Date: 24th September 2012 at 2:31pm
Written by:

Hi folks, again apologies for not covering last couple of games they do clash with my own footballing schedule.

Anyway on to the first blockbuster of the season and it did not disappoint!

Full of incident, intrigue and a rather bizarre subplot involving the FM regen Jonjo Shelvey attempting to bring down the mighty Sir Alex. Hilarious as that incident was, lets not forget that the real reason why the game was so highly charged was that it was an occassion to remember the 96 lives that were lost on that fateful day of the Hillsborough disaster.

Both clubs tried their best to ensure that any chanting, or feuds between players were put to rest and whilst the Shelvey incident left a bitter taste in the mouth on the whole, both teams behaved accordingly even if the result of the game failed to provide the romantic finish Liverpool FC deserved.

Here are my thoughts on the game:

1. Dire, Turgid , Lifeless United midfield

To be perfectly honest, I’m sick to death about writing about the woes of United’s midfield. There seems to be no concerted effort by the managerial/coaching staff to rectify or even acknowledge this issue. Instead it seems to be a policy of when in doubt, use Scholes and its getting very very tiresome.

The use of the perenially static, stiff Carrick alongside the ageing Gigg’s in the hostile atmosphere of Anfield was always going to spell disaster and so it proved. Liverpool played United off the pitch in the first half and it was the sending off which changed the entire complexion of the game. We desperately need to sign players for the midfield because we are worlds away from the likes of Barcelona in the ball retention stakes.

2. Mistreatment of Nani… deification of Valencia

This has been gnawing at me for a while too. Nani is the more talented player, he’s capable of greatness, he can rip apart top teams, he’s proven this against Barcelona in friendlies, he’s been quality in international competitions and lets not forget what he done to Bayern.

I’m yet to see Valencia produce the same level of fluidity and panache in top games. He’s very predictable and Liverpool had him on lock for the first half, he negatively affects the teams ability to maintain possession because he can’t come off the flank and join in.

There were several times in the game where he was dribbling backwards and due to his one footedness, he was unable to play a simple left footed reverse pass and turn defence into attack, instead he’d get herded into a cul de sac, kick it out and give liverpool possession in our half.

Nani needs to be shown faith, love and respect. We have to perserve with him!

3. Invisible RVP

There has been criticisms in some circles about RVP’s invisibility in games and some have even said that Kagawa is a luxury player.

Nothing could be further than the truth!

To get the best out of these players, we need to play it into their feet and win the ball high up the pitch. Their lack of involvement stems from our problems with the midfield, heck if Messi had to play in front of the Carrick and Giggs pairing yesterday, he too would’ve been invisible. Good players need constant ball supply to make things happen!

That said what a penalty under extreme pressure! We’d missed our last three, it was against Liverpool and facing Reina, the ultimate penalty stopping specialist. It was hit hard and with conviction, and despite Pepe getting his hand to it RVP did not look like a man who was expeting to be denied.

4. Solid Lindegaard

Good performance by the Dane, that stop to prevent Suarez’s left footer was excellent and his general handling and distribution was alot better than recent games. I think its good for Fergie to take the heat off DDG from time to time and let him develop at his own pace. If anyones a master at bringing young stars through its Fergie and selecting Lindegaard was a good selection choice.

5. Opposition One2Watch – Suso

Alot has been made of Raheem Sterling and yes whilst I’ve watched him in the academy set up over the years and been impressed, the one who I’ve really enjoyed keeping an eye on is Suso. He’s Messi-esque in style and stature and under Rogders, he is going to become a top talent and influental in the coming months.

He can read the game game, pass at the right time, a cliched but cultured left foot and a gorgeous body shift which leaves players for dead. I really hope he can make an impact at Anfield as he’s good to watch and an exciting addition to this Liverpool team.


A dire performance by United, a flukey win which was utterly undeserved and I feel for Liverpool fans and especially Gerrard who was tremendous. I’ve had doubts about Stevie’s ability to fit into the Rodgers philosophy of play, but yesterday he was restrained but typically swashbuckling in equal measure. He picked and choosed his moments to hit raking passes well and his goal was superbly taken.

As for the Red Devils, we need to up our game in a big way.. I just hope we’re still pushing on all fronts come January and we sign a top tier midfield talent to provide Kagawa with better support.

Written by Raees (follow me @


15 responses to “5 Things I Noticed: Liverpool Vs Manchester United”

  1. Gray says:

    hi, im a liverpool fan who came here from a link site. great article, i dont no as much about united as you do, but for the last season or two i’ve been wondering who you guys would sign to sort the midfield, and im still waiting.

    what are your opinions on your owners and the funding available? i no you signed some high profile players in the summer, i just wonder if you felt you needed one more? or if the wrong positions where filled?

    i remain cautious about american owners, obviously our history with them is pretty woeful, none of them seem to have done much compared to some of the other rich foreign owners. i still cant beleive city and chelsea are now “big clubs”.

    anyway im rambling sorry, only really wanted to say thanks and respect to all those who were so well behaved at anfield, sounds like a few idiots on both sides(i 100% wish all our fans had behaved like the positive majority), but on the whole a fantastic show of class from the united fans.


    • Rae M says:

      JFT96 indeed.

      First of all I’d just like to say, please perservere with Rodgers despite results not coming his way. He is perhaps in my opinion one of the if not the most forward thinking english coach in football at the moment and if anyone can help change the culture of anti-possession in English football its him.

      I felt we should’ve signed Dembele and Modric, utilising them behind Kagawa. They were the ideal players to resolve our issues… in fact even players like Mulumbu at West Brom give you something in that midfield position that Carrick doesn’t, i.e. the ability to shield the ball under pressure, turn your man and turn defence into attack.

