16 Feb 2014

'Shocking' - LFC legends slam 'joke' penalty decision. Suarez partially to blame...?

Over the Christmas period, poor decisions (arguably) cost Liverpool at least four points against Manchester City and Chelsea, and the curse of negligent refereeing struck again at the Emirates today. I don't usually highlight dubious decisions, but in this instance, the officiating failure is so egregious that I feel compelled to do so. Howard Webb's performance during the recent Man City-LFC game was bad enough, but he really took the biscuit today with his calamitous and indefensible incompetence.

It really is flabbergasting how Webb refused to award Liverpool a second penalty.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain illegally barged Suarez to the ground, and got nowhere near the ball! It's the most obvious and blatant penalty you'll ever see, but for some reason, Webb decided not to give it:

It's refereeing incompetence, pure and simple. There's no excuse not to give the penalty, and in my view, Webb should be demoted to the Championship for the foreseeable future. Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler felt similarly outraged by the decision. He tweeted:

"The referee needs to have a look at himself. Shocking decision. Our best ref apparently. How can you miss that?"

John Aldridge and Phil Thompson also tweeted their irritation:

Now, this won't be a popular opinion but I submit that Suarez's reputation figured in Webb's (non) decision. The Uruguayan has (for the most part) cut diving/histrionics out of his game - and should be commended for that - but he still has a reputation for going to ground too easily, and I'm sure that (subconsciously) plays on the minds of referees.

Suarez still has a tendency to flail his arms around/roll over dramatically whenever he's fouled and/or things don't go his way, and I'm sure that doesn't endear him to officials. Watch the clip again: Suarez goes down screaming, and rolls over rather theatrically, and from Webb's POV, it looks little over the top.

Of course, the irony here is that, this time, it seems to be a genuine reaction from Suarez. Oxlade-Chamberlain hammered into him at great speed, and that is going to hurt, no matter who you are. Webb got it horribly wrong (again), but truthfully, Liverpool had plenty of chances to score, and shouldn't be relying on penalties to win the game.

On another note: Steven Gerrard (arguably) should've received a second yellow card for a poor tackle in the second half, but Webb bottled it. As such, it could be argued that the decisions evened out over the game. And just to be clear - I don't buy into the tedious refereeing conspiracy nonsense in any way, shape or form. There's no conspiracy against LFC; refereeing standards just aren't consistent enough. Some other observations on the game:

* Overall, the Reds put in an outstanding performance, and some of the attacking play was breathtaking at times.

* Coutinho really is the master of the defence-splitting through-ball.

* Daniel Agger got done for pace on several occasions, and also wasn't strong enough (IMO) against Sanogo.

* Another sublime performance by Raheem Sterling. His dribbling skills are improving all the time.

* Great attacking substitution from Rodgers in the second half. Cissokho out; Henderson in - a decision symbolic of the manager's attacking philosophy.

* Sturridge missed a few chances, but so what? Prior to the game today, he scored in 8 consecutive matches. Sturridge is entitled to miss every now and again, and if he does, other players need to be there to pick up the slack. Alas, that didn't happen today.

* Suarez really is a man of steel. No matter how many times he gets clattered, he just gets on with it, and never ends up injured. Tough as nails.

* Brad Jones did well. Commanding in the area; good on crosses; a few good saves. Like Mignolet, though, distribution leaves a lot to be desired.

Overall, I have no complaints about the game today. It was exciting to watch; Liverpool were the better team, and despite the result, the signs of continued progress are there are all to see.



  1. I think it was a number of things, the fact that a penalty had just been given away made him reluctant to give it. I really don't think Suarez reputation should have been a factor here, though it probably was but Webb shouldn't have that to hide behind. Also Suarez was continually fouled an kept going to ground (deservedly though this may have also affected Webbs' decision)

    I can understand if the incident was hard to see maybe a clip of the heels or a pull etc and webb is not directly infront of it but Webb has no excuse it was right there. He had a better view than the cameras there was no obstruction of his view I just think he chickened out because he had just given a penalty.

