Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Dalglish Queries Spearing Red

Kenny Dalglish wants to see greater consistency from match officials after Jay Spearing's red card cost Liverpool in a 1-0 defeat at Fulham.

The Reds midfielder was dismissed after 72 minutes of a keenly-fought encounter at Craven Cottage.

Spearing dived in on Moussa Dembele, catching the Cottagers forward after first winning the ball.

Leaving the ground went against the 23-year-old, with his challenge deemed to be reckless.

Dalglish believes Spearing might have got away with the tackle on a different day, with 'interpretation' now a buzz word in Premier League refereeing.

"He has won the ball with the first thing but he has probably upset the referee with his follow through," the Reds boss told Sky Sports.

"But he has won the ball first and it's not his fault somebody is standing there. Sometimes you see them result in a red, sometimes they get away with it.

"You can go through every referee decision and find a problem with it, I think the problem everyone has at the moment is the level of interpretation and that's not consistent."

While disappointed with that particular call, Dalglish believes Liverpool were unfortunate to leave the capital empty-handed on Monday night.

"I think we would have taken something from the game if we had been left with 11 men," he said.

"For us, we played as well as we have been playing but you have to do enough to win the game. I think we did enough to come away with something, but we haven't done it.

"We need to brush ourselves down and get on with it and not feel sorry for ourselves. The lads put in a great effort to try and win the game, even when we went down to 10 men we had a couple of close things."

Martin Jol: Jay Spearing Could Have Broken Moussa Dembele's Ankle

Martin Jol claims that Jay Spearing’s challenge on Moussa Dembele could have broken the Fulham star's ankle.

The Liverpool midfielder was sent off for the second-half tackle, which won the ball but caught the Belgian’s leg strongly when he followed through.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Jol said: “I will be honest. I saw the tackle from three angles and it could have broken his ankle."

The Fulham manager also defended his players for the close attention they gave to controversial Liverpool dangerman Luis Suarez throughout the 90 minutes during his side's 1-0 win at Craven Cottage.

He said: “If you drop off Suarez too far then he is unbelievable. He will go in front or through you. He is almost impossible to defend.

“They played a 4-3-3 again and in hindsight it was a good decision to play with Moussa Dembele.

"It helps us as a midfield to create chances. If he starts scoring goals then I think Dembele will be a major player in the game.”

Jol was delighted that his team had rediscovered the winning knack at Craven Cottage, which has been such a fortress during the last few years. It was only Fulham’s second league victory on home soil this season.

“It was much-needed and a good win,” he said. “If you win 1-0 and keep a clean sheet, it is always pleasing.

"We have had a lot of clean sheets and results away from home, but we have also had good games at home, especially against Spurs in the second half. Against Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers we also played well.

“The sending off helped us but we were well organized and I think we have the players to score goals in this league.”

Kuyt - Euro Dream Still On

Dirk Kuyt insists Liverpool is still on course to qualify for the UEFA Champions League despite the 1-0 loss at Fulham in which Jay Spearing saw red.

Clint Dempsey was the difference as Kenny Dalglish's ten men made an unhappy return to west London by failing to build on their midweek Carling Cup victory over Chelsea.

The result leaves the Anfield outfit five points off the fourth spot finish they need for a place in Europe's top club competition next season.

But Kuyt believes the result was just a setback and Liverpool will be up there at the end of the season.

He said: "It's a huge disappointment but we need to keep going, look at ourselves and try to improve.

"We definitely want to challenge for the top four and if we want to do that we need to win these type of games.

"I thought we were unlucky because we had the chances to score. We did okay in the first half but the way we came out in the second half was much better.

"I didn't see Jay's challenge and I don't know if it was a red card. Obviously it didn't help us in our efforts to win the game. It's a huge disappointment not to get the three points."

Dalglish Defends Suarez

Kenny Dalglish believes it is time Luis Suarez was afforded some protection after describing chants of 'cheat' during Liverpool's defeat at Fulham as 'scandalous'.

Uruguay international Suarez has seen his reputation come under attack this season amid accusations that the striker is a diver.

During Monday night's 1-0 loss at Craven Cottage, Suarez saw a goal disallowed for offside and he also had a couple of penalty shouts.

Fulham fans felt Suarez went down too easily at times and made their anger known, while the former Ajax ace was pictured appearing to respond to the taunts with a one-fingered gesture.

