Date: 1st September 2009 at 11:59pm
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Jamie Carragher is doing what Liverpool players are doing best: he’s bigging up the team in the media. It’s the usual stuff again: apparently, they have great character, demonstrated by their comeback against Bolton Wanderers when they were 2-1 down with 50 minutes gone, playing pathetically yet they won the game.

“I thought the lads showed what great character we have.

“No-one can ever write us off because I think ourselves and Manchester United, not just in this league but probably anywhere in the world, are the best at coming back from deficits and winning games.”


Slight difference is that we do not regularly enjoy the chance to play against 10 men. As you probably know, many of Liverpool’s famous recent comebacks occurred after an opposing player had been sent off – and this was the case at the Reebok at the weekend.

It was a dodgy red, too, as Lucas was barely touched but that’s nothing unexpected. We remember last season when Antonio Valencia got a red card at Anfield after a very, very soft first yellow card for an alleged encroaching. Liverpool, though played pathetically, went on to win the game 3-2, coming from behind.

Or who could forget how they were outplayed by Man City and rescued by a red card administered to Zabaleta? The very, very dodgy sending off of Lampard, against Chelsea, in a game when Gerrard should have been sent off much earlier. But Lampard got sent off and Liverpool ‘showed great character’ to get the win.

Certainly it takes great courage and character to overwhelm a team that’s playing with ten men because of an unjust red card. Especially if said team, like Bolton, is not exactly a Champions League contender even with eleven men on the pitch.

Though now I come to think of it, it could be that Liverpool players simply grew to accept it as natural that they play against ten men. It isn’t a boost for them, for they expect it anyway and for them it still requires great character to get the win. After all, in almost a quarter of their league games last season an opposing player was sent off.

This latter theory is supported by the fact that Rafa was moaning gracelessly after the very first day of the season when his side, playing horribly, weren’t given the helping hand they came to expect: the referee awarded only one penalty for them. Poor souls. It can’t be easy for them.

Not that the media made an issue of Benitez’s moaning, even though the way he attacked the referee was something he accused, in his hilarious rant in January, Fergie of doing. And they did not keep bleating about Liverpool saved by the referee against Bolton, even though they were.

New season, same old story.