Man Utd, Liverpool and the defence of Adebayor


Owen late show steals points for United

Any away fans at Old Trafford over the last 20 years would have had sympathy for Mark Hughes this weekend.

The former United striker saw his unfancied City wide comeback three times yesterday – only to lose out to a 95th minute strike from Michael Owen.

Pundits have pointed to the fact that the referee was in his rights to add an additional two minutes to the allotted four minutes – due the Craig Bellamy’s dramatic equaliser and the introduction of Michael Carrick during injury time.

But over the years United definitely seem to have the rub of the injury time green securing late, late wins against QPR, Wimbledon and Sheffield Wednesday in the last two decades.

Whether ‘Fergie-time’ exists or whether the Red Devils have a knack of securing late victories is unclear but we’ve all seen enough to it is not purely coincidence.

Liverpool show frailties in West Ham win

While Liverpool also took all three points at Upton Park this weekend manager Rafa Benitez must be concerned over his side’s defence.

The bedrock of Liverpool’s relative success has been built on a sturdy defence but it seems the Reds will not be able to rely on their rearguard action at least for the time being.

While Jamie Carragher has always lacked pace and has been prone to a mistake he has been worse than usual of late. And the jury is still out on Martin Skrtel.

Liverpool need to get Daniel Agger back quickly or cross their fingers until January and dip into the transfer market.

Adebayor criticism masks appalling fan behaviour

No-one could dispute that Emmanuel Adebaoy’s stamp on Robin Van Persie recently was disgraceful.

But over the last week he has been roundly criticised for running the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans after his recent goal at the Ctty of Manchester Stadium.

However, very little has been said about the Arsenal fans.

While his actions were not wise fans should not be excused for the aggressive reactions.

There was no need, and no point, in surging forward to remonstrate with the Togolese – especially after the abuse they gave to him all game.

Advertisements

Is it Alonso? Or lack of depth?

Liverpool’s indifferent start to the season has had pundits waxing lyrical about the departure of Xabi Alonso.

Alonso performances last season in a playmaker role – with Javier Mascherano playing the holding role and Steven Gerrard roaming just behind Fernando Torres – were a joy to behold.

But it is easy to forget that Liverpool fell short of the title last season because of the lack of depth in their squad.

The Reds fell short after dropping too many points at Anfield – largely because injuries robbed them of their best players at crucial times.

Rafa Benitez did his utmost to raise funds by selling Alonso at the beginning of last season, even offering him to Arsenal for £12m, before realising how needed he was.

And at the beginning of this season, after Real Madrid had registered their interest, Benitez did his best to convince him to stay.

It is all too convenient now to blame Liverpool’s poor start to Alonso’s departure, there is no doubt that he will be missed, but pinning the form of the team on this is papering over the cracks.

When players such as Lucas, Nabir El Zhar and Andriy Voronin are close to the Liverpool first team there is an underlying problem at the club.

And until that problem is addressed that they will never win the title – with or without Xabi Alonso.