I don’t want to hear Liverpool fans criticize referee Steve Bennett for dismissing Javier Mascherano late in the first half today. I just don’t want to hear it, simple as that.
It’s about time that a referee stood up for himself and didn’t take any BS. I’ve complained all year long about the referees and how they’re too weak and inconsistent to punish players for dissent. In midweek, I sat there and watched Ashley Cole, who was fortunate to not be sent off for his horrific challenge on Alan Hutton, turn his back on Mike Riley as if to say “Hey, do you know who I am?”. Cole gave Riley an earful, didn’t come over to receive the original yellow card, and still didn’t get the second yellow for dissent.
Javier Mascherano must be an idiot. Has he not been watching the news or reading the paper at all this week? Did he not see that the FA just came out with a “respect the referees” initiative? Did he not remember that he already had a yellow card and was walking on thin ice? Did he not see that his teammate, Fernando Torres, had been booked for dissent just a second earlier?
I guess not. Sorry, this guy is a moron. He had basically been begging for a second yellow card ever since he got the first one. He’d committed two or three additional fouls since being cautioned early and took every opportunity to give Steve Bennett a piece of his mind. He then went out of his way to question an innocent play right before the half ended. Bennett gave him a chance to be quiet and motioned for him to walk away, and Mascherano didn’t. He kept going, Bennett reached inside his pocket, boom, see you later.
Where was the captain, Steven Gerrard, in all of this? One would think he would’ve gotten in there and separated Mascherano right away, or tried to calm him down a little bit and then speak to Bennett himself.
Sure, after Mascherano had been dragged to the sideline by his teammates (where he proceded to rant and rave like a lunatic), Gerrard went to the Argentine and spoke to him, but that doesn’t exactly do much good.
Good for you, Steve Bennett. I applaud you for having the stones to do what Mike Riley and others haven’t done all season.