Posts Tagged ‘Kenny Dalglish’

It was a keenly contested one. In fact, I was at the edge of my seat when the players lined up to shake each other’s hand. The Handshake Showdown last night was just in-fucking-sane.

The football however was definitely a sweet moment for Manchester United, for no other reason than the fact that they go top even if it is only for twenty four hours or so. You can’t really do much about your opponents, you can only win your games and hope for the best.

It is for this reason that the Devils will be happy with their performance, not because they defeated a Liverpool team that contained a member of the Nazi Party. Of course, the media will have you believe otherwise.

This bit however will only focus on the football that was played, the rest being nothing more than a distraction as far as I’m concerned.

1) The first half was very ordinary, nothing remotely exciting happened. United held the lion’s share of possession throughout the match, but especially so in the first half. Liverpool didn’t really have an attempt at goal barring that Glen Johnson opportunity, if I remember correctly.

2) Here’s the customary “Paul Scholes is so fucking good” sentence. Who would think that Paul Scholes hasn’t played between May and January? I certainly wouldn’t. He and Michael Carrick combined really well in the middle of the park. They passed really well and switched the play from left to right really quickly, feeding Valencia and Rafael on the right who gave Luis Enrique a forgettable match for sure.

However, as good as United’s midfield was, Liverpool’s was (there’s really no other way to say this) shit. Henderson, Spearing and Gerrard were abysmal and gave all the time and space in the world for Carrick and Scholes to play the ball around.
I was a little disappointed with Giggs though, I thought he had a fairly average game then again he’s been very consistent this season, so he’s allowed one off game now and then.

3) Danny Welbeck has been improving with every game this season. He’s added a lot of new things to his game – he drifts out wide, he makes runs in behind the defender, he holds the ball up really well and therefore connects play between midfield and attack. The last reason is probably why he’s being picked ahead of Hernandez consistently.

Welbeck also plays those quick one-two’s with Rooney and both of them have a good partnership going.

4) Wayne Rooney takes his tally to 21 this season, if I’m not mistaken. His brace was definitely well taken, but he should’ve perhaps had a hat trick to his name after Scholes’ dummy saw him get the ball in the penalty area, but toe poke well wide. It was a good quick two goals, killing off any bit of Liverpool enthusiasm.

5) For all those Liverpool fans that are expecting me to say something about the match from a Red Mersey perspective, let me tell you that there isn’t much to say. Liverpool was ordinary throughout the match except when Suarez got that poacher’s goal.

6) That goal was Suarez’s second most telling contribution to the game (the first being the handshake). Naturally, he’ll be remembered for the handshake and not the goal.

The defending from United was piss poor. What was Rio Ferdinand doing? Last week against Chelsea, he should’ve maybe been tighter to David Luiz when he scored and this time he just watches as the ball hits him and falls to Suarez.

Naturally, injuries have ravaged United’s central defensive pairing, but I think they have missed Vidic the most. They have a whole bunch of young talented defenders, but Vidic just makes your team so much more impenetrable.

A word of praise for Jonny Evans who looks like he’s getting his mojo back. He definitely looked a more capable defender than Rio Ferdinand yesterday.

7) After the goal, Liverpool started to push players up and De Gea was called upon to make a good save from Glen Johnson. The last ten minutes was the only period in which Liverpool looked like they were participating in a competitive football match. I’m sure the supporters were glad they finally woke up.

8) You’d have to wonder how long Liverpool are going to stick with Dalglish. This was a rotten performance by Liverpool, if you’re a fan I’m sure. There was no desire to win it. It looked like a stroll in the park for United, although the score line doesn’t really suggest that. The desire and passion definitely does come from the manager and if this is the kind of desire and passion they might as well have stuck with Rafa Benitez, who would (if nothing else) lit a fire in them and sent them out for a game against United. You’d have thought Kenny would know all about this fixture, but well, you saw it yourself.

A word on a few other Saturday fixtures

 

1) How long before Andre Villas Boas gets the sack? Yesterday the fan’s too got on his back with chants of “You’re getting sacked in the morning” and “You don’t know what you’re doing”.

Even Sir Alex has been at the receiving end of such chants at the beginning of his United career, but he had a far more boss in Martin Edwards unlike AVB who has Abramovich.

A 2-0 defeat at Everton a week after they squandered a 3-0 lead against United isn’t exactly the best for Chelsea.

In the fight for that fourth Champions League spot, Arsenal were the biggest gainers after Chelsea and Newcastle suffered defeats.

2) Swansea were beaten for only the second time at home this season by Norwich. That’s an incredible stat. Any team that’s played at the Liberty Stadium will tell you how hard it is. So cheers to Norwich who are now 8th in the Premier League.

And there’s La Liga

 

Where Barcelona managed to lose to Osasuna giving Real Madrid the chance to open up a ten point lead at the top of the table if they win tonight.

