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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Binya madness, Sky Sports punditry and The Reds

Along with good British action in the Champs League with the unfortunate exception of Ranger's quest in the Nou Camp last night, and congrats to Man Utd and Arsenal in qualifying, two moments bode for highlight.

Infamous as it is now, Benfica's Augustin Binya came to challenge Celtic's Scott Brown on Tuesday evening, some 5mins to end of normal time, Celtic already 1-0 up from Aiden McGeady's deflected effort just before half-time, Celtic having taken the ascendancy in attacking constantly Benfica's goal, the Portuguese outfit having little to no answer in return. Brown evaded one challenge and has he reached for the ball Minya clearly raised his right leg high and brought it down with intent upon Brown's right shin. It was the proverbial 'leg-breaker' and for me, had Brown aimed to continue his momentum with his leg instead of taking the force of the impact, we would very much have seen Brown's leg broken.

It was as if someone had poised over a prone person and brought up an implement to strike it down with intent and we were witnesses. Binya's challenge was grotesque, nowhere near inherent of football, and was less of a tackle as much as it was more to do with thuggery. UEFA have been keen to never interfere with referees' decisions and here the official, Swedish referee Martin Hansson, showed a straight red to an already booked Binya. The Celtic players raced over to protest personally to Binya and at first I wondered why, only to be appropriately answered by the replay. Yet UEFA have said they always issue a disciplinary matter regarding red cards and at the least there is a one-match ban, when in fact this sending-off was a straight red card offence and therefore a three match ban at the least, and then there should be consideration over further punishment as Binya was already booked and the severity of the offence.

Secondly, yesterday's Sky Sports panel of Jamie Redknapp, former Blackburn Rovers, Udinese and FC Copenhagen manager Roy Hogdson and Graeme Souness discussed after the Man Utd v Dynamo Kiev match. Discussions then moved onto a round-up of the other Champs League action from elsewhere, including the Jose Alvalade stadium of Sporting Lisbon hosting Roma. Sporting's Abel shot at Roma's keeper Doni, which the Brazilian stopper blocked quite poorly and then reacted enough to gather the ball before it went over the line. Immediately Sporting's Liedson rushed in with Roma's David Pizarro and appeared to have taken the ball out of Doni's hands, the ball then went over the line but Belgian ref Frank de Bleeckere disallowed it all with a clear indication of the arm pointed away from goal.

The pundits, lead first by Redknapp, went on, along with Richard Keys, to criticise the referee for not giving a clear goal. Not one of them discussed Liedson's contact nor the referee's position afterwards that would have cleared up any confusion. I myself had to rewind the action to verify what happened. In the same way the panel paved over mentioning how Carlos Tevez was offside yet made contact with the ball after Christiano Ronaldo's freekick was headed on by Michael Carrick. The ball then looped to Gerald Pique, who headed the ball in. My colleague T has questioned Redknapp's analysis and I find myself questioning yesterday's panel further.

We here on EFT have been pulled up on minor things without question yet the Sky Sports panel are experienced former professionals of the game and should analyse further before making inaccurate criticisms. We speak out about the bigger issues in football, some of which are further enhanced by media coverage, the small issues are just as important.

A little mention on Liverpool's 8-0 win over Besiktas. This game was about more than achieving a record, it was about committing oneself to the cause to its fullest requirement. Such a requirement was goals and all of them from Liverpool in the Besiktas goal, no more Hyypia errors. Liverpool should be in pole position in their group and to find them at rock-bottom is very unusual. The form of play that achieved eight goals was more rewarding than the goal tally.

I would be frustrated were they to play as they did and only score one, even though one goal more than Besiktas would bring the needed three points, but to see them play as they damn well should do, given the pedigree of the side, was enough along with perhaps a 2-0 or 3-0 finish, much less eight. We continue with that form of eagerness to score and finishing, we can rise up the league and get our true form of play on display regularly.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

GunnerPete says....I agree Redsman that it was the performance not the amount of goals that counted for the Pool. For the first time (in my opinion) this season we saw the old style Pool ie; 100 determination. This has only appeared in patches before this week.

As a Gunner, I think that on their day and without managerial tinkering, this Pool squad can be equal of any top side around. Fortunately for the rest of us, Benitez dont see it as we do, and will always cost the team points.

Now my team are through without our usual list of CL injuries, I will cheer the Pool on for the next two games.

The is a bond of respect between the older Pool & Arsenal supporters, which has never existed bewteen either team and Manure. Shame but their cheating and proud of it attitude deserves such treatment.

11/08/2007 10:00 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, mighty pleased for the pool (I am gooner) .. u guys should get your acts together and storm up the table .. 'cause if we are not winning it, we will be rooting for you to win it, and you guys defo have a much better team than manscum (even with their refs) ...

11/08/2007 10:44 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

you watch the mancs and see where we get - the scouse gits are shit and they know they are so are the gooner goons, wenger is a dodgy worker with kids, no england prospects in your teams means you care shite about england manscum we going all the way and we will win it and show you lot we aint no fluke and we'll do it in the title as well!

