Having amassed just two points in his opening five Premier League games as Reds manager, it’s no surprise to see Brendan Rodgers become increasingly frustrated with life in the hot seat at Anfield. After suffering a late defeat to Manchester United on Sunday, Rodgers has taken to criticise referee Mark Halsey, who took centre stage in the game and made several debatable decisions.
Undoubtedly the biggest decision of the afternoon involved Jonjo Shelvey, with the former Charlton midfielder being shown his marching orders after just thirty nine minutes. It would be fair to say that television replays are inconclusive, with Shelvey’s challenge on Evans being dubbed 50-50 by some quarters – Rodgers included. The referee also awarded United a late penalty for Glen Johnson’s foul on Antonio Valencia, while the Reds themselves were denied a spot kick for an alleged foul on Luis Suarez. Needless to say, Rodgers disagreed with all of the decisions.
Speaking on the back of the harsh defeat, the former Swansea boss said, “We could control our players’ performance but what we can’t control is decisions by the referee. If Jonjo is booked or sent off for both feet leaving the ground then Jonny Evans has got to go as well. Glen Johnson has made a fantastic recovery run and I don’t know why Antonio Valencia goes down to be honest. Then at the other end Luis Suarez gets a toe on the ball to take it away from the defender, there is contact, but then there is no penalty given.”
Despite Rodgers claiming that Shelvey’s treatment was unfair, the youngster has since taken to Twitter to apologise for his red card. He also issued an apology to Sir Alex Ferguson – who was on the end of a tirade of abuse from the player after he was given the card. It’s understood that Shelvey thought that Ferguson had played a part in the referee’s decision, although the United boss laughed off such suggestions after the game.