The aftermath of Luis Suarez’s second most controversial handball has been typical. On one side are those who argue they never would’ve celebrated the goal. The same people say they would’ve told the referee or linesman about the handball. Steven Gerrard isn’t in that camp. In an interview with the Mirror, Gerrard states that he wouldn’t tell an official about a handball — he’d also celebrate the goal. The honesty is refreshing, but the explanation? Well, it leaves much to be desired.
“I can’t sit here and claim I would run to the linesman or referee and say, ‘I’ve hand-balled it’ at Old Trafford. What would Wayne Rooney do? What did [then-Manchester United keeper] Roy Carroll do years ago when the ball was four yards over the line? ”I never saw Alex Ferguson or Carroll run to the referee or linesman and say it was over the line, did you?”
I get where he’s going with this — but two wrongs etc, etc. On the other hand, Ferguson’s holier than thou approach in the leadup to tomorrow’s big game has been a little nauseating. Later in the interview Gerrard gets back to reason. It’s football. Referees will make mistakes and teams will suffer because of them. I do not agree with his general premise — cheaters never prosper — but I appreciate his candor. Tomorrow is going to be fun.
2. Poll of the day
We go back to the Mirror for a meaningless poll, one that spells doom for Arsene Wenger. The Black Scarf Movement — an Arsenal supporters group formed in 2009 that has between 2,500 and 3,000 members — took part in wide ranging survey this week. The poll’s ‘shocking’ findings: 46% stated Wenger was no longer the best man for the job. Just 5% said AW was the best man for the job — you can see where this is going.
The group garnered recent notoriety after they held a march to the Emirates before a game against Swansea in early December. Their biggest problem is with the board. “We are not an anti-Wenger group, but we are responsible for what our fans want and what they are thinking.” Fair enough. Wenger’s recent comments regarding RVP’s departure haven’t repaired his relationship with the fans:
“We knew when we sold him to United that that would be the case. He is one of the best strikers in the world, so you know he will score goals for them.
“What is painful is to see Manchester United so far in front of us.”
Sooner or later, #AFC‘s gonna have to figure out if they’re in the business of winning, or in the business of business
— Andre Ferguson (@ShinobiAFC) January 11, 2013
3. Photo of the day
4. Own goal of the day
5. Prediction(s) of the day
As I’ve said fourteen times in this post, but it bears repeating. Tomorrow is going to be fun. The day begins with Manchester United v. Liverpool at Old Trafford. A goal from substitute Daniel Sturridge in the 85th minute will rescue a draw for the visitors.
The late game sees Manchester City visit Arsenal. Earlier this season a late Laurent Koscielny goal saw Arsenal leave Etihad with a point. Roberto Mancini will not have Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri or (most likely) Sergio Aguero at his disposal, leading me to take Arsenal 3-1.
Leave your predictions in the comments below. Enjoy your Saturday and see you in a few hours!