A few months ago, I wrote after the game at Anfield and I described Liverpool as being “Mourinho’d” such was that we shut them out and frustrated them, just as Mourinho has done in the past. That was all well and good at the time, especially when you considering the poor form we were in and the fact that we were away from home.
Coming into last weekend’s game, my expectations were entirely different. Considering the winning run we’ve been on, the poor games that Liverpool have had recently and the fact that we were at home, I was expecting nothing but a win. I was very disappointed with how things unfolded. It was the most disappointing game since the City game, which was admittedly worse.
The whole team performance was bad with many individual mistakes, a few golden opportunities missed and no real rhythm or urgency to the game. Speaking of individual mistakes, Pogba was as guilty as anyone. For their penalty, he made himself look a dummy. You really have to see it again to appreciate how bad it is.
All footballers have bad games and this was Pogba’s worst in a United shirt. He’s had a few poor performances but his showing against Liverpool was by far the worst. It wasn’t just the penalty he gave away either. Prior to that, he was one on one with the goalkeeper and he had a very tame effort which he put well wide with very little power.
Of course there was the penalty, then there was another occasion where he was dilly daddling on the ball in our own half, lost the ball and Liverpool nearly scored. I’ve noticed that he has a habit of holding on to the ball in midfield more than necessary. Many times, he will keep the ball for 4 or 5 seconds before moving it forward and you’re left thinking that the ball could’ve been moved on in 2 or 3 seconds instead.
More annoyingly than that though, he seems to have some kind of allergy to doing the simple thing. When he picks the ball up in midfield, he wants to dribble someone. He wants to out muscle someone. He wants to do a step over. He doesn’t want to just pass and move. If he is to become a player the justifies the tag of world’s most expensive player, he needs to learn when to hold the ball, when to dribble and when to move it quickly.
Garbage Again At Stoke – I don’t know if the stereotypical view of “cold Tuesday at Stoke” plays on the players’ minds because we never do well their. Rooney scoring the fabulous equaliser made the headlines for obvious reasons, but it’s another performance that I was very disappointed with.
Some fans would say that I’m insane. They’d point to the amount of chances we created and the lack of chances that Stoke created. I would counter that by saying that this is not a one off. We now have the most draws in the Premier League and it’s because of the team consistently missing easy chances. We’ve seen it time and time again this season.
Looking To The Future – A Day At Wembley? – Last night, Liverpool managed to have another dreadful game and get themselves knocked out of the League Cup, putting Southampton in the final. Unless there’s a real debacle tonight, we will be there too seen as how we have a 2-0 advantage over Hull moving into tonight’s game.
Let’s have it right, the League Cup is a “Mikey Mouse” cup but it’s a cup nonetheless. A remember growing up, Fergie never used to field a strong team and we never went very far in it, but his attitude seemed to change in his last 10 years and we had numerous final appearances.
Now I’m not much of a gambler, but if we go through tonight, which I fully expect us to, I will place a small bet on us winning the cup. I did this last year in FA cup final and I find it adds that extra dimension of excitement and tension to the game. I will be sure to post about it when the time’s right. I also intend on doing a piece dedicated to our record goal scorer, Wayne Rooney. I touched on it higher up, but the achievement is deserving of its own piece, hopefully with a few YouTube videos showing every goals he’s scored which nobody seems to have uploaded yet.