They say things comeback to haunt you. My heart jumped a beat when, at Old Trafford on Wednesday, Portsmouth had a chance to equalise. However, Jermaine Pennant’s cross was miscued by Peter Crouch. Ironic eh, two ex reds missing a chance to do us a favour? What if we go into the last game of the season against Spurs with a title chance only to see Robbie Keane having a say in our destiny?
Many will say today is the day we need to get Tuesday out of system. But do we really need to? Pride, passion and commitment were there as to was the appetite for goals. Four against The Mancs, Madrid, Chelsea and Arsenal and five against Villa. Trouble is recently we’ve been leaking at the other end. Rafa’s face was a picture on Tuesday after each Arsenal goal. Disgustedly slumped in his seat you could almost see the steam coming out of his ears! After the fourth goal he couldn’t have been far away from spontaneous combustion!
After Tuesday our chances are slimmer. Options are running out as the Mancs won again on Wednesday. One less match for them to blow. However, as Rafa correctly said in yesterdays Guardian.
“It is essential for us to try to keep the pressure on United.. We must not slacken off, and if we keep going that will make them feel under pressure.”
All too true. I listened to the Mancs game on Wednesday and Five Live’s Alan Green, never one to hide his ego under a bushel and not let you know what he is thinking, suggested the Mancs were “running on empty”. If it’s true presumably it won’t be helped as injuries (Neville and O’Shea being the latest casualties) and games rack up? Hell there’s even a rumour that we might sign Tevez next season and I’m sure Fergie, given the productive relationship between us and United, will be only too happy to let him go to us just as he was with Gabriel Heinze!
As for us Tuesday was always going to be hard but on paper at least the remaining opposition should be easier? The reality of that remains to be seen but, as suggested before, we need to make life difficult for the Mancs by beating Hull today. I say remains to be seen as Hull, from an excellent start that confounded most expectations, have been in freefall and from being in the top four at one time are now genuine candidates for the drop. However, a cornered Tiger can be at its most dangerous?
As Hull’s star has faded so has manager Phil Brown’s (although this doesn’t extend to his tan!). Self publicising stunts such as embarrassingly his players by admonishing them on the pitch at half time in front of everyone at Manchester City and series gripes and moans about basically nothing at all – if Febregas spits that hardly makes him Harold Shipman as Hull would have us believe, just ill mannered. This has bought into focus the pressure he and his club now find themselves under and, because he has persisted with this, he now finds himself the subject of an FA charge when he should be concentrating and making his club safe?
Team wise we are without Steven Gerrard for another game otherwise all seems fine. We drew 2-2 at Anfield earlier this season but this is our first visit to the KC Stadium. The last time we played at Hull’s old ground Boothferry Park, was in the FA Cup twenty years ago. I was at the game but all I remember was us beating them 3-2 and my mate falling and breaking his wrist as we celebrating the third goal. He was so pi**ed it took until Sunday morning to realise he had done any real damage!
Prediction? Although no doubt more questions would be raised about the defence, I’d settle for another 3-2 win if fact any win. Perhaps it would be nice, after recent games, to experience a mundane, safe 1-0 win? However I’ll stick my neck out and go for 2-0.
December 2008 – Liverpool 2 Hull City 2