Spyin' Kop - Man Utd v Liverpool - 13th Jan 2013, 1.30pm

Posted by royhendo on January 7, 2013, 03:38:47 PM

Manchester United v Liverpool

v



Sunday 13th January, 1.30pm



Here we go then. Manchester United away. As one of our respondents almost says below, the Toilet will get a hell of a pasting... or will it? We asked our new found friends at United We Stand for their thoughts ahead of this weekend's game, and at this point, RAWK would like to thank Messrs Armstrong and Shaw - two of our respondents earlier this season - for their help getting this organised. (They basically did it for us - they're not all bad these Mancs eh?)

To the questions...


Q1. The first half of the season's gone well for you, eh? Is it all down to Van Persie? Or is it more complicated than that?
 
Stephen Armstrong   
Itís down to Mr. Ferguson. As it always has been. Van Persie is world class and he has been a fabulous acquisition. United are bringing the best out of him. Not the other way round. It is a Cantona-esque signing without a doubt and like Eric; he knows full well already how lucky he is to be at this club, with these players and with this manager. Heís as good as said that every time heís been interviewed post-game. He was like a kid in a sweet shop after Wigan and he has endeared himself already by his appreciation of us as fans. Clubs like ours and yours expect players to respect us and when they do they get it back in bundles. Outside of him, Evans and Carrick have been fabulous and Patrice Evra is starting to look like his old self again.

Anthony Shaw
It did last season domestically; you donít win trophies in January though and Iím sure Ferguson will remind the players of that. Van Persieís presence has made a big difference; you can tell the other players are confident that we can score in every game now against any defence and as a result I have noticed more fight by other players in key matches as a reaction. We have to tighten up defensively though, our goalkeepers are not perfect but do seem to be amongst the busiest in the division. To go further in Europe we will need to be able to deal with spells of opposition pressure better than we are doing.

Aaron Buckley
The first half of the season has gone well. The addition of van Persie has added another dimension to our play in the last third Ė his movement, touch and set-piece delivery means we pose threats where previously we have been quite easy to nullify. Given that our defence has leaked goals for fun and the midfield does not appear strong it could be said that a large proportion of our seven-point lead is down to van Persie.

Ben Holt
I think the teams overall style of play has changed this season, we are far more attacking than last season (especially in the big games) We have a more gung ho attitude this year and our teams have been set out basically saying "we don't care how many you score we will score more" which has been terrific and terrifying to watch. Our full backs are basically wingers, our wingers have moved further up playing near enough as forwards, with Rooney dropping deeper linking the midfield to the attack. Also I think Michael Carrick has been sensational this season, it shows in game he does not play that our attacking football and retention of the ball suffers.

John Ashton
But I think the way last season turned out is an equally big factor. Losing an 8 point lead in the title race, to them of all people, coupled with going out in the group stages of a piss weak Champions league group has cetainly added extra focus this season.

 

Q2. How have your other additions looked so far? Kagawa, for example. He's not been used that much, has he? Is there anyone you hope you can add during January? Or are you happy as things stand? Are you angry about this kid Spurs have nicked from you?
 
Stephen Armstrong   
Kagawa is class without doubt. He will take some time to adapt to the Premier League. He needs to eat something soon though. Looks a little light to me and heís now in a very physical league. He got little change from the West Ham game but at the time of writing heís made just 11 appearances so it remains very early days. Nick Powell was an odd signing for me. I hope it works. Always good for the romantics to see a lower league player make it to the big time. I just canít see a route through for him. Heíll probably go somewhere on loan and hopefully get some game time and then with a bit of luck heíll break his way in to the side and secure himself a place for a long time.

Anthony Shaw
Kagawa has had injury problems and hasnít had a run of games yet; he has looked very good in short bursts but has gone missing in a few games away from home. I said to you in September that it would be a year before we see the best of him, solely because of the type of player he is. I stick by that judgement.

I never expect us to add any first teamers in January.

As for Fryers, I suppose Ferguson canít moan after our dealings with Petrucci, MACHEDA and Pogba. Iíve seen him play but not enough to pass judgement on his potential; he had a few good games and a bad one against Palace. I am certain the lad will be worse off without Ferguson as his manager though, time will tell if leaving for Spurs was worth an extra 10 grand a week for him now.

