The talk continues over referee Martin Atkinson’s decision not to allow Luis Suarez to take a quick freekick against Arsenal in Liverpool’s 2-0 defeat on Saturday.
Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has hit out at Atkinson and said he made a shocking decision when he called back play. Aldridge was speaking in the Liverpool Echo and said:
Liverpool didn’t deserve anything from the game against Arsenal but they weren’t helped in the first half by a shocking decision.
When Bacary Sagna brought down Luis Suarez, the striker did brilliantly to spot the chance to take a quick free-kick. He found Daniel Sturridge who crossed for Jordan Henderson to score.
What did Martin Atkinson do? He pulled play back so he could book Sagna and made Liverpool take it again.
I don’t care whether the letter of the law says that was the only time the ref could have booked Sagna. What about giving the advantage to the attacking team?
Liverpool would have much rather the goal was awarded and Sagna got away without a yellow card.
We’ve all seen how referees love to throw their arms in the air to show everyone how brilliant they are allowing a game to flow. Atkinson would have been applauded for a great decision but he used no common sense.
Exactly the same thing happened to me once in a game for the Republic of Ireland against Scotland at Hampden Park. I was fouled and took a quick free-kick to Mark Lawrenson who scored and the goal stood.
Intelligent play like Suarez’s should be rewarded not penalised.
I know many Liverpool fans are still upset by this decision but the rule book states that if the referee is going to award a yellow or red card for the foul then he has to stop the play. It is a dumb rule in my opinion and something that should be changed so that situations like this do not occur again.
We can continue to complain about it but it will not make a difference now, what’s done is done. Bad or good refereeing calls are all part of the game today and sometimes they do not go our way like on Saturday. Arsenal too are going to get their day when they are on a similar end of a bad call and they too will complain.
Against West Brom we had another bad call go against us when the assistant referee awarded a penalty to West Brom as he deemed Lucas had bought down a player in the box. It was never a penalty in a million years but luckily it did not cost us the game.
Referees have to be 110% sure with the decisions they make as they have the potential of really killing our beautiful game.