So today it’s the “haves” and “have nots”. Poor, impoverished Liverpool verses the newly “minted” Manchester City!
Although the emphasis should be on football, it’s enviable, given both clubs current situation that thoughts turn to money. Both have undergone takeovers however, the difference is marked. It seems that City have serviettes in the club restaurant made from fifty pound notes stitched together with gold thread whilst “the poorest multi millionaires in football” hawk themselves around the banks (assuming there are some left for us to “hawk” at) asking if they can spare a dime and when they’ve got it pleading for more time to pay!
However, although it remains to be seen just how long it will take the backing behind City to bare fruit on the pitch, at the moment it all counts for nothing. Indeed success, if it happens at all, could take longer than City and their fans think? How many players will be tempted to join them if they’re not in the Champions League and how can they get there if they don’t attract the players? A simplistic argument perhaps but not all players are mercenaries, a club’s status does count. So when fanciful reports about City recruiting top players such our own Gerarrd sprout one shouldn’t get in too much of a lather? Dirk Kuyt summed City’s dilemma.
“Stevie is Liverpool. It would be very difficult to buy him – he’d be a lot of money. But I don’t think he’d ever leave Liverpool for Manchester City…. I don’t think any Liverpool player would go to Manchester City, because we’re a much bigger club. It won’t be easy for them, especially if they want the big players. It is possible to buy big players but, if you want to buy big players who are already playing for big clubs, that is much more difficult.”
Our last two games at Eastlands have been uneventful and goalless. Last season we were a team in turmoil floundering, desperately clinging to lingering hopes of the title and two years ago our mind was on the Champions League Final. Now we arrive unbeaten this season and having lost only one of last twenty one league games. We are also buoyed up by a good win in the Merseyside Derby and a night of milestones against PSV. On this subject it will be interesting to see if Robbie Keane can move on after breaking his goal scoring duck midweek. Mark Hughes is mindful of this.
“The worry is that now Robbie Keane has broken has broken his duck in Europe he will be looking to do the same in the Premier League. We have to be mindful of that. It looks as though he is beginning to develop a good partnership with Fernando Torres and I am sure they will have a greater understanding in the coming weeks.”
Torres will also be buoyed by his double against Everton and, if reports are to be believed, the whole squad is full of confidence. Rafa has compared the “feeling” at the club to the feeling he had at Valencia when he won the Spanish title. May be so but all the same, and with all due respect, I wish he’d keep these feelings to himself. We’ve thirty odd games to go so let’s just play football and not speak in a way that might set us up for an embarrassing fall?
Prediction? This is the sort of game that can easily be lost but one we need to win if we are maintain our position amongst the leaders. It’s a difficult task however, if we are confident and turning a corner with the front two, then it should not present a problem? Although I’m still wary about our consistency I’ll go for a 2-0 to take us into the international break in a good frame of mind.
Enjoy the game.