15.9.03

Victory at any cost?

Liverpool notched up another 3 points in the race for the premiership this weekend, but the victory can only be regarded as bittersweet, as two key players left the field with broken bones, and are out till next year at least.

Milan Baros - was injured after being tackled by Markus Babbel, who ironically is on loan to Balckburn from Liverpool. The Czech striker supreme broke his ankle and has already has surgery, he had a plate inserted. Gerrad Houllier however said he did not hold Babbel responsible.

Jamie Carragher - was tackled by Lucas Neil, a two-footed tackle that was so reckless and X-rated, Neil received a straight red card. Houllier is angry with Neil and Souness, for the tackle and for not apologising immediately.

When the game had finished I wish Graeme Souness had come up to me and said 'sorry, it was a bad tackle'," Houllier told the Liverpool Echo.

Lucas Neil was actually angry with the ref for sending him off !! Souness waited till Monday to apologize. For a tackle to break the leg of a player wearing shin pads is crazy to say the least. Neil has been called a coward for the tackle in some sections of the media. But the irony is that while Carragher is out for 6 months at least, Neil only has to face a three match ban. Carragher has even said "I hope I'm walking again before my ten-month old son". (How sweet!)

In a similar case in France where a player injured another with a bad tackle, which forced him out of the game for two months, the French FA banned the player responsible for the same length of time. Maybe the English FA should look at this. But then if they did, Roy Keane would not yet be playing after his no infamous, vicious (and delibrate!) tackle on Alf Inge-Halaand a couple of years ago!

But the trouble didn't even end after the whistle ! Houllier became embroiled in a heated exchange with Blackburn's ex-Liverpool midfielder David Thompson and with Graeme Souness during the game after Thompson seemed to aim a punch at John Arne Riise when the referee wasn't looking. Riise needs to go and do something about this, just last week he got into a fight with John Carew while training for the NOrway game and got sent home after the scuffle (and since Riise didn't, I guess that means he was not at fault!!).

So we won, but at a terrible price. But the battle continues......with Diouf, Heskey, Mellor and even Le Tallec available to partner Owen up front, we don't seem to have too much of a problem. Finnan will finally be able to prove his worth after his transfer from Fulham with Carragher out for 6 months. What's left is for Liverpool to recall Babbel from loan as cover. It's only fair.......

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