• Premier League

Rodgers complains to refs chief

ESPN staff
September 27, 2012

Brendan Rodgers has spoken to referees' boss Mike Riley after seeing a number of key decisions go against his Liverpool side this season.

Rodgers' team have had three penalties given against them in five league games this season, in addition to receiving two red cards. The Liverpool manager is also annoyed that Luis Suarez has had two plausible penalty appeals rejected in their last two league games.

Suarez was booked for diving during a 1-1 draw at Sunderland two weeks ago after he seemed to be caught by John O'Shea, then had a penalty appeal rejected when Jonny Evans challenged him during Manchester United's 2-1 win at Anfield last Sunday.

"It's been a trend for me," Rodgers said. "I arrived here having worked at a big club before. I had four-and-a-half terrific years at Chelsea. And I'd certainly seen enough games at that level to see that sometimes the big clubs do get the decisions.

"I came here, to one of the biggest clubs in the world, and in my opening period, we haven't got a thing. So I just wanted to ask the question and put my point across. And Mike was excellent. He's doing a terrific job, because being head of the referees is not easy."

Rodgers called Riley on Thursday morning to voice his frustration at the standard of refereeing during Wednesday night's 2-1 Capital One Cup victory at West Brom.

He added: "I think Mike had been expecting me to call him a little bit earlier. It's just become obvious, especially after last night's game. Jordan Henderson had a horrendous challenge in the game last night and the player wasn't even booked.

"One of my young players, Andre Wisdom, made a really good tackle and won the ball, and got booked for it. And there have been a number of incidents. But I just said to Mike: 'Look, we have to be careful that we don't discourage players who try to respect the game'.

"We want to win the game, but we want to win it by fair means. To me, anyway, in this opening period of the season, that hasn't worked for us. We just need to be careful that getting the decision means diving on to the floor and rolling around, whereas if you try to stay on your feet, you may not. That was the point I was making to him."

Suarez has acquired a reputation for going to ground too easily since arriving in England from Ajax in January 2011. But Rodgers believes that reputation is unfair.

"I don't know what his reputation is with referees," he said. "But certainly from what I've seen so far, it doesn't look as if he's ever going to get a decision, and that's something that would bother me going forward.

"Luis Suarez went down away to Sunderland and it looked a clear penalty, and he ended up getting booked for it. Then last week in the Manchester United game, there was more contact in his case than in Antonio Valencia's case. Valencia gets a penalty and we get nothing but a hard luck story.

"But I'm sure that will change. That was my point to Mike."

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