Back to the league today and I’m sure most will want to forget about Wednesday and hope that victory today against Blackburn will salvage something from the week and help heal the wounds?
The post mortem into Wednesday continues from different sources but most of our players have been trying to put a positive spin on it. Jose Reina summed this up in yesterday’s Guardian
“It was bad in the dressing room afterwards. It is a bad situation to lose 3–1 at home and it is going to be ¬difficult, but we have to recover ourselves. I would say it is more or less 85–15 against us ¬qualifying now, and it is going to be tough, but we won 4-1 at Old Trafford three weeks ago and we have it within us to do that again. It can be done. It is good that we have another game in a different competition on Saturday, that is the best way to recover.”
No one can argue with that and with title hopes still alight and the second leg to come now is not the time for repercussions. Even if it was there is no time as the games are coming thick and fast. I suppose one good thing to come out of Wednesday is that we, baring a recovery that will surely rival Istanbul, will end up having just the league title to concentrate on. This cannot have gone unnoticed at Old Trafford where perhaps it was hoped that any challenge we might put up might be diluted by further Champions League ties?
Jamie Carragher again in the Guardian sets out the priorities which, despite Wednesday, most would probably agree with.
“The Blackburn game is the biggest league match of my career right now. I’m not just saying that because of what happened against Chelsea, but the league has always been the priority of everyone at this club…. If we win we can go top of the league with just six games to go, and if anyone had told us at the beginning of the season we would be in this position now, we would have been delighted.”
Yep amidst all the fall out from Wednesday the fact that we could go top tomorrow has almost been forgotten. Blackburn provide the lunchtime opposition however, it seems we could be without Steven Gerrard. As I write it’s touch and go. This is not the first time Gerrard has been injured this season and we have prevailed without him however this doesn’t stop the media dredging up the tiresome story about us being a one man team.
Meanwhile everyone sit up and take notice as that wise old sage Sam Allardyce has been passing judgment on Rafa once more. According to Allardyce with Rafa…
“You can’t stop him whingeing and moaning, he loves it.”
This refers to comments made by Rafa after a defeat to Bolton. The game was ages ago yet Allardyce seems intent on bringing it up time and time again even though since then we have beaten Bolton many times and also Newcastle before he was sacked. I also seem to remember Allardyce in his post match interviews when Bolton lost continually “whinging and moaning” usually about the ref.
In the past Allardyce has also seen fit to say Rafa is lucky to be in his job because he has reached two Champions League finals as his league form, in his opinion, has been poor. Not as poor as Newcastle, Bolton and Blackburn though. Curiously he then goes on to undermine his argument.
“..Managers are very transparent and we can’t help moaning and groaning. I’m the same. I’ve managed to psyche a few managers out in the past but no one has ever psyched me out because I don’t give a damn what people say.”
Allardyce is very vocal for a person who doesn’t give a dam. Rafa has more concerns than Allardyce’s shallow comments and has he really justified this constant stream criticism each time the managers come up against other? Big Sam he maybe but in respect of this a very, very small man?
Prediction for today? I just hope the team can forget about Wednesday and produce to goods. In the past such a defeat would mean a back lash. Perhaps this is too much to ask but given the talk coming from the dressing room, everyone seems desperate to rectify the situation today and I take us to do that to the tune of 2-0.