Aaron Buckley
Weíve not seen much of Kagawa. He came from Dortmund with rave reviews and some of the best statistics in Europe. He played as a number 10 in Germany and we already have one of these in Wayne Rooney. I feel that Kagawa is a player we did not really need but maybe the plan is to ship Rooney out. Powell is obviously a talent but we will only see his potential come to fruition in a few years once heís had the experience, Buttner is a card waiting to happen and Henriquez is now at Wigan. Weíll see how he fares there.

John Ashton
Kagawa started very brightly, hes a proper footballer. Never gives the ball away. He got quite a bad hamstring injury though which he's only just come back from. So its certainly not a case of him not being used much, he's played almost every game hes been available for. I think every United fan has very high hopes for him, but we'll probably see the best of him next season and beyond. Nick Powell is another who was brought in and also looks a top prospect. Buttner is a bit of a strange one, cause I'm not sure he's United class. But what he has brought is a bit of competition for Evra who seems to have upped his game again this season. He was rapidly becoming the fans biggest scapegoat after a couple of poor seasons.

I dont think we'll make any signings in January, Ferguson usually waits until the summer. As for Fryers, he was bobbins anyway. I'm not sure what all the fuss was about.

Den
Kagawa has been terrible, I was hoping for an impact like what Andy Carroll made after his 35 million transfer.

 

Q3. Our first half of the season has been up and down, eh? Is it all down to Suarez? Or from your perspective, is it more complicated than that?
 
Stephen Armstrong   
Suarez is an incredibly talented footballer. You will do well to hang on to him. Heís the main man on the pitch at your place and heís aware of that and seems to be enjoying it. I still think that the manager is absolutely critical though. You can draw similarities between Fergusonís early times and those that Brendan Rodgers is having. In his first few months the Hillsborough revelations took over the club and rightly so. The magnitude of what he was now involved in, and in charge of seemed to be sat heavily on him stood on the steps of St Georges Hall. He handled that superbly well I thought .That is behind him now and he seems to have gone about his business with some control and confidence. Heís in charge and that is important. He is also making smart little moves like the red nets, like the club blazer. All those small things that Ferguson did to bring values back. People under estimate stuff like that. If he continues to model himself on old style managers like Ferguson (and why wouldnít you?) your manager will one day decide that the club will be fine without Suarez. I am pretty sure of that.

Anthony Shaw

You missed Lucas when he got injured and I donít think Rodgers can decide on his best midfield for each game at the moment. You are like a cup team and I struggle to get my head round how you can play so well at home to teams like City and United (even though you lost) and then surrender to opposition with a bit of fight away from Anfield so often. The games where you struggle at home to break down poor teams is down to not having any decent wingers.

Aaron Buckley
It was bound to be inconsistent given the new manager youíve got who is obviously hell-bent on playing one particular style. Iím pleased to see that he is giving young English players the chance and Sterling looks a great prospect. Youíve an outside chance of top four but youíll need to invest a few more quid to catch up to us and City.


John Ashton
Ups? When?... Youíve won 5 European cups for christ sake and I think you've just gone above Norwich. Suarez is top class of course, and it is a worry to think how bad you'd be without him. I was sceptical of the praise he got last year. A striker that didnít score many goals couldnít be labelled world class. But this year he's added goals to his game and I can imagine must be a nightmare to play against.

I'm amazed how Liverpool fans seem to have been suckered by the Irish David Brent thats in charge of you. If I hear the word 'philosophy' again.....As though Liverpool have never been able to pass a ball.

Yoozaho
Personal feelings aside Suarez is the only consistently good player on a poor team. Sturridge needs to bed in quickly.

 

Q4. We've seen the fruits of our revamped youth system start to emerge this last few months. Are there any players that have blossomed through the ranks this season for Man Utd?
 
