As expected there was plenty of fall out from Sunday’s game however, as we won, the emphasis for many switched to Fergie who as usual saw fit to pass comment about anything other than the fact that we were the better team.
Like his wind up of his nearest rival in the final run in of the title race Fergie’s diversionary tactics after he loses are slowly becoming a football tradition? I suspect many would have been sympathetic to Fergie had he simply said that his team had suffered from the long Champions League trip to Moscow during the week and as a result weren’t firing on all cylinders. Of course as a “reasonable” Liverpool fan I wouldn’t accept this as it would belittle or performance! However, one could at least understand or respect (did I just write that word?) Fergie for taking that stance. Less so are his comments on the performance of the referee Andre Mariner which he suggested was influenced by the home crowd. Point taken after all it’s not as if The Mancs and their oh so jolly fans ever try to influence referees at Old Trafford!
For Fergie to come out with this when he is already in trouble for his comments about Alan Wiley’s fitness might say something about his ever growing lack of tact, sense of self importance or the pressure he is under. May be it is all three? Fergie also suggested the game had a “wounded animal” aspect to it – anyone know what he meant by that? Answers on a postcard? Perhaps the wounded animal was a seagull following a trawler? OK I know a seagull is a bird but just go with it!
I didn’t comment on them in the match report as I thought all three incidents – Carragher’s tackle on Carrick, his tussle with Owen and Vidic’s sending off – were called correctly so therefore no issue. In the first Carragher got enough of the ball. In the second Owen didn’t have full control of the ball and both players were running away from goal. The third was simply another foul and therefore a sending off as Vidic had already seen yellow earlier in the game. All three outcomes were the result of correct and straight forward interpretations of the rules. What is Fergie’s problem?
All this is typical Fergie fare and we should not let this cloud the fact that we were the better side. Moreover, besides proving many of the doom merchants wrong, the victory will be a welcome boost for all concerned with club. We will need it as we are away at Fulham next weekend and then go to Lyon for the vital Champions League return.
Before that however, there is the small issue of Arsenal in Carling Cup tonight. We have played Arsenal numerous times under Rafa but I guess this will be a case, to a degree, of venturing into unknown territory as we don’t know what the sides will be. Both managers will make changes from last weekend, but how many? More changes by Arsene Wenger than Rafa if the past is anything got go by?
Many have suggested that we should take this competition seriously as they would have us believe that the title and Champions League are looking a bit iffy. It would therefore be a good opportunity to win a trophy? However, while we are still in with a chance in these two competitions and have the injuries we have, I suspect Rafa will take the opportunity to rest key players and not worry, albeit privately, too much about the outcome.
The sides? I suspect Torres who was not fully fit on Sunday, and was hooked after eighty minutes, will put his feet up in favour of Ngog and or even Voronin. Incidentally did you notice our bench after Ngog scored on Sunday? Joy from everyone except our Andri who looked like he’d just trod on a turd! I expect Ryan Babel, Jay Spearing and hopefully Martin Kelly to feature and one also wonders if Rafa will risk Aquilani, I suspect it’s too early?
Prediction? I might as well throw two dice into the air and if the last Carling Cup meeting with Arsenal (6-3) was anything to go by I might be right. Despite what many will say there will be no pressure. If we do lose then at least fringe players and the youth will gain some valuable experience whilst key players have been rested. 6-4, no 5-3, no 4-4 or haven’t we been there before?