. I felt that we were three minutes away from them turning on their players – if they had, that would have led to a famous victory.

But, credit to them, they upped their game and pushed us back. Bramble got himself in a jam and missed his tackle on Torres and a tired Turner just deflected it into Gerrard’s path. After that, they were stronger and we were hanging on a wee bit at the end.

Two goals at Anfield is a rarity for us. The last time it happened was on my first visit to the capital of wit and music in 1965. George Herd pinched a couple that day and Monty was immense, getting a standing ovation from The Kop, in the days when that really meant something. I stood in the paddock in front of the main stand, a part of the stadium that has barely changed. Indeed, as I walked from where the cab dropped us off to our turnstiles, I saw a stadium that had outlived its usefulness and either needs to be rebuilt or relocated.

That day in 1965, I missed out on the now obligatory trip to the Globe opposite Central Station, with its famous sloping floor and it’s clientele of refugees from Boys From The Blackstuff. The Cains Bitter was ok, the juke box was as brilliant as ever and the long serving landlady presided over her mature customers like a mother hen. She is much more in control than a previous landlord, who was stood at the corner of the bar, drunk, at 11.30am one day, and who was stood in exactly the same place, even drunker, when Mr Peter Horan, my brother and myself returned at 5.45.

Like Liverpool FC, the Globe is an institution which trades on its past reputation in order to keep solvent in a world of Wetherspoon’s and Abu Dhabi billionaires. The Globe will survive but I’m not sure about Liverpool.

Finally, what about Winifred? The Professional Game Match Officials (aka as We Never Criticise Our Own) say the goal was valid and that Winnie didn’t have to make a big production number of the signal. I’ll accept that, but I do find it hard to accept that he turned his back on what was happening. Turner should have been more positive about it and knocked it back more firmly, Torres could have realised that it was being set up for Mignolet and Kuyt could have done what he normally does and blasted it wide. Bit of a cock up all round , if you ask me.

Never mind, bring on United. I have a good feeling about this one.

7 thoughts on “Soapbox in Liverpool: not a fair Kop”

  1. We all know if Cattermole did what Gerrard did exactly what the outcome would be. It’s not surprise Attwell hasn’t been given a game this week, and he’s going from blunder to blunder. So much for fast-tracking our best and brightest new young refs.

  2. Dearie me Simon we seem to have a bit of a complex about ‘them’ across the Pennines. Indeed your rant was even Keeganesque in its delivery and I half expected the post to finish with ‘I would loov it if we beat them’. As for last years beach ball just remember which supporters brought the beach balls into the ground.Reap what you sow and all that.

    Quite correctly you can do nothing about your history but you can stop bleating on about it, that would be a start. Put away all these flags and banners depicting past glories, that is all we see at Anfield.I, like all Sunderland fans, couldn’t care less about Man U or Liverpool and what history they have but unfortunately for you there is more chance of Liverpool going into administration at this moment than they have of getting a top 3 finish.

    The response was all I would expect from a paranoid Liverpool fan.Nice to see care in the community is working well.

  3. Do you think WE got a “fair kop” as it were at your plastic bowl of a stadium LAST season when a CLEARLY ILLEGAL Goal was not only allowed as the official didn’t know the correct LAW to stop it but was also joked about and questions were discouraged about it? Thought not – What about a couple of blatant fouls via smashes from the THUG Cattermole on Lucas and Spearing that SHOULD have seen him red-carded in that game but weren’t mentioned either but? There’s NO mention of ANY of that IS there? Funny that………..

    As to YOU John Penman? What…….An………Idiot.
    Our “FC History” and “Fanbase/Arrogance” are ALL results of our history – WE now can do NOTHING about them – United were the SAME in the 80’s and 70’s and early 90’s when THEY didn’t win the league for nearly THREE Decades – Nothing to say on that have we? No doubt you’re one of the mindless sheep who picks United to win the league EVERY season without Thinking No? Equally no doubt you deride and laugh at Liverpool whenever our title hopes are mentioned no? Well just remember…..The reverse was true a few decades back.

    Anyway, I have THIS to say about it all; If United commonly thought of but not ACTUALLY the MOST successful club in England could get away with THAT sort of arrogance because of THEIR history and so-called sense of entitlement then? Why cannot Liverpool – the ONE club MORE successful than them do the same NOW? What’s changed? Exactly – Nothing……………

    NB It WON’T stop you know? You can moan and cry and complain ALL you like about our supposed sense of entitlement/arrogance due to history/moaning non-stop but like United’s fans were? WE won’t shut up either UNTIL we’re back on top and if history teaches us ONE thing? It is that the Darkest moments often come before the brightest dawns – Look at where United were when WE last won the league (1989/1990) 3 seasons before THEY first did under Fergie (1992/1993) for confirmation of this if you DON’T believe me.

    Either Way? Something that all THIS has taught me is? Patience WILL pay off – We WILL be back on top at SOME point soon – Mark my words as they WILL be proven RIGHT soon enough……………………

  4. Although it was an excellent performance I am so disappointed that we didn’t manage to win the game.I really felt cheated by a hapless referee and Darren Bent could join the other legends like Stan Cummins and Gary Owers as scorers of winning goals at Anfield in my lifetime.

    My hatred of Liverpool is based on the FC History arrogance and their many plastic fans who pollute the airwaves and newspapers with their obvious lack of knowledge.These plastics also seem to treat supporters of so called smaller clubs with a type of patronising derision which I have experienced on my travels. I have a long memory !!

    The performance of the referee was nothing short of disgraceful and ranked below incompetant. Even allowing for the complete shambles of the first goal we should have had a penalty when Reina clattered Welbeck ala Toni Schumacker style and the horrible Gerrard should have walked for a blatant elbow.

    Can you imaging the outcry if the boot was on the other foot and the decisions that we were a victim of were suffered by FC history ? There would be a whigefest that even Wenger couldn’t compete with and everyone from the FA to the Europeon Court of Human Rights would be called to deal with the injustice of it all.

    We seem to be able to perform against the top teams , although it is debateable whether Liverpool fall into that category any more, but fail miserably against the teams we should be beating.Sort that out and a top 6 finish is a distinct possibility.

  5. A good and fair read this one. I was one of those who stood by Cattermole and I must say we have a diamond here. Polish him up as Steve Bruce is doing and the finished article will be immense for Sunderland mark my words.

  6. A great performance all round, although I’m not totally happy with Bent as penalty taker. He missed a few last season and has been lucky on a couple of occasions this.

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