Tuesday, December 4 – 1990
Peter Beardsley was last night heading for a showdown with Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish. Beardsley, scorer of 11 First Division goals this season, was angry at being dropped against Arsenal less than an hour before the kick-off. He didn’t even make the substitutes’ bench.
Last night the signs were that his patience was wearing thin at continually being the first striker left out of he Anfield starting line-up.
He said: “I have scored 11 First Division goals this season in 11 starts which is not such bad going. I don’t know what more I can do to keep a regular place.”
A major bust-up looks on the cards if Beardsley is left out of Liverpool’s visit to Nottingham Forest on Saturday – a match for which he has been axed in the past.
Yesterday Beardsley, who watched the Arsenal game from the TV gantry rather than take a seat in the directors-box, explained his frustration. “That’s what life is like at Liverpool,” he said. “None of us is even sure about whether we are going to be in the team.
“The manager has a system of horses for courses, of picking a team for each match, and you don’t learn until an hour before the game whether you are playing.
“He reads out the names at two o’clock and you just hope your own is going to be among them.”
Dalglish has been criticised for his team selection against Arsenal with its emphasis on defence, leaving Ian Rush largely unsupported up front.
But Beardsley revealed: “To be honest I wasn’t really surprised not to be in the starting line-up.
“I had been saying to my wife Sandra all week that I didn’t think he would pick me.
“But I must admit I was disappointed not to be on the bench.
“The reason I had my doubts is that he has left me out in the past when we thinks the opposition are going to play with three at the back.
“After their defeat in midweek I thought Arsenal looked a bit rocky early on and were there for the taking. But that only adds to the frustration.”
Beardsley, who cost Newcastle just £150,000 to sign from Vancouver in 1983 has been a prolific scorer since he moved to Anfield for £1,9 million in July, 1987. Until now, Daglish’s tampering with team selections has worked in terms of a successful run of results. But on Sunday it backfired.
And Beardsley may take that as his cue to inquire just how he stands in Daglish’s plans.
(Daily Express, 04-12-1990)