Time to change gear and push on, Rafa talks, and Manc star wars!

Have been off the blog since the weekend due to work which of course was timely as we don’t step out in anger until Monday night against Everton.

By the time this happens it is likely that the Mancs will be top of the league. In all honesty it’s been coming for some time now and if we didn’t think we were having our work cut out to stay ahead of the pack, we are now as they appear to be on a good run. Hopefully, when it comes to the final shake up we won’t have good cause to regret results like Saturdays at Stoke or against West Ham, Fulham… on it goes, you the know the games I’m talking about.

Indeed, one can’t help thinking that the season starts in earnest from now. The Mancs have caught up and although it’s difficult, we shouldn’t worry about their breath down our neck. The fact that it is them is incentive enough to kick on into the second half of the season. I do think there is more to come from us. Apart from a few games I don’t really think we’ve got going properly so are we due a long sustained, decent run? Thankfully it looks like we will have more or less a full squad for Everton on Monday although one obviously worries for Steven Gerrard and now the tenure of Daniel Agger as this week we learnt that his men have gone to talk to Milan.

The return of Torres is obviously key and one hopes that he and Robbie Keane can finally have some decent time together in the team, only nine games started together, and establish an understanding that will enable us to maintain the challenge. This is something that Ian Rush touched on this week.

“They’ve not had a chance to get a partnership going yet. Torres has not been fit but given time together they can take the team to the level that is needed to win the title. Robbie has not had the opportunity to prove he can play with Fernando yet but, from now on, I think if Torres plays, then Keane will too.”

Which brings me to Rafa. Once more the increasingly tiresome issue of his contract was raised again this week. It’s still not signed let alone sealed or delivered. This time the sticking point appears to be his role and specifically Rafa’s wish to control transfer policy. Although there are seem to be grounds for disquiet over the length of time we take to sign and deliver players, one can’t help thinking that in these harsh economic times Rafa’s wish is perhaps a little ambitious. Now more than ever will owners, and not just ours, want to keep control of the purse strings. Perhaps Rafa simply wishes to be more involved in the talks rather than leaving it to Rick Parry who seems to display a “quickness” in some of his negotiations that thankfully isn’t replicated by the players he tries to recruit!

I guess Rafa needs all this like a hole in the head or dose of kidney stones. He underwent his third operation this week. Are they zapping them one by one! Then of course there are the recent rucks with Fergie. As time goes on can’t help thinking that this is something about nothing. The press have read all sorts of things into the exchanges. On the whole Rafa got a good write up, he was right to stand up to Fergie and he made some accurate points which might make him think twice before talking about us in the way he has (yer right)?

Sadly, much of this was diluted by the Stoke game and Mancs looming in our wing mirrors. One the whole the exchanges have been nothing more than a mildly entertaining distraction. Hell, if they are going to have a ruck let’s at least make it really entertaining. Perhaps there is more to come? Maybe at the end of season they’ll have a duel with light sabres on one the roof of one the Anfield or Old Trafford stands and perhaps Fergie, as in the film, will tell Rafa that he’s his father!

May the force be with you, Rafa and, above all, the team!

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