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February 23, 2006



Wouldn't you, though? Auberon Waugh was castigated for identifying the 'Oos Again?' syndrome back in the very early 90s or late 80s and I've had a gutful of the sentimental self-mythologising guff coming out of the fanbase. Smith, in white rose or red rose guise, is a lung-busting competitor (we see some flashes of this from Arsenal on Tuesday night). Pity the fans of any club who express a signal lack of any fellow feeling for an injured pro. But hey, anyone else laugh like a drain at the Del Horno sending off?

Frank McGahon

I was delighted to see him given his marching orders. It was as blatant a body check as I've seen on a player who had already skinned a few of "Patatas"' colleagues and was headed for goal with a bullet. I wouldn't have been surprised at a yellow but the floundering Spanish leftback, considering his previous fouls, was good value for a red.

Gerry O'Sullivan

For some reason, George Hamilton reckoned the ref was wrong to send Del Horno off. It looked pretty blatant to me. Mind you, Messi did make a meal of it...

Frank McGahon

Well he is Argentine...

George got it all wrong, for some reason he was under the impression that this was a 50:50 ball and they jumped into each other. But Messi was bearing down on goal, all he was doing was trying to minimise the impact of the mack truck heading his way. There's nothing in it for him to body-check del Horno and let the ball away. I can see how it might have been a yellow rather than a red but it was hardly an injustice.

Johnny K

Frank, don't be one of those people who tars all with one brush. Yes there are mindless fools who attend football games, the John Arne Riise song was out of order, but none of those singing it knew what was wrong with him at that stage. Mottie and Lawro didn't know and they were looking at numerous replays.

Each and everyone of the people who attacked the ambulance should be arrested and punished severly. There is no excuse for such behaviour, not just in sport, in life.

Frank McGahon

But if it was obvious to me straight away watching it on tv at the back of a bar that Smith was in serious trouble it should have been obvious to Lawro (I wouldn't expect Motty to know - he's slower than teletext these days and can barely tell you the name of the person on the ball) and it would certainly be obvious to the Liverpool fans who did *not* applaud Smith from the pitch. Perhaps those fans were applauding a little too vigorously when they rocked the ambulance.

Of course, the actions of that "small minority™" shouldn't reflect on the majority of Liverpool fans (among whom are three of my brothers-in-law) but there does seem to be a poisonous cocktail of whinging self-pity, sentimentality, aggrandisement and begrudgery, particularly towards United (Carragher's whinge about Neville a case in point) present in the Liverpool support which is absent from that of other clubs.

Johnny K

I don't think it's a unique trait between Liverpool and Man. Utd., just that any comments made by any of the players or staff of either club are magnified by the media.

Some of the fans in the Main Stand did applaud Smith as he was being carried from the field.

As for mentioning Neville, he hates Liverpool, and happily admits it. So any comments made by him or actions performed by him are more significant than if it came from any other player in the world.

His jittery performance at Anfield proved he can be affected by the crowd, and even more worrying for Utd. fans, he can be intimidated by Kewell! What's that all about...

Either way, hopefully the clubs can get something sorted between them to try and calm the situation down. It will be bad for the rivalry if off-field events dominate the proceedings.

Frank McGahon

On Neville: actually what I had in mind was Carragher's stupid whinge asking for action to be taken against a fellow professional. Neville is happy to say that he hates Liverpool as is Rooney (and I'd be quite happy for Carragher to say that he hates United), but I don't think either Rooney or Neville would "call da bizzies" on Carragher if he made a similar gesture to Neville's (as indeed was the case for Fowler in the Citeh game).

Johnny K

I'd be interested to see where you read he asked for action to be taken. From what I remember he simply said that there is a line and Neville crossed it. I don't think he mentioned action been taken. I could be wrong but I'd like to know where you found this out.

If he did I'd be disappointed, he doesn't appear to be that kind of person, simply a model professional who is 100% commited to his team.

Frank McGahon

From what I remember he simply said that there is a line and Neville crossed it. I don't think he mentioned action been taken

Well he made his public complaint about Neville "crossing the line", knowing full well that the FA were considering action. You'll note that the rest of his colleagues were "model professionals" maintaining a diplomatic silence instead of whinging about it.

Johnny K

Weird argument Frank. When the manager of Man. Utd. is one of the biggest whingers the game has known (how many referees has he whinged about) you complain about someone saying another player crossed the line. Does the Utd. tactic of all the players ganging up around the referee constiute whinging?

You make it sound like Carragher consistently does it, when it was a once off, and said after one of the biggest games of the season. I'm sure Neville thought he had succeeded in his bid to wind Liverpool up when he read it.

Frank McGahon

I've never heard of Ferguson or any United player complaining about excessive celebration. Liverpool players past and present do it all the time at United fans, Fowler, Gerrard etc. It's part of the game and Carragher should have kept his gob shut.

Johnny K

Okay, I better stop commenting as you keep moving the goal posts ;)

Frank McGahon

I'm not moving the goalposts. I think it was pretty shabby (not to mention revealing of scouse whinginess) of Carragher to speak about Neville "crossing the line". The thing is, what line is it you think he's talking about? I assume it's the line of "acceptability". That is, he considers it unacceptable that Neville did what he did and it's hardly a stretch to see this as favouring FA action against such unacceptable behaviour. After all, what else do you do to unacceptable behaviour but punish it. It's rather pedantic to belabour the distinction between branding behaviour unacceptable and calling for action against it.

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