Transfer records went tumbling on deadline day yesterday. I expected a lot of activity but the amount of money that was thrown around really surprised me. January transfer window is usually full of speculation but very little transfer activity takes place. Mid-Season transfer are considered to be risky and unless there is an emergency clubs usually stay away from buying. Even players like Nemanja Vidic have struggled to make an impact immediately after coming in during the January transfer window.

The most high profile transfer was that Fernando Torres to Chelsea.The Blues also signed David Luiz from Benfica. The Luiz transfer had been going on and off the entire window, but I think it was a necessity for the Londoners to sign a Center Back given their lack of cover in the area. Chelsea fans would now love to see the back of Paulo Ferreira.

Once auditioned for a role as Side Show Bob.

Considering Liverpool’s position at the moment, I expected Torres to leave Liverpool soon. But I never expected him to hand in a transfer request 3 days before the window shuts. Torres has not been great this season but then again their whole team is struggling badly. The arrival of Dalglish has made a difference but it seems it wasn’t enough for Torres. One can’t blame Torres for wanting to leave but the manner in which he has left would have certainly angered the Liverpool supporters. A £50million offer was too good to refuse as far as Liverpool were concerned (and we privately agree, £50million for a player who is crocked so often?).

LFC fans surely feel let down by a man they called a Club Legend

Let us get down to the most mind boggling transfer in the history of transfers – Andy Carroll. I think he has been excellent this season. But £35millon?? £35millon for a player who has only 41 appearances in the league has 14 goals! This is the 8TH most expensive transfer in football – more expensive than World Cup winning David Villa. Andy Carroll (and every other English player still active in the world) has no idea what a World Cup medal looks like. Andy Carroll – much like his most expensive English brethren also suffers from disciplinary issues off the pitch. We clearly see him following in the path of Rooney, Ferdinand and Gerrard in that sense.

If he's worth 35 million, how much is Ronaldo or Messi worth?

This clearly is a panic buy from Liverpool. The Merseysiders are seventh in the league. Regardless of who they sign (barring maybe Messi) they are not going to get into the Champions League. Why spend so heavily in the January window when you have to pay twice the price?  Also Dalglish doesn’t seem like the kind of manager who would approve this kind of transfer which makes you wonder how much say he has over transfers.

Final Verdict regarding these two transfers- I have a feeling Torres won’t make that big an impact at Chelsea like many think he will. I think Chelsea needed a creative midfielder more than a striker. It will be interesting to see where he plays, probably Anelka will be dropped. He will score goals but I doubt he will be able to justify the £50million Chelsea has paid for him. He will not be available for the Sunderland game which means he could make his debut against Liverpool! It will be a real heated game.

Darrent Bent went to Aston Villa for £24million.So Carroll who is younger should fetch more than that. Only if you apply that kind of logic will this transfer make sense. This is a lot of pressure on a young player. After all he is only 22.He could crumble under the weight of expectation. But if keeps his head Liverpool have a good player in hand. But like Torres, I think he will struggle to justify the £35millon transfer fee.

In one corner of Manchester, some people are really happy that some other club is paying ridiculous prices for players who aren’t quite up there. City have been surprisingly pretty quiet throughout this transfer window, splashing £27 million pounds in the direction of Edin Dzeko, which looking at all the other transfers in this window seems like a well thought out, measured and financially prudent move.

 

Transfer Round-up

Tottenham went on a rampage in the last 3 days bidding over 30 million for nearly  every single striker playing in La Liga and got rejected by all.Harry Redknapp is not too happy about it. Peter Crouch was video taped doing The Robot outside White Hart Lane.

Denilson last night shocked the football world and Arsenal supporters by demanding a move away from Arsenal.He later on changed his mind after the best bid he received was  £5.99 from Crawley town! Crawley then withdrew the bid thinking it was over priced.

Rangers have signed Kyles Bartley and El-Hadji Diouf on loan. Glad to see Diouf leave the premier league. Fulham have signed Eidur Gudjohnsen on loan and Aston Villa have secured Michael Bradley on loan till the end of the season. Paul Konchesky joined Nottingham Forrest on loan. Daniel Sturridge moved to Bolton on loan.

Seria A

Lot of transfer has taken place in Seria A.The best signing has to be that of Antonio Cassano by AC Milan. Milan have also signed Emanuelson from Ajax, Van bommel and Nicola Legrottaglie from Juventus.

Inter Milan made 2 excellent signings in the January window.They have signed Pazzini from Sampdoria and Andrea Ranocchia from Genoa.This will certainly help their squad.

La Liga

No major news in La Liga. Adebayor of course moved to Real Madrid on loan. Also don’t forget that Ibrahim Affelay’s transfer from PSV to Barcelona went through during this transfer window.