Liverpool are planning to appeal against Jerzy Dudek's dismissal against Everton reserves in the mini derby on Tuesday night. All (Red) accounts of the incidents leading up to his dismissal say that Jerzy shouldn't have been sent off, but of course all blue accounts are quite different.
Dudek had been getting hacked at for some time by Everton player Victor Anichebe and a referee described as very poor was unwilling to do anything about it. Eventually Dudek snapped and squared up to his opponent. The ref booked Anichebe and sent Jerzy off.
Unfortunately for Liverpool the authorities are usually quite happy to let players go off for raising their hands. It doesn't matter what provoked it, it doesn't matter how much contact there is – it's one of the FA's "rules".
In Jerzy's case the provocation, according to many people who were there, was quite severe. He perhaps shouldn't have raised his hands but the referee really shouldn't have let it happen. Rafa has been watching the incident back again and says that the Reds clearly need to appeal for some kind of justice for Jerzy: "I've been watching the video again and it's clear we have to do something. The tackle on Jerzy was terrible. We will be seeing if we can appeal this decision because when you see the tackle on Jerzy, it's clear what happened. The tackle was so bad, and yet the player only received a yellow card. It's crazy."
Predictably the blue contingent, still reeling from losing our new reserve boss Gary Ablett in the summer, were protesting the innocence of their player. Their current reserve coach Andy Holden said: "If you put your hands on people then you have to go." On his way off Dudek seems to have shown Holden the evidence of the kicking he'd got from the latest blue to learn the Everton way, and Holden claims Dudek should put up with it: "Dudek has been a top class goalkeeper but he walked past me and showed me his leg and I have had bigger gnat bites."
An earlier report on this site had Dudek missing three league games as part of his suspension, but we were wrong about that one two counts. First of all the suspensions following reserve sendings-off also include Carling Cup and FA Cup games, and secondly there's a slight difference in how soon reserve suspensions take effect. According to a club spokesman there'll be a delay before Dudek's ban kicks in: "In the Premier League, suspensions start immediately, but not following reserve matches." The delay is for two weeks so Dudek will be available as cover for the league games against Blackburn and Manchester United and would have been available for European games anyway, like next week's Champions League game against Bordeaux. What he will miss is his chance for a first team game, the Carling Cup tie against Reading.
Jerzy would almost certainly have been given a start in the Carling Cup game if Rafa had followed what now seems to be tradition in that tournament for most Premiership clubs. He'll also miss out on being cover for the two league games following that, which are both home fixtures, against Aston Villa and also against Reading.
If Liverpool appeal against Dudek's ban then there's a chance he'll actually get to play against Reading in that Carling Cup game after all – the delay would possibly mean a ban couldn't start until he'd had a personal hearing.