So, up for the cup and on a Friday night. When was the last time we played in the FA Cup on a Friday? I must have been when we thrashed Newcastle 4-0 in the 1980’s when they had Keegan and Terry McDermott?
I think we’re playing tonight because Everton are in action tomorrow and there’s the small matter of the Mancs Derby the following day which means we all need to be kept part either that or the police can’t cope?
In fact this coming week will act as a nice distraction from the Premiership. We’ve Oldham tonight and then Manchester City in the Carling Cup semi final the following Wednesday. Despite Tuesday’s defeat I still feel we can be confident about playing City, especially with the second leg at Anfield and, with all due respect, we don’t deserve to be in any Cup competition if we don’t beat Oldham tonight – there I’ve said which means it will be the first giant killing. I hope not it is some time since we had a cup domestic cup run so let’s go for it.
Of course if we go back to last year’s third round tie we found ourselves at Old Trafford which was memorable not for the 1-0 defeat we suffered or Steven Gerrard’s sending off but for Kenny’s first game as returning manager. I still remember the feeling I got when I saw Kenny trudge out in his long Adidas coat and assume the usual standing position by the dug out. It was like it was twenty years ago it made we feel young again, for a second or so anyway!
No doubt Kenny won’t really want to lend too much to looking back over his first year. He would probably prefer to continue the oft quoted “work in progress”. However, I’m not Kenny so on the whole I’d give his first year in charge a thumbs up. There have been good and bad times but even when there have downs there have been positives to take and enough to suggest that we win continue to improve. For me the most important thing is that generally we are good to watch now. We are playing positive football it’s not always beautiful but it certainly isn’t ugly and that’s what it’s all about really… anyway enough, I can’t begin to cover all this in one paragraph.
No doubt Oldham would love to put a dent in our progress and who would 100% rule this our given the number of draws we’ve had at home recently? Actually a replay might not be a bad thing as it’s one more game chalked off Suarez’s ban and a non Premiership one at that! However, I’ve no doubt that we will want to get his over and done with as soon as possible?
Team wise and I wonder if Kenny will take the opportunity to rest some players with Wednesday in mind, presumably they could do with it after the busy holiday schedule? So perhaps we will see the likes of Carragher and Kelly drafted in? Both have been patiently sitting on the bench recently and Carragher in particular must find that strange after all those years and must be raring to go? Further up the field I wonder if Jonjo Shelvey will start. I suspect we will persevere with Andy Carroll in the hope that he sparks. Presumably, with due respect to Oldham, this game would give him a good opportunity to do so?
Prediction? I has to be a Reds win and I take it to be reasonably problem free with 3-1 scoreline and then hopefully someone else like Oldham in the next round!