Dented but not Dead

That Liverpool match was frustrating to watch. The ball refused to end up in the back of the net. The negative tactics by Jose Mourinho worked. Chelsea capitalising on two Liverpool mistakes to damage the Reds’ shot at the title.

The mistake by Steven Gerrard could’ve happened to anyone. Sometimes it just doesn’t go your way. Importantly we can’t let this game affect us.

We play Crystal Palace next week and it won’t be an easy match. I see us going one of two ways. Either we let the loss get us down and we play without energy, or we stamp our authority once more on the Premier League.

Brendan Rodgers has said he wants to play attractive football. A style of football that is great to watch and brings results. In the words of fans it’s “Poetry in Motion.”

In full flight Liverpool are the best attacking side in the League, possessing fire power all over the pitch. It’s important we don’t lose sight of that. Remain patient and we’ll break Palace down.

I’ve been going over the numbers in my head constantly. Working out virtually every scenario for Liverpool to claim the title. It’s rather clear we can ill afford to drop anymore points. If we do, our Title dream is over.

With two matches left we can score a maximum of 86 points. That’s the same as City, although City have an extra 8 goals on us. 

We look to Goodison Park, our Evertonian neighbours, our historical rivals, to possibly put us back in control of the League. We don’t even need them to win, a draw will do. Ideally they want to reach the Top Four, so a win would help them and us immensley.

There is a strong chance that the Title won’t be decided until the final weekend. The ultimate irony may befall the title race. Liverpudlian offcasts, Stephen Downing and Andy Carroll will lead West Ham against Manchester City. It would be some form of poetry should one of those two score a goal against City to deliver Liverpool the Title.

The loss to Chelsea may have dented Liverpool’s title hopes but this season has had plenty of twists and turns, there may be just one more twist left. So for Liverpool, they’re still alive and kicking. We go to Palace, We Go Again. You’ll Never Walk Alone.

 

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The NRL Judiciary has Overreacted

When Jordan McLean joined into that tackle on Alex McKinnon, few realised how the two men’s careers would change forever. One in hospital and may never walk again.

The other, handed a seven week suspension and lumped with the sole responsibility for that tackle.

The judiciary and match review committee were both handed the unenviable task of grading and then hearing the defence of McLean. He was going to be suspended, of that there was no doubt.

However, the severity of that suspension was not foreseen. Personally I had assumed he’d either be handed a grade one or grade two dangerous throw charge, served one week and be back playing.

In my honest opinion, the judiciary has made an highly emotional judgement, based primarily on the result of the tackle, rather than the tackle itself.

I saw the tackle as it happened, there was no malice; no intent to cause harm. In fact, it looked as though the Melbourne players were trying to get McKinnon to ground as soon as they realised they had him in an awkward position.

I have seen many worse spear tackles handed lesser suspensions. Richie Fa’aoso’s dual tackles on Greg Inglis netted him less, Luke O’Donnell’s tackle on Darius Boyd in State of Origin was also deemed less malicious.

I would also like to add that Jordan McLean was not the only player involved in the tackle. The Bromwich brothers were both involved and not charged. Essentially, the NRL has singled out McLean as the only factor involved that created the dangerous position.

I am neither a Storm or Newcastle fan, I am a fan of rugby league. I do not believe that McLean has been given a fair hearing in this case. There was a range of factors that led to McKinnon’s injury and Jordan McLean has been singled out for it.

The game has let McLean down in this instance and the judiciary has made a judgement, more on emotion and subjectivity, rather than the objectivity and transparency that they are supposed to represent.