Stephen Armstrong   
I guess established first team squad members maturing is more reflective of Old Trafford this season. Jonny Evans has been superb. Rafael is slightly less mental than he was a season ago and has started to show some consistency in his play. Welbeck needs to kick on soon. As do Chris Smalling and Phil Jones. Big year or two coming up for those three I think. As for the under 21ís and academy lads there is stacks of talent. Absolutely stacks of it. These days however it is rare that one makes it to the very top and I doubt us or any club will ever be able to produce half a youth side that goes on to be the backbone of a side lasting a decade. We really were truly blessed with that side from 92. Hopefully the game will regulate itself so that clubs are forced to bring people through and start them in the first team but as the game continues to prostitute itself further to television that isnít going to happen. People in the stands want to see Paul Scholes making his debut at Port Vale in the cup. People sat with Crisps in one hand and the remote in the other donít.

Anthony Shaw

They were known before this season but Tom Cleverley, Jonny Evans and Rafael have been fantastic so far. The improvement of Cleverley has been the most surprising in my eyes and itís a credit to him that Ferguson now trusts him in centre midfield in our biggest matches.

Scott Wooton and Michael Keane did ok in the Carling Cup games but they have a long way to go.

Aaron Buckley
Theyíve not really had the opportunities. Michael Keane and Scott Wooton performed admirably in the League Cup at Chelsea before tiredness got the better of them, Welbeckís chances have been limited due to van Persieís arrival but he needs to improve his touch and finishing before he can be considered one of the best in England.

Ben Holt
I have been impressed with two young centre half's in Scott Wootton and Will Keane, they performed very well in the Carling Cup and in a couple of Champions League games they have been involved in, I think they have a big future at the club.

 

Q5. Your manager has come out with some beauties this season: Rio and his t-shirt, Van Persie and his near-death experience at Swansea, Pardew and Newcastle and all that stuff. Is he cracking up? Or is it more crafy Machiavellian scheming on his part?
 
Stephen Armstrong   
The fact that people keep falling for him doing it is the only thing that surprises me. Itís about showing fight and passion. United caved in last season. Who to was bad. How was even worse and he isnít going to let that happen again. Look at the games weíve pulled out of the bag this season. Weíve been behind in most, had some very late winners even by our standards in lots of them and ultimately the players know that when they have a 71 year old man roaring at everyone on the touchline, or offering the world out for a fight at press conferences then they know what is expected of them unless they want to go head first through the next transfer window. He will do anything to win and heíll do anything to make his players think the same. He crosses the line a lot and got away with one in a big way after Newcastle. His reasons however are what every passionate football person should respect greatly.

Anthony Shaw

He does everything for a reason; Iíd be very surprised if any Liverpool fan would honestly believe he is cracking up. I donít agree with the comments united fans make, that he says these things to deflect attention away from performances, but I do think he uses interviews to fire his players up from time to time and to let them know he is up for the fight with them. His words are always used to get a reaction from his players or the opposition, since the Van Persie incident at Swansea; United won 3 games in quick succession after Christmas and scored 10 goals.

Aaron Buckley
Fergie cracking up? Donít be silly! He knows what he is doing and heíll go to great lengths to protect Manchester United (Football Club)Ö I think the van Persie Swansea incident was blown out of proportion to mask a poor performance and two points dropped. People forget that Fergie is very supportive of all other managers and I think he felt let down by Pardewís comments. Heís since apologised to Newcastle fans anyway.

Ben Holt
Mr Ferguson is a genius when it comes to deflecting the media attention away from the team, after we do not get the result we wanted or the performance was not up to scratch. He is not cracking up simply protecting his team and the club. He is the master of mind games and knows exactly what to say to each player to get the best out of them.

Den
Yes, he has always been mental. By the way, when did Brendan Rodgers invent the passing game?

 

Q6. Have your midfield reaped the benefits of your new and improved front line this season? You've seemed a little more porous at the back - is that by design? 

Stephen Armstrong   
Iíve no idea whatís gone on to be honest. Ferguson will work that out quicker than I will and he hasnít done as yet so donít ask me. I think the whole club has reaped the benefits of having two exceptional finishers in Van Persie and Hernandez and with Rooney, and to a greater extent Carrick being able to unselfishly do the clog work weíve got away with it a bit. The reality is that defending in the entire league is just shite. As bad as it has ever been so I donít think we are unique in that.

