Well, it has taken a while to filter down to the suits at the Football Association but now they have finally come out to say that Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers does have a case to answer for his comments after the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City on Boxing Day. While it is true the comments made brought into the question the integrity of the referee, considered a local, I thought at the time they were all theater. I will get to what I mean about that in a bit, but first I want to explore the comments and factually argue them.
Yes, the referee is from Bolton, Greater Manchester and yes he did turn down a penalty appeal for Liverpool at the end of the game and disallowed the initial goal for offside. There are flaws with the argument though and dealing with the offside first, it was the linesman who called that wrongly, not the referee. From that point they then went 1-0 up and so you could argue had no outcome on the game. It is not as if the call was made with Liverpool 2-1 down.
Then you have the mistake from Simon Mignolet to let Alvaro Negredo score the winning goal right before half time and then Raheem Sterling missing a host of glorious chances in the second half, which would have made a difference.
As for the penalty decision you could argue that with Martin Skrtel should have given away numerous penalties as every Manchester City corner came in he was more interested in wrestling Vincent Kompany’s shirt off his back than defending the ball.
Now, my earlier point about pandering to the crowd; Liverpool fans and Manchester fans are well known for not having too much love for each other. City’s rivals Manchester United and Liverpool argue over who are the most successful club and depending on what era you choose it will be a different answer. His comments highlight decisions that have gone against his team against their rivals, which takes the real analysis off of his teams own inadequacies and takes the focus off his side and management style. For that reason alone, it will more than likely be worth whatever fine he gets.