    I agree with the Agger statement, looks a bit off the pace letting Chamberlain in behind and struggled to cope with the strength of Sanogo. First game back from injury, he didn't make many positional mistakes which is good, glad to see him in there instead of Toure who I think needs a break, had a run of games and looks a bit jaded making horror mistakes (bit like Skrtel last season)

  2. despite suarezs theatrics when contact is made, the bloke is hard as nails he gets kicked about most weeks and doesnt bottle out of a one on one.
    good post jk, all spot on. the boys did us proud today, another day we run out 4-2 winners.
    one thing is for sure 99% of the time liverpool make a game enjoyable to watch even for a neutral.
    howard webb kills many of games, just a control freak. but lacks bottle. obviously could question his dislike for LFC/suarez.
    how does this man get the big games, you look back at games like the chelsea utd games there all dire when hes in charge.

  3. I'm sick of the suarez reputation EXCUSE. sick to death of it. How much longer does Suarez need to spend in order to have that changed? The rest of his career? his life? The refs are there to make the right decision, yes all the previous history can be a factor and whatnot. whatever....however the ref is there to make a call on what he sees at that moment in time. It's black and white

  4. it's the reality, so you better get used to it. It's human nature to be influence by the past, and there's nothing anyone can do to change it. Suarez created the situation, and now it's come back to haunt LFC.

  5. I'm not sure it being Suarez had anything to do with it. It's Howard Bloody Webb and his "Match Management". For Howard Webb, referreeing's not about just making each call correctly according to the laws, but making the right call within whatever discretionary lassitude the laws afford him, within the context of the game's "narrative".

    So he didn't send Gerrard off, which he certainly should have done, he didn't book Podolski for his foul on Flanagan, which he certainly should have done, and he didn't give Liverpool a second penalty, which he certainly should have done, because, in Howard Webb's eyes, these decisions would have adversely affected his "Management" of the game, and perhaps spoiled whatever "narrative" Howard Webb believed the game should unfold according to.

    This approach makes him a terrible referee for big games, where big decisions really count. Because what it amounts to, effectively, is bottling important decisions, as he's shown time after time after time. It's fine for the Sunday leagues, where you need a ref that's going to just let the players get on with it, because ultimately we're all there for the love and fun of it (in theory), but for world cup finals or big club games it makes him an accident waiting to happen.

  6. I dont wanna talk about webb because he doesnt even deserve my words. I knew somehow we wont win there,its a cursed place for us, simple. Then I was so angry at BR and his tactics again, just why on earth allen, what on earth does he offer to the team just one single thing, what, nothing. Was suarez playing as midfielder at times and allen as a striker? It looked to me so in the first half especially, and why suarez on right side and sturridge left, should be the opposite that way. Finally the player who pissed me off most sturridge, wtf was he doing with those chances, the one coutinho set up was more than a sitter and he goes for the spectacular trying to past the keeper, was so angry there, so so stupid move, and then he moans why people call him selfish and arrogant? You are son, take it to the chin, fans dont lie. Suarez still not scoring, amazing after what he used to do before.. Very strange! Arsenal was almost playing their second team and we were in a so called strong one, still lost, too embarrassing, why we never do well under BR in cups? Should call kenny when we play there next time surely!

  7. Jaimie im just really struggling to see what our £15m man joe allen offers. the match was lost bringing him in the team. he is an official 2 season failure and should be sold as he doesnt fit the criteria of the evolution of the new Liverpool. at £15m and a BR signing, he should be trying his best to be the star of our midfield, outshining Coutinho and Gerrard. why cant Allen ever find a killer pass? he offers nothing going forward and nothing defensively and im sure Chamberlain and Ozil were ecstatic to see Henderson on the bench.

    after Texeria cameo against Fulham he was the obvious option ahead of Allen. Allen is poor. on LFC tv after the match they spoke about the Harsh decisions BR made when he joined, of who should and shouldnt play for LFC. he removed quality such as Kuyt and Maxi, neglected Hendo and signed Allen, who werent even the standout performer at swansea. it was Britton. this was a massive mistake from BR number 1 fan. Allen is a LFC failure and like Carrol despite the support he recieved from some, will NEVER come good at Liverpool. 15 million of nothing. biggest waste in LFC history. it was not clear the player we recieved when purchased, whereas with Carrol at least he showed Ibrahomovic potential at Newcastle.

