Arbeloa - Lay off referees
Liverpool defender Alvaro Arbeloa says his side's rivals should lay off match officials.
By Laura Slatcher
Last Updated: 29/03/08 12:30pm
Liverpool's Alvaro Arbeloa has told his Premier League rivals to lay off referees and stop piling the pressure on officials before matches.
The defender has criticised the way players can be aggressive towards the referee during games after his Anfield team-mate Javier Mascherano was dismissed for dissent last time out.
Chelsea and Manchester United came under particular attack from Arbeloa, the Spaniard hitting out at Sir Alex Ferguson saying his pre-match comments can add to the pressure on referees.
"Ferguson has a lot of experience," Arbeloa told The Sun. "He's been doing the same thing for many years.
"When Ferguson speaks people tend to listen. So many times of course this affects the referee.
"The problem is Manchester United's players, and also Chelsea players, put enormous pressure on the referees.
"But we at Liverpool are not doing that and still seem to lose out. Whereas, every time there is a foul, they go two or three of them together to complain to the referee.
"We don't do that and, at times, this ends up being very important in the result."
Arbeloa feels that Chelsea and United get preferential decisions in games, insisting Liverpool can be victimised at times.
The 25-year-old reveals he is still bitter after their defeat to Manchester United, claiming some of United's players often went unpunished in the game.
"The truth is, you're left with a very bad taste in the mouth when you play such a big derby and the ref is like that," he added.
"In England, they never give you a yellow card in the first five minutes for what Mascherano did.
"United's players were making similar challenges and the ref didn't react in the same way. He left them unpunished.
"(Fernando) Torres suffered a lot at the hands of (Rio) Ferdinand and (Nemanja) Vidic and that is precisely why he complained and ended up being booked before Mascherano got sent off.
"The ref made a mistake but now we can't do anything."