Calls on two penalties — one given and the other not — during Saturday’s game at Stoke City cost LFC the game and precious points in the English Premier League.
Defender Jamie Carragher wrapped his arm around Stoke forward Jonathan Walters in the 21st minute and was a foul was called. Granted, it took minimal contact to bring Walters down, but he committed the foul because he was in a poor position. Walters scored the winning goal on the ensuing spot-kick.
“But I just can’t see how it was a penalty kick.” Dalglish told LFC.tv about the incident after the game.
LFC marksman Luis Suarez was denied a penalty appeal in second-half stoppage time, when he attempted to cut a pass back in the area and the ball clearly hit the arm of sliding defender Matthew Upson.
The decisions that went against his team are a sign of a growing trend according to the Reds boss. He claims each league game has seen important decisions go against his team and hit out against officials in his post-game press conference Saturday.
“If we continue to play like that with the same attitude and the commitment then we will be okay this season, but if we continually get battered with things that are outside our control then we are not going to have much chance,” he said.
“Our first four league games have all had a contentious decision in them and every one of them has gone against us. We would like to be respectful towards referees,” he added. “I think I have been respectful to referees, but more importantly than being respectful to referees in their campaign it’s about having respect for my football club, Liverpool Football Club.”
For other managers or possibly at other times later in the season, those comments would draw a fine or even sanctions from the FA, but Dalglish escaped punishment this time. The governing body declined to take action after considering his remarks.
Dalglish then met with referees’ chief Mike Riley (General Manager of Professional Game Match Officials, Ltd) Tuesday at Liverpool’s Melwood training ground. The meeting was positive in tone, and each party was able to speak their mind.
“We had an extremely informative and amicable discussion, which has given us all a better understanding of how things operate,” the LFC boss said. “From our perspective it was certainly worthwhile sitting down together and maybe it’s something that should happen more often.”
It was a savvy move by the veteran manager to go after the referees so early in the season. Making those comments, escaping censure and meeting with Riley only adds validity to his claims. Match officials will have this in mind when LFC take the field, and that will go a long way towards swinging the balance of calls Liverpool’s way. This is good for LFC. Points are won with goals and sometimes teams need the referees’ favor to push the ball over the line.