    Howard Webb is a arrogant piece of sht. always thinks hes right. has lost his chance at the world cup for me. literally hate the guy so much now.

  8. Webb is a clown, for all the calls but the pen - he's right there! How can he not call it?? I guess there must be some unwritten rule that you don't give a team 2 pens in short succession in English football (can't remember the last time), but either way there's no excuse, Ox as super late and clear like crystal fouls Suarez.

    Also I swear a saw him say to Gerrard and Sterling when they were contesting decisions "Do you even lift, bro???"

  9. feel your pain pal. honestly do. but Joe Allen blew it for millions of LFC supporters today. poor performance.

  10. We have lost 7 consecutive games Web has refereed

  11. Hi Jamie Webb got those two decisions utterly wrong the penalty and Gerard should have probably gone.But also imo Podolsk is lucky not to have been sent off with a series of fouls notably the one on Flanno but he didn't even recieve a yellow card witch was a joke.
    Now i would love a stats man to put together a list of decisions by mr Webb that have cost Liverpool over the last few years.

  12. Well its howard webb. He refereed 7 matches for liverpool n we lost all 7. He is the most rubbish referee liverpool can have. Liverpool needs to request that he never ever referee a liverpool match same as alex ferguson did in the past.

  13. Hey - how long does Suarez have to pay for playacting two years ago. He did then - but he hasn't done so for long. This is SOOO clearly a penalty - and Webb should be sent to second league matches for that. Yet - since Webb is so highly valued by the FA he seems to be untouchable and unpunishable until someone points his way in the media, and makes him fall off his pidestal.
    Yes Gerrard and Podolski should have had yellows as well (and Gerrard then sent off).

    Sanago should have had at least one yellow - as he again and again did elbow Agger facial - or pushed him over to get rid. The linesman were weak there. Of course Agger should have been able to control him, but it should have been dealt with from the officials.

  14. We did not lose because of a bad referee, we did not lose because of Allen or bad midfield. We lost because of Sturridge and Suarez were ineffective

    SAS did not SOS :-(

  15. Well said JK, I've not often been more upbeat after a defeat, we showed we are the real deal & i think we can only get better as a team. The delight of opposition fans at our loss just reinforces how serious a threat we have become.

  16. the only one haunting him is howard webb, ie eto blatant assault on suarez now today. webb is less than 10 yards away clear view both occasions !
    besides, there are worse offenders than him that dont get highlighted as much

  17. pundits were only saying the other day it would be a shame for the prem to lose the likes of augerro and suarez.
    he gets no protection as slur alex always demanded for ronaldo, and he is victimised like no other, and hes been a good boy for some time now.

  18. thing is if we got the decision then it changes the course of the game obviously so gerrard wouldnt be making that challenge!!

  19. Again great overview Jaimie. I wish Howard Pleab would come out and comment on his decision after the game so we can ascertain why he made such poor decisions. Overall we out played Arsenal and it bodes well for the next against Swansea.

  20. Agreed, 2nd half display was awesome, Luis's theactrics cost us a penalty and Studge just had one of those days. But we went to the Emirates and showed em what for. If Chelsea and City were watching they know they'll be facing a very different Liverpool when they come to visit us soon. Cue JM mind games.

  21. Spot on.
    Webb has a history of self-important refereeing whilst steadfastly bottling the right decisions. Remember De Jong's assault on Xabi Alonso in the World Cup?
    Bottled that one too.

  22. "Do you even lift, bro???" <<<<< HazeyMatt approves this message LOL

  23. Very Good Article JK, and i dont hand these praises out lightly :P

  24. AndWithSuchSimplicity12:45 am, February 17, 2014

    I don't subscribe to the theory that Suarez is 'party to blame' due to past histrionics. Each decision is supposed to be judged on its own merits. It also shouldn't matter that we had already been given a penalty (as the BT panel attempted to suggest) - a pen is a pen is a pen.
    God, I hate it when Webb referees us - remember OT a few years back? A "penalty" after a minute, then a red for Gerrard for the same tackle as Carrick.

