Rodgers: It is no-win for Suarez

  • Last Updated: September 27 2012, 17:12 BST

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes players like Luis Suarez are facing a no-win battle when it comes to winning fouls and penalties in the Barclays Premier League.

Suarez: Didn't win a penalty against United

The Uruguay international has earned a reputation, during his relatively short time in English football, for going down too easily but Rodgers insisted that was not the case.

The Reds boss claims that if Suarez goes to ground he gets accused of diving but if he stays on his feet he is not getting the decisions.

Rodgers stressed he wanted his team to win matches fairly but the outcome had been such this season he had cause to speak to referees' chief Mike Riley.

"The likes of Suarez has had a couple of good penalty appeals, he hasn't dived they have been legitimate, and he's actually got booked," said Rodgers, referring specifically to the last two matches.

"He went down at Sunderland and it looked a clear penalty and he ended up getting booked for it.

"Last weekend in the Manchester United game there was more contact in his case than there was in Antonio Valencia's and Valencia gets a penalty and we get nothing other than a hard luck story.

"I'm not sure [Suarez's reputation is influencing officials] you'd need to ask the referees but he is a wonderful talent and irrespective of whether he goes down if it's a penalty, it's a penalty.

"What I have seen, he certainly doesn't ever look like he is going to get a decision and that is something which would bother me going forward.

"It would be a shame if players who respect the rules and managers who are asking players to stay on their feet and not dive are not getting the decisions because of it.

"I think it is important that referees understand that.

"It has been a criticism of the last few years of players going down too easy - it is not something we want to encourage but if you're not going to get decisions because of it players may do that."

Suarez's penalty appeals were just one of the items up for discussion with Riley, head of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd.

Rodgers has also been unhappy with some of his players being dismissed for tackles and opponents go unpunished.

Daniel Agger was sent off at West Brom on the opening day of the season and, last Sunday, Jonjo Shelvey saw red despite Jonny Evans also appearing to have both feet off the ground in the same challenge.

However, the Northern Irishman bided his time until another incident in last night's Capital One Cup victory, back at The Hawthorns, convinced him intervention was required.

"It has just become quite obvious, especially after last night's game, so I rang Mike Riley this morning - I think he was expecting me to call him a bit earlier," he added.

"Jordan Henderson had a horrendous challenge on him and the player was not even booked yet Andre Wisdom made a really good tackle and won the ball and got booked for it - and there have been a number of incidences.

"Having had four and a half terrific years at Chelsea I certainly saw enough games at that level to see that sometimes the big clubs do get 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.

"I waited to see a trend. It is just something I feel is important going forward so we are not targeted."

Rodgers insists he is doing everything he can to ensure his side are genuine and honest in games but he was concerned that was going against them.

"I always send my teams out to be sporting and try to respect everything about the game and ask players not to dive and stay on their feet," he said.

"It is how I ask the players to play: we want to win the game but we want to win it by fair means.

"But by doing that we need to make sure the players don't get punished because that is certainly what is happening from my own eyes.

"To me, in this opening period of the season, it hasn't worked for us.

"I just said to Mike we have to be careful we don't discourage players and people who don't respect the game.

"I am not one to criticise them (referees) publicly and look to play any sort of mind games to gain an advantage but when it is going against the club I have to speak my mind and that is what I have done."


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