14 Apr 2014

'Harsh': BR claims ref was wrong to dismiss Hendo for horror tackle. Irresponsible?

After a moment of madness yesterday against Manchester City, Jordan Henderson will now miss the bulk of Liverpool's title run-in. Most fair-minded fans seem to concede that Hendo deserved a straight red card for scything down Samir Nasri, but LFC boss Brendan Rodgers takes a different view, though, and according to him, the referee got it wrong.

When asked about Hendo's sending off during his post-match press conference, Rodgers hailed Henderson as 'brilliant', and made his feelings on the decision clear. He told reporters:

"Sometimes you watch images like that, and when it's slowed down, it looks really bad, but he [Henderson] actually touches the ball. He's stretching for it, but the sole of his foot touches the ball. Okay, maybe he catches Zabaleta, but I thought it [the red card] was harsh"

Rodgers' trivialisation of the incident aside, he is right: Henderson does make some contact on the ball, but that doesn't excuse the studs-up rashness of the 'tackle':

This is potentially a leg-breaking challenge. I should know - in October last year, I got taken out in a league game by an identical lunging kung-fu special, and ended up with a double fib-tib fracture (not fun!). If Hendo had properly connected with Nasri's shin, then it it could've been a hell of a lot worse.

The decision isn't harsh in the slightest. Henderson is a model professional, and although there's no malice to the tackle, it's dangerous play, and 'challenges' like this need to be eradicated from the game.

Rodgers' judgement in this issue is arguably clouded by his feelings for Henderson, who is clearly one of his favourites, and if a Liverpool player got taken out by a similar challenge, I seriously doubt he would defend the opposition player.

Rodgers' view is also (IMO) irresponsible, and slightly hypocritical. All season, he's complained about Luis Suarez being roughed-up on the field (for incidents far less serious than Hendo's tackle), and in November, he slammed Kevin Mirallas for making a similar studs-up lunge:

"I thought Mirallas should have been sent off. If you look at it in every way, real time and slow motion, it is a bad challenge. He caught him on the back of his knee and that can end your career. It was awful jumping in like that"


So, Mirallas 'should've been sent off', but Henderson's red card is 'harsh'? Granted, the Belgian's 'tackle' is worse, but the principle is the same: both tackles were reckless, and could've caused serious injury.

In my view, Rodgers should've just accepted the red card, and made it clear that such challenges are not acceptable. Instead, he's basically condoned the challenge, and indirectly argued that lunging in like Hendo is okay if there's a marginal touch on the ball.

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  1. Whilst it may not have been a malicious challenge, it was still reckless, and it was a red card.
    Managers pretty much always defend there players when something like this happens.
    Henderson knew it was a red, he didn't exactly argue with it.

  2. Rodger Van Der Wobble1:02 pm, April 14, 2014

    Impossible to defend that, could have broken his leg, best say nothing occasionally Brendan

  3. By the letter of the law yes he should get red, but was there any real Malice?.

  4. Awful tackle caused by a bad first touch and definitely a red card. Amazing to think Hendo being out is now such a big deal - shows just how much he has improved. We will miss him. Any word on Sturridge's hamstring yet?

  5. It's always easier to judge comments when you don't have any direct involvement.On some levels it is wrong to defend the tackle but from a team perspective I am sure it is the right thing to do. Life is not always black and whitre.

  6. BR bashing again, just face it you dont like him!

  7. Fortunately Nasri wasn't injured. Otherwise it would have taken the gloss off the victory.

  8. I'll give Hendo the benefit of the doubt - he's had only 4 yellows all season, and is not prone to dangerous tackles. He might have gone into it full of p*ss and vinegar, but the timing of it posed little threat, and he did get some of the ball. His front foot was a good couple of feet away from away from Nasri - he was never in any danger of being hit by the studs. The trailing foot is what brought him down - Like Suarez's tackle on DeMichelis, except Hendo was going a bit faster. In reality, given the above I don't think anyone could be angry if a yellow were given, but given the optics, and speed at which it happened can't blame the ref for giving a red.
    Point being that a) No Malice from Hendo, b) not as wreckless as it appeared - there was no way the studs were ever going to get Nasri. But based on appearances, the red is not completely unwarranted.

  9. I think BR is holding his position in the context of the match and timing. The match was almost over, but that does not excuse Hendo's challenge which was rightly shown the way for an early shower.

    Hendo is not the silkiest player in our first team, but he is Gerrard's legs in midfield. I think Allen will replace him, but Allen does not have the physical prowess of Hendo which might cost us in one of matches Hendo is out. I have a feeling the 18th century football of Chelski will look to exploit that.

