I think it’s official. Kenny Dalglish is the purest manifestation of the Divine. Soon Scousers will be flocking to the unveiling of a plaque in Dalmarnock reading ‘Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish, footballer, manager, seraph, was born here.’ Certainly, there’s not a bloke from the red half of Mersey side who wouldn’t happily allow King Kenny to larrup them with a carpet beater after Sunday’s 3-1 win.
Get thee behind me Satan
I can’t say I wasn’t jumping off me seat with every tiddly toe-poke from Kuyt as well. The boyish Dutchman has endeared himself to Koppites with a work-rate that makes your average anthill look like a Top Gear Mexican. There’s always the impression that all that energy doesn’t get converted into owt but to be fair the lad’s been slung out on the right for a couple of seasons doing the Benitez graveyard shift.
Turned out he was an annoying little goal-hanger all along. Heh-heh. ‘Course he wasn’t the star of the show, mind. We’ll give that to the very impressive Luis Suarez. His teeth are in good company: Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and now this lad with the horse-choppers.
But great footballers aren’t built on their looks – unless you’re my missus, who seems to think David Bentley’s got a lot going for him. This Uruguayan is as slippery as the notoriously difficult to catch Soap Eel. And with Andy Carroll lumbering on to the pitch like summat out of Lord of the Rings things are definitely on the up for Liverpool.
Dalglish compounded that feeling by betraying hardly and signs of euphoria during his post-match interview. If you look hard enough you can see a smirk, but downplaying such a victory is a masterstroke. Or maybe it’s just a tad honest.
Man U were crap. Three defeats in five and you can’t say it hasn’t been coming. If you take player of the season thus far, Nemanja Vidic, out of the defence there’s not a lot there. A nasty little nerk in front of the back four might’ve helped. It reminded you of why Nicky Butt got his fair share of games for United, and Fletcher must’ve been gnawing his arm off on the bench just waiting to get into the likes of Suarez and Meireles.
Not that there wasn’t even malice out on display. Jamie Carragher’s challenge on Nani was plain evil. Even so, Nani didn’t make things better for himself by recovering enough to sprint after the ref before tumbling to the floor again as the second wave of agony kicked in. Is this what passes as acting in Lisbon? I bet the Portuguese version of Casualty is a veritable orgy of howls and writhes and heads in hands.
Look it's Portugal's top drama queen taking a break from diving practice
To be fair Nani is out for three games now, Carra’s karate kick was as bad as it looked. It’s that when Nani goes down he usually gets the Drogba treatment – someone scuttles on with a magic sponge, the poor victim hobbles to the touchline in a parody of a victim of trench warfare and five minutes later the bleeder’s tormenting the back four as if Jesus Christ himself was the club physio.
Fabael or Rafio or whatever that pre-school doppelganger’s name is had a flying hack at Skrtel n all and my favourite bit of the match followed as the two teams clustered together in a post-closing time pub car-park melee while Dowd stood there with his arms folded like a quietly exasperated father of twenty-two. At least Phil was even-handed in his generosity.
Dowd wasn’t the only ref to get it in the neck this weekend. We had the usual gleeful brains trust review of decisions by Clattenburg, Halsey and the officials at the Emirates. As usual we get the pundits and the managers hollering for ‘consistency’.
Be nice if the managers heeded their own advice. Arshavin’s disallowed effort at Arsenal was mentioned to Steve Bruce who more or less said it was brilliant that the bloke had got it wrong. When the boot’s on the other foot Bruce always does that double-speak tosh of saying ‘I hate criticising officials but...’
Meanwhile Holloway and McCarthy showed a deeper understanding of the travails of the ref – Big Mick admitting that he might just’ve felt less charitable if Halsey’s decision to deny Stearman a very legitimate goal had proved terminal.
But the thing is, as some wiseacre put it on the 5Live phone-in, you look at the Footy Rulebook and it says ad nauseam ‘in the referee’s opinion’. That’s how decisions are made. And too many times the frigging imbeciles of post-match analysis forget that a ref – and as far as I can tell they seem like a decent bunch of blokes apart from that lass who knows the offside law better than Captain Caveman and Andy Gray – has only one view of the incident.
If you listen to a lot of them you’d believe that a ref was capable of the sort of visual pyrotechnics you get in Inception. (I watched that last weekend. It’s bleeding potty isn’t it? Like In the Night Garden for grown-ups. Although there are several regular boozers in the Blue Bell who believe In The Night Garden is for grown-ups.)
Here's David Cameron looky-likey Iggle Piggle wondering how it is Mark Clattenburg can live with himself
Ferguson’s post-match comments after the Anfield debacle were among his most lucid of the past three or four weeks. In fact it’s a policy he should stick to. Martin Atkinson might agree. The notion that Atkinson is neither strong nor fair is tantamount to slander. The FA should haul Ferguson over the coals. Otherwise we’ll have Rafa Bloody Benitez shuffling into view with his latest dossier and rather than dismiss him as football’s David Icke we’ll have to start paying attention to the beardy conspiracy theorist.
Oh and by the by, I tipped Chelsea for the title in August and I may well be proved right. (And if that doesn’t finish ‘em off nowt will).