    Frustrated and angry with our wastefulness in font of goal today. It was vital that we scored first today. Their heads would have gone down again, and we could have picked them off on the break. Instead, we let them score against the run of play (similar to October) and then they could retreat 10 yards and hold a line. It was interesting the way the commentary team were praising LFC's movement - almost making the home team the underdogs. THAT us a sign of how much we have progressed this season.

    Hate to say it but Skrtel was at fault for the first goal. Maybe if he concentrated on just heading the fncking ball instead of being some sort of hard man trying to wrestle with players, he would have cleared it. Instead he lets some gangly kid bring it down and get a shot in. Jeez.

    Oh well. 12 games to go. Come on RedMen. We can do this.

  25. AndWithSuchSimplicity12:48 am, February 17, 2014

    Agree with everything you say.
    Just thought I'd add that he's a complete cunt too.

  26. AndWithSuchSimplicity12:51 am, February 17, 2014

    Sturridge was too busy trying to break records than just put it in. And if professional players have a 'weaker' side, then I may just ask for another trial........

  27. AndWithSuchSimplicity12:53 am, February 17, 2014

    I remember beating Coventry 3-0. A hat-trick of penalties from Jan Molby. I'd have to Google the ref........

  28. AndWithSuchSimplicity12:55 am, February 17, 2014

    Suarez worked his balls off.
    Sturridge hid after the first two misses, then overdid his only other chance.

  29. AndWithSuchSimplicity12:58 am, February 17, 2014

    Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard created the situation. Maybe Suarez was influenced by that particular past????

  30. But it's a very rare, in la Liga for instance, happens quite frequently. Still not a good reason.

    I appreciate that about the English game, that some things will be let go, and in general there are far less fouls called than all the other leagues, but things need to be consistent and reasonable. Sure give some flexibility, but also be consistent, and call all the blatant fouls.

  31. I'm just peeved that it had to be Arsenal. They've been winning too many games against us.

  32. Suarez impression of a fish being thrown in the boat was quite funny

    I actually have sympathy for match officials. There aren't many other sports out there that rely solely on one person's live view for important decisions

    Players make mistakes, managers make mistakes, referees make mistakes

    The problem is that human nature probably results in referees subconsciously bowing to pressure from home crowd or bigger team

    In this situation I feel that Webb might have had some residual doubt about first penalty, this made him lean towards not giving second, then he held back on red for Gerrard to make up for it

    Again though, I was outraged by Eto'o foul in penalty box v Chelsea. We need technology. Simple

    BUT........ Can someone else please comment on Oxlade Chamberlain going to ground before contact in 5-1, and Sturridge v Fulham. Technology will open up a minefield. I feel both were pens, but attackers went down to "control" inevitable contact, and minimise chance of injury. Thoughts please?

  33. You know I can't remember a game Howard Webb ref'd for us where we've got a positive result. He bottled it plain and simple. I was utterly outraged. Saying that, I couldn't really care less about the FA cup. As mouth watering as a cup tie with Everton is, arsenal Everton is another energy sapping game for 2 of our rivals. Studge normally would've finished at least 1 of those chances, I wonder if potentially setting a new record for consecutive scoring was on his mind

  34. Footballers cheating & trying to gain an unfair advantage?
    That's the reality, so YOU better get used to it.
    It's human nature... and there's nothing anyone can do to change it

  35. Well said Jamie. Agree with all off it apart from the Agger comment. He was getting hit in the face from Sonogo..which is clearly illegal in football. Maybe he got done for pace..like most centre backs... but Sonogo wasn't stronger than Agger. Agger could of palmed him in the face several times too..and it would have looked much different. Having said that, i think i still prefer Sakho.

  36. I listened on Sirius radio and the two announcers were aghast that Sterling did not get a penalty but there is no mention of it here. Why? RS did not go down so did not get one. Yet LS DOES go down and still nothing is called. Confusing.

  37. I think Allen is better as a CDM rather than a CAM.

  38. Webb is the KOLO of the Referees world ;)

  39. I'm laughing at all these Arsenal fans refute our claims we were better, just because 'they scored the 2 goals, we didn't, and that's all that matters'. They obviously have no proper insight into the game do they?