    Whatever happens, we have CL football in the bag. Would absolutely love to see us lift the Prem' trophy which no doubt will be a sign of telling the Chelski and Manure Shitty owners stuff your millions where the son does not shine. That said Liverpool need to win the Prem' more than the other two competing teams, as this will give Liverpool that extra gloss, which will help attract the better players. This summers transfer window perhaps may determine whether Liverpool will consistently challenge for the top 4 for the next 2 to 3 seasons. That is because every team in the other than perhaps Everton (depending on their finish position this season) will spend big.

  10. Even if it was a red (which it was) there's nothing wrong with BR saying maybe it was harsh. He was just trying to make the point that some calls went for Liverpool and some went against and on the whole the calls evened out ie refreeing should not take away from the achievement. Maybe it's cynical but smart managers also manage media perception.

  11. Comparing Henderson's attempt to win the ball with Mirallas' assault on Suarez is just not fair. Mirallas had intent to hurt on that play and Rodgers was right to point that out. I believe Henderson's tackle deserved a straight red, but can see how someone could disagree. Seems like the author is looking for a negative where there is none. Other than losing Henderson for three games.

  12. When I first saw it I thought a red was a bit harsh as well but the rules are pretty straightforward there. His leg is high and his studs are showing. Sure he gets some of the ball but he also gets a lot of the player. I don't think we can complain about the red. I've seen yellows been given for this and I wouldn't have been surprised had Clattenburg opted for that considering there were only two minutes left to play. But he gave a red and was right to do so. I wonder though if we will now see Gerrard move back up the pitch and Lucas back holding or if we'll see Allen being brought in losing attacking intent in the process. Personally I think the latter would be the best option.

  13. Deserved.
    If he just didn't reach out with the top boot, it would have been yellow. Personally, tackles with bent knees rather than straight legged ice pick tackles perhaps may be downgraded to a yellow and a talking.
    This bothers me because he is a huge part in the harassment department. His energy is contagious. Big loss, but we can still do it. Come on you Reds.!!!! I'm hoping City will drop along the way.

  14. If Allen comes in and does his part to solidify the midfield and win out, would you say that he was definitely worth the 15 mil?????????

  15. 100% should have been sent off but no malice in the challenge. It was a classic case of losing control of the ball, tired legs, and a lunge that was badly mistimed. Good to see Zabaleta wasn’t injured but, again, deserved the red.
    I have a question tho for those who know the rule book more than I do; I know two yellows is a one game suspension and a straght red is three, but a mate claimed that if the FA review the incident and see no malice then it might be reduced from three to one. Is there any truth in this? If so, I think he has a chance of having it reduced which would be massive

  16. I wish he just bloody jockeyed the City player...

  17. After Suarez got scot-free with all his poor antics, in Rodgers view, the red card was way overboard is one of the main arguments here.

    I am sad with the red card, Hendo took one for the team but for me Suarez behavior was beyond tolerable and he could have sabotaged any chances of title run if he got the red. Any news about Studdge?

  18. I think straight red for Hendo was justified and until then Clattenburg had cut us a lot of slack ..... No matter Allen / Lucas will come in and do a job .
    The way Stevie is fired up now it's like having an extra man on the pitch anyway and there is no way he's going to allow any player to let things slip from his grasp . Call it destiny or whatever it's out time now and ours to lose and I believe the passion and determination will get us over the line ...
    Whatever the outcome this has been a turning point for us and a season to remember YNWA

  19. Definitely deserved. Hasn't changed my mind about Hendo's character but I think the blood was perhaps pumping a wee bit much in this instance.

  20. To be clear, I think Henderson deserved a red.

    But as it relates to why Rodgers would find fault with Mirallas vs. Henderson, I understand his point about getting the ball.

    Mirallas didn't get anything but Suarez's knee. Henderson at least got the ball a bit, but it was reckless nonetheless.

    Both are red card-worthy. Just that one was worse than the other. Same result.

  21. Both were red cards...I am afraid how many more bad decisions will come in the crucial last 4 games which are Title Decider for us...May God be with us and hope for the best

  22. Marriner the ref at norwich, another mistake identity? Hope he doesnt blow our league chances!

  23. The problem was created by that clown Moses losing the ball.Should be sent packing ASAP.

  24. Rodgers made these comments immediately after the match, he obviously hadn't had time to see the slow motion replays...he was speaking in a general sense about tackles looking worse than slowed down. What he really thinks and might say after seeing the replays, we don't know, but it's the job of every manager to defend his players. Sure it's hypocritical, but who isn't guilty of that from time to time? And I know you acknowledge that Mirallas's tackle is worse, but they are in no way similar...Mirallas just throws his studs up in the air while remaining on his feet, Henderson's gone to ground at full speed and it's almost impossible to keep your studs down in that situation. The only reason we don't see this sort of thing more often is because players tackle from the side, so their studs are up but facing away.