  2. timbo says:

    Nice post.

    Yeah, Liverpool were the better team on the day, but one only had to look at the team sheet prior to kickoff to realize we were in for a shellacking in midfield.

    When is Fergie going to come to terms with the fact that Giggs simply does not have the qualities to play well in midfield on a consistent basis? He put in one decent performance against Chelsea a couple of seasons ago, and Fergie seems to think that by setting such a benchmark Giggs can repeat it at will. He can’t, especially for a player who runs neck and neck with Rooney for being the team wastrel regarding possession.

    As for Carrick? He is United’s equivalent of a flat track bully, and showed yet again yesterday how often he goes missing in important games.

    It beggars belief that United backed out of buying Hazard for financial reasons when they ended up spending considerably more on the duel acquisitions of Van Persie and Kagawa. Hazard is the kind of player the team needed, and the way he has lit up Chelsea shows just what he could have done for United had they picked him up.

    For a manager with a reputation for giving youth its head, it’s surprising how conservative Fergie has become in recent years, to the detriment of the club. Carrick’s credentials as a big game no-name are well established, while Scholes knocking on 40 years of age is hardly a long term prospect or solution to the midfield problems. How can Cleverly turn into the long term solution of the manager isn’t prepared to give him playing time? And why has Anderson disappeared so far off the radar?

    As for Nani, agreed. One of the reasons the wheels fell off towards the end of last season is that United became very predictable in their over-reliance on Valencia, and teams soon realized that shutting him down put a severe dampener on a United team that has very few alternatives in attack, particularly given how utterly bereft of creativity and drive the team has through the middle of the pitch. Nani may be less consistent, but he is far more of a threat when played on his favored right side of the pitch, either through the variety he offers up though his kicking game, or through his superb dribbling skills – he’s one of the very few players at United with the ability to actually slice through a defense with the ball at his feet. I’d take the negatives to his play any day when one takes into account how much more he offers up in attack and I’d take him any day over Valencia, who’s extremely one dimensional.

  3. Erik says:

    Quote: I feel for Liverpool fans and especially Gerrard who was tremendous.

    What is this absolute gobshite?
    Is this a Man Utd blog? Fucking Hell! And why the fuck do you feel for liverpool-fans? The same people who booed Evras every touch? For me, you are no United-supporter, and from no one, this shit-house-blog is off my newsnow!

    • United says:

      Because yesterdays match was all about respect #JFT96

      • Erik says:

        I hate to remind you this, but our club has absolutely nothing to do with #JFT96, whatsoever! You would take a defeat at anfield because you feel for Gerrard? Haha! Go take a piss! Its sad to see someone who has so good knowledge about football toss it away with their personal opinions!

    • Rae M says:

      There is more to life than football and believe me that comes froma guy who works in football, heck I’ve put my law career on hold to help bring young players through as a coach…

      Liverpool deserved to win based on their performance and if you can’t see that than you’re a biased fan who I’d rather doesn’t take the time to read my articles and go find rosy eyed blogs where alls good in United land.

      • Erik says:

        It absolutely baffles me that this was your response! I didnt say that the result was unfair, my reaction came on this:

        “I feel for Liverpool fans and especially Gerrard who was tremendous”

        Where I wrote this:

        “You would take a defeat at anfield because you feel for Gerrard?”

        So you attended law school and had this evidence right in front of your face the whole time? You Sir just shat all over your leg!

        • Rae M says:

          I would take a defeat rather than enjoy a victory like that, yes… because I know in the long run, when you keep grinding out victories, Fergie feel’s his team selection is vindicated and it hurts us in the long run.

          Losing a game like yesterday badly, would’ve given Fergie a kick up the backside re the midfield, instead we’ll just overlook all the issues the game presented.

  4. Davina says:

    Good article,from a Liverpool supporter. Yes we where the better team but you got the points and as they say points make prises. Well done United thanks to those who showed their respects.

  5. noel says:

    great article, from a lfc fan.
    a very humble, unbiased opinion will receive nothing but respect from respectful people.
    I’d say we were the better team but the only important stat is the scoreline
    I’ amazed at how man utd do it sometimes, I really am!
    But props where props are due. we will be back

  6. Brett Taylor says:

    I have to agree with the assessment of our midfield, its awful. Our possession football doesn’t exist, we lose the ball far too cheaply. Carrick is functional (he was particularly poor yesterday). We need a dominant player who controls the tempo, City have Toure, wait till he hits top form, they will be unbeatable. I don’t agree on the Nani analysis, I believe him to be a show pony who again is guilty of losing possession cheaply in key areas.

    • Rae M says:

      Nani was poor yesterday, but he’s not in the right frame of mind and he needs to be given confidence. I would’ve given him the number 7 and told him to take the mantle as the teams most creative performer… he has it in him.

      For me Valencia is too functional and when you have him, Scholes, Carrick and Giggs in the midfield.. we’re too static and predictable.

  7. chrisaus88 says:

    Ok. So Pogba is getting a run at Juventus. Cleverlel & Powell both look better than Pogba when they play so why not play them? As for the holding midfielders, people are split but i really think Jones is a great defensive midfielder & Fletcher is too. I think we should be looking to play Rooney, Van Persie & Valencia in the same lineup. Let Cheech & Welbeck take the back seat for just a little while.

    Also, too the writer, There is no way in hell Nani is as good as Valencia!!

  8. kieran says:

    rae m

    just off the top of my head I can recall several thrashings last season…city (x2), bilbao (x2), basel, newcastle…surely they would have given fergie the kick up the backside that he needed regardingmidfield weaknesses???

    nani’s head is not in the right place at the moment, for whatever reason. He’s only playing at the moment because young and rooney are injured