Sunday, 1 March 2009

My hats off to United for winning the Carling cup.

Manchester United's journey to the second trophy of a possible quintuple was subject to delay but they could not be prevented from reaching their destination. Tottenham Hotspur looked exhausted when it came to the penalties shoot-out, even if Jamie O'Hara, seeing his attempt saved by Ben Foster, and David Bentley, missing the target, were both substitutes.
The victors did not waver, with Anderson, a substitute, converting the fourth United kick to win the Carling Cup.

What's next for United I guess its the league and I have to ask myself why and where did Liverpool's title challenge fall apart, how soon an eight-point lead over Manchester United turned into a seven-point deficit.?
After a disastrous run of results, the Reds' Premier League aspirations are in tatters but where does the buck stop?
I think Liverpool's problem is that they don't have a big enough squad to compete with Manchester United. Over the course of a season, when Rafa rotates players who are either tired or injured, the lack of depth becomes obvious. Lucas, Babel, El Zhar and Ngog might one day be good players but at the moment they look out of their league, they are too green.
In the first half of the season, Rafa kept the same team and they won games. Now he is rotating every game and they are losing or drawing.
Relying on Torres to be fit all the time is a massive gamble and Kuyt is not a proven goalscorer, nor are the others. You need two strikers and Crouch always provided that back up goal threat which they have missed this season.
The spine for Liverpool is there but Rafa needs more quality up front, on the right wing and especially in the fullback positions. These are the missing ingredients. This will push the average starting players to the bench. Then you have a squad that can seriously mount a challenge and go the distance.
I also hope the Americans will sell up. The boardroom nonsense is not healthy and is an unwelcome distraction. Either they want Rafa to manage or not, don't drag the club, players and supporters through this.
Hopefully, now that the pressure is off, Liverpool can start playing winning football and try to recapture second spot, which is going to be difficult because Chelsea are obviously up for it and now chasing United.
My only concern for United will be the build up of fixtures the more success you have the greater the risk becomes and at the end you may finish up with nothing.

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