Monday, April 21, 2008

Complete Control

A month ago in the ManYoo v Liverpool match Javier Mascherano got an early yellow card for a late tackle and a second yellow, for haranguing the referee (after Fernando Torres got booked for complaining about the kicking he was taking from ManYoo's superstars). In the aftermath of the Argentine's sending off the Brit-media did its usual hell-in-a-handcart hand-wringing about football and footballers, demonising Mascherano with gusto.

On Saturday ManYoo were away to Blackburn. In that game, which I watched live, Wayne Rooney deserved one straight red card for a horrific knee-high scissor-challenge from behind; a yellow for a ridiculous dive in the box, at least a yellow for continually abusing the ref and at least a yellow for abusing the linesman. Instead he got one yellow card (for the challenge) and that was that.

Rooney's behaviour - far worse than what Mascherano did (even if I am a Liverpool fan and I'm biased) was virtually ignored on BBC's Match of the Day. The abuse wasn't mentioned and the dive and horror-tackle glossed over. It's also worth mentioning that the alcoholic hypocrite Ferguson tried to claim after the Liverpool game that his players don't abuse referees anymore.

But really this is the moment that I'm waiting for James Lawton of the Independent to shine. Possibly the most pompous and withering of football commentators, he devoted two full columns to the OT game - one to Mascherano and one to Benitez for not apologising for Mascherano. So far, however, neither he, nor any other English football journalist I read, has typed a sentence about Rooney. It's as if it never happened.

Rooney, of course, is not from Argentina...
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