Asked for his thoughts of the 'cheat' taunts directed at Suarez, Dalglish said: "Scandalous.

"I would like to see you write that in the paper because you would be in a bit of trouble as well. You write what you want to write.

"At the end of the day, we will look after Luis the best we can and I think it is about time he got a wee bit of protection from some people.

"His integrity is impeccable. He can look in the mirror and go to bed at night and sleep soundly. If other people can do that then fine. All we ask is to be fair, is to be honest."

FA Investigating Offensive Gesture From Luis Suarez After Fulham Defeat

The FA is looking into an offensive gesture allegedly made by Liverpool striker Luis Suarez after Monday’s 1-0 defeat by Fulham in the Premier League.

The Uruguay forward was caught by photographers appearing to raise his middle finger towards the Craven Cottage crowd as he left the pitch.

Manager Kenny Dalglish refused to condemn the forward, telling reporters: “I've not seen the picture and I am not taking anybody's word for it. But until you have proved it is true to me, I won't comment.”

Suarez has already been charged by the FA for alleged racist comments made to Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during the two sides’ Premier League clash in October.

The loss to Martin Jol’s side leaves the Reds in seventh place in the table, three points behind Newcastle.

Powerful Striker Transfer Delay Alerts Liverpool

Hampton and Richmond striker Dan Thompson's proposed move to Portsmouth has fallen through, with a host of Premier League clubs circling, according to The Daily Star.

The non-league forward has been heavily linked with a move to the south coast, however Stoke City have also reportedly lodged a bid.

But with the deal now having hit a snag, domestic heavyweights Liverpool and Newcastle United are both interested.

Thompson's big frame makes him a likely target for Newcastle, while at just 17 years old he could be a target for the future for Liverpool.

Liverpool brought in the likes of Jordan Henderson and Sebastian Coates in during the summer as they looked to breathe new life into their squad.

Shelvey Fires Brace For Five-Star Reds

Jonjo Shelvey hit a brace as Liverpool Reserves cruised to a superb 5-1 success at home to Wigan on Tuesday afternoon.

The midfielder notched the Reds' first of a one-sided encounter early on before Krisztian Adorjan and Nathan Eccleston put the hosts well clear inside 20 minutes.

The Latics were stunned but did pull a goal back through Daniel Redmond to give themselves some hope heading into the interval.

Shelvey then added a fourth following the break and Suso was also on target as Rodolfo Borrell's charges made it three league wins on the spin.

Liverpool Reserves: Hansen, Flanagan, Sama, Wisdom, Wilson, Coady, Suso, Shelvey, Ngoo, Eccleston, Adorjan.

Liverpool Starlet Can Follow Nani And Ronaldo's Footsteps

Former Liverpool star Steve Staunton believes that if Andy Carroll is given time at the Merseyside club, he will show his £35 million worth, as the striker continues to find his feet at Anfield.

On Monday night Carroll was subbed off in the 77th minute for Dirk Kuyt, after yet another lacklustre performance in which the Reds lost to Fulham 1-0.

In fact, in 15 appearances for Liverpool this season, Carroll has only scored three times, and with the 22 year old costing a British record fee of £35 million, pressure is mounting for him to deliver.

But Staunton believes that Carroll will be a worthy purchase for Liverpool, even if he doesn't show it in his first full season at Anfield.

"Carroll gives Liverpool an extra dimension, but he's only a young man," he told Talksport. "He's only been there a few months. If he gets a run of games, settles in and scores a few goals he'll be alright.

"When Ronaldo and Nani first went to Man United, everyone was saying the same sort of thing about them, that they weren't god enough, etc, but five years later Ronaldo goes for £80m and Nani is irreplaceable at Man United. So you've got to give him a bit of time.

"We know the media, when they have it in for someone, they really go for it and I think they've been unfair on the lad. He just needs to keep working and it will come right for him.

"He's with the right man - Kenny Dalglish will get the best out of him and keep his confidence high."

Carroll made the move to Liverpool from childhood club Newcastle at almost literally the last minute of January deadline day, with the Reds making a massive outlay on the England international.

But Carroll's fee was offset by the £50 million that the club profited on Fernando Torres leaving the side the same day.

Liverpool is currently seventh in the Premier League table, and are five points behind fourth placed Chelsea. The club will be hoping that Carroll's form picks up soon, so they can push for qualification in next season's Champions League.