11/08/2007 11:00 am

Blogger T said...

Great coverage Redsman! Big win for Liverpool - staggering to see eight scored. Now, as you say, this performance must be built upon. For me, Benayoun should be given an extended run in the team, I like many things about his game.

I didn't see yesterday's football but got home in time to catch the exchange between Keys and Co. What most surprised me was Redknapp continuing to say that there is NO clear proof that Rooney did NOT score the opening goal against Arsenal. He said it at the weekend after seeing the camera angle which clearly showed that the ball would have continued to run across the face of the goal but for Gallas' deflection. I thought on Saturday that Redknapp was saying that in the heat of the moment... but it appears that after a few days reflection he is still unmoved!

Amazing- after everyone else (apart from Rooney) has said it is an O.G. and the clear video evidence - that he is still arguing that it is a Rooney goal. Surely that sort of analysis should get him a demotion much in the style of a Rob Styles!!

Redknapp is not all bad - but some of the stuff he comes out with is so questionable that it beggars belief! Ruud Gullit has it right- he simply laughs at Redknapp's analysis!

Terrible foul by Binya- brining to mind Roy Keane's assault on Inge Haaland some years ago. Like Ben Thatcher last season he should be given an aggravated suspension.

11/08/2007 1:03 pm

Blogger glasgowdave said...

I was at Celtic Park the other night, but at the far end of the ground from the tackle, and therefore never seen the intent in it at the time. It really was a malicious piece of violence, which UEFA should stamp out.(pun intended)
Delighted to see Liverpool, Man U and Arsenal, doing so well.
Since Celtic have no hope of winning the CL, it's about time English club teams start fulfilling their potential. (Liverpool excluded)and
reach the final, at least, every other year.

11/08/2007 4:26 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elite football talk as in what; you mostly just discuss the exploits of the elite football clubs?

11/08/2007 7:49 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Thanks people, demonstrating that dialogue can exchange regardless who you support. Anon (11AM), it's the same tone I hear that adds to tension and heated debate between fans of different clubs. It's not one I prefer to listen or read, we may not have nice thoughts on one another's teams or clubs but we're not bitter about it. The fact that T is Arsenal, Abdul is Man Utd and the remainder of us are Liverpool, we don't slag or moan at each other, we exchange good dialogue. That's it really, getting quite tired of reading such tones in comments.

Regarding the article, good for glasgowdave for his frontline view of Parkhead of Tuesday night. There is no mitigating Binya's tackle, simply none. We want to watch free flowing competitive football without witnessing reckless irresponsible conduct.

Good for support for the Reds, with Man Utd and Arsenal through already. Quite simply would love for British football to expand its foundings further with all six British clubs into the quarter-finals.

As for the punditry, we have to take them as we do with the officials, with a moan, a pinch of salt and move on!


11/08/2007 7:49 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

"Elite football talk as in what; you mostly just discuss the exploits of the elite football clubs?"

If by 'elite' you mean Liverpool, Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea, look through our archives for articles on such things as SPL's Hearts acquistion and running by Lithuanian Vladimir Romanov, the England national team (not full of players from 'elite' clubs), the threat of dismissal of Martin Jol and Sammy Lee, the construction issues of the New Wembley, the tragic demise of Matthew Gadsby who was a central defender for the Nationwide Conference North side Hinckley United to name a few.

Not to mention side issues like 7/7 bombings, cricket and rugby points of view. We look mainly to football, but life is also of such matters that warrant everyone's attention.


11/08/2007 8:04 pm

Blogger Skipper said...

I didn’t see the Sky analysis. I don’t think Jamie does a bad job, he just speaks his mind. I think it’s good to have a bit of variation.

The tackle – absolutely atrocious: I can’t believe why a fellow professional would do that to another player. It has nothing but malice in that type of leg breaker.

Liverpool did play well. I fear that they may have left it a bit late. They must beat Porto now and then win at Marseille, a tough ask, but if anyone can, it will be Liverpool.

11/09/2007 8:53 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Liverpool have actually wanted to let rip on someone as it was a long time coming and with the options they have now available and keen to impress the boss. Practically when the going gets tough you help out big time.

I do not know about this tackle your on about but if it is as bad as you said it player wants to go home and soak his head for a day or two to get back some sense. But I do know about Richard Keys on Sky Sports - I think he is a wind up merchant asking questions like Souness and Bolton and other questions that are obvious. Wish someone would get rights to show football over Sky, to be honest.

11/09/2007 1:36 pm

Blogger Abdul said...

Interesting article as always Redsman.

I read an intersting article after the Besiktas match where the writer felt that Liverpool seem to only play their best football when it is win or bust. Thats why they are so good in the cup competitions. What I feel Pool need to do is change their mind set slightly so that they play their best football whatever the stakes - be it against Birmingham or Chelsea. That is the key to winning titles.

Redsman - thanks also for clarifying above what EFT is all about!

11/09/2007 7:02 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Yes, I get that feeling at times that we get at our best when the going gets tough and shouldnt have to drop points in the league to react after a while. Have to wait and see.


11/09/2007 7:31 pm


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