Anthony Shaw
We keep conceding headers at the moment and I think that is because we miss Vidic so much when he isnít available, we donít have anyone thatís even close to being as dominant in the air as him and defending crosses is very important when teams are on piling on pressure. WBA would have equalised on Boxing Day if he hadnít returned to the side, they had a 15 minute spell in the second half where his worth was highlighted.

For that reason I have an unpopular opinion that Iíd let Ferdinand leave at the end of the season and look to a different type of Defender. Chris Smalling, Ferdinand and Evans are all the same type of centre back but Vidic is the only one of his kind in our squad.

Aaron Buckley
I think we are porous all the way through the team. The way Spurs and Fulham ran amok through the middle at Old Trafford was embarrassing. Scholes and Giggs should never be on the same pitch as each other again. Thatís no disrespect to two great servants but we need to bring the likes of Cleverley and Anderson on more quickly. Kagawa needs game time too. At the back weíve not really had a settled line-up due to injuries. And which other top club in Europe rotates goalkeepers?! Thatís nonsense and the sooner that it sorted the better.

 

Q7. What's your preferred side going into the Liverpool game?

Stephen Armstrong   
Just load it with attacking players. We wonít keep a clean sheet so weíll have no choice. I want us to get close to a settled back 5 so De Gea, Evra, Evans, Rio and Rafael. Carrick is first on the sheet for me. Heíll probably pick Scholes whoíll get booked within 10 minutes and then replaced at half time unless heís sent off before then. If not Cleverley will get the chance to show heís come of age. As for the other 4 it sounds as if Rooney wonít make it so I would guess at Van Persie, Hernandez, with Valencia and Young either side.

Anthony Shaw
Presuming Rooney is out - De Gea, Rafael, Evans, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Cleverley, Kagawa, Valencia, Young, Van Persie

Aaron Buckley
De Gea, Rafael, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Kagawa, Hernandez, Van Persie.

Den
Coleslaw

John Ashton
United obv

 

Q8. What do you expect from the visitors? Will Liverpool do any damage at Old Trafford in your view?

Stephen Armstrong   
Youíve bullied a few flat tracks of late so confidence will be higher than it was when we played at Anfield. You have another striking option now which you didnít have so you are without doubt better placed. I think you will score and wouldnít be shocked if you scored more than once. Lesser teams than Liverpool have done this season. Hopefully the front four will take care of digging us out of that. Again.

Anthony Shaw

Im worried about set pieces more than anything, but I am when we are defending against any side. Iíd rather Sturridge played centrally than out wide against us, we want to keep crosses to a minimum and he beat Evra a few times in the 3-3 at Stamford Bridge last season.

Aaron Buckley
Itís up to us to set the tempo early on and take the chances in the first twenty minutes. If you settle down then youíve got the ability up front to cause us problems. I just donít think youíve got the players in depth to beat us. Youíll score, but weíll score more.

Den
The bogs will take a right pasting.

Yoozaho
Simply put, no.

 

Q9. Predictions for the match? 

Stephen Armstrong   
Hopefully the rivalry wonít cross the boundaries it has done in previous meetings off the pitch and stay the right side like it largely did in September. On the pitch I think United have to treat you like a team from 8th in the table and if that is the case then I expect United to win by 2 regardless of what goes in our onion bag.

Anthony Shaw
2-1 to United again

Aaron Buckley
3-2 United.

Ben Holt
3-1 United 

 

Q10. Predictions for the rest of the season?

Stephen Armstrong   
Liverpool will reel in West Brom and Everton if they can start winning at Anfield and finish 6th and I reckon you will be delighted with that. United will torture us but I just cannot see Mr. Ferguson allowing a repeat of last season so without this sounding bold and it isnít meant to be, I think we will end up as Champions. If we donít then it will be our own fault.

Anthony Shaw

I think Liverpool will improve and get some consistency from March onwards but finish sixth. You probably will make the final of the FA Cup again though if the draw keeps you away from any tough away ties.

I donít think our defence is tight enough to make an impact in Europe this year but I think we will just about pip Man City to the league. No more than 3 points in it again.

Aaron Buckley
I think weíll win the League and FA Cup double. We concede too many goals to go far in the Champions League.

Yoozaho
Title number 20 and Champions league number 4. Honestly.

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