Monday, December 31, 2012

A View from Liverpool on Sir Alex's Week That Was

photo by Ben Sutherlandvia PhotoRee

As a Liverpool supporter, Scott feels entitled to comment on the Sir Alex situation -- proving only that Liverpool supporters will pick on someone even if it's their birthday....:

I'm not even going to write about Liverpool's slump to Stoke City on Boxing Day. In fact, I didn't even watch it. Having duly recorded it for later viewing, I promptly bumped into the score and, after choking back a bit of vomit in my mouth, resolved to delete the offensive footage unseen. The Premier League Review show provided all the lowlights I needed to want to put that debacle in the rear view mirror and drive on to Loftus Road.

In such a state, it should not be surprising that my attentions turned to the hullabaloo surrounding Darth Ferguson and his on-pitch berating of referee Mike Dean and the subsequent war of words with Alan Pardew.

As with most things in life, nobody is blameless nor totally at fault. Coaches should have a right to question calls and hear why a ref did or did not make one. So the fact that Ferguson approached Dean does not trouble me. Nor does the fact that the former was, to put it politely, animated when expressing his views. Dean had a right to sanction Ferguson on the spot if he felt the exchange was inappropriate. He chose not to do that - I understand I was not privy to the actual conversation and respect his interpretation and decision. And if that decision, and the one not to report the incident in his Match Report, was influenced by Ferguson's seniority, then I begrudgingly congratulate the old knight for lasting so long in the toughest league around.

But then Darth Ferguson showed his dark side of the force after Pardew had the audacity to suggest, politely, that the Man United man had received preferential treatment since his antics brought no consequence. The Newcastle manager's comments were no doubt influenced by the two-match ban he received for a similar incident, although in his case a slight push was involved.

Still, despite his suggestion being completely valid, and respectfully posed, the Dark Lord dealt Pardew a swift, stinging verbal bitch-slap that started with cries of hypocrisy, waxed on to bemoaning the ingratitude and crescendoed with calling The Magpies a "wee club in the north east."

My assessment:

- Ferguson went too far with Dean and deserved a slap on the wrist short of even a one match ban, whatever that could be.

- Pardew should probably keep his head down a little longer and remember that contact was involved in his incident.

- But Pardew has a right to make his statement, especially when done so respectfully.

- Ferguson ceded the moral high ground with the tone and intensity of his comments on Pardew.

- Darth Ferguson may be the leader of the Evil Manchester United Empire, but he has certainly proven himself to be human.

This is farlieonfootie wishing a Happy Birthday to Sir Alex on December 31.

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