Spyin' Kop: Manchester United match preview

Posted by Armin on January 13, 2005, 03:43:37 PM

After a slightly interrupted holiday season Spyin' Kop returns in time for one of the biggest matches of the year as we play host to our bitter rivals from the other side of the East Lancs.  Anyone who witnessed the poor showing from Rafa's men earlier in the campaign at Old Trafford will be eager to see a more assured display on Saturday.

For most games the imposition of the dreaded 12.30 kick off might threaten the atmosphere but such is the rivalry between these two teams, and supporters for that matter, that there's little chance of spirits being dampened.

Despite a dissapointing response from the major United fan sites we have some interesting answers to this weeks questions from committed United supporter (don't you sometimes wish they were all committed?) Steve, who can regularly be found defending the Old Trafford cause on YNWA.tv.  Our thanks for taking the time to help us with the article and I trust you will restrain yourselves should he put in an appearance pre or post match.

On with the questions for Manchester United:

How is the season going for United?

Up and down, more so than usual. Injuries and suspensions have taken their toll but the manager cant be bereft of blame, a lot of the squad player heís brought in to replace any injured players simply are not up to it. That has been our main downfall and will continue to be so until addressed.

What are your expectations for this season? Have they changed from day one?

Iím always going to be disappointed if we donít win the league, that's to be expected as a fan of Manchester United, especially in recent times. That seems an unlikely proposition but I cling to hope. Anything below 3rd is disastrous, however.

Who do you think is your most important player(s)?

Van Nistelrooy usually. On Saturday it will be Keane.

Your worst player(s)?

David Bellion. A man who can trap a ball further than I can kick it. Djemba-Djemba is equally as helpless.

What do you expect from your visit to Anfield? How do you rate the
atmosphere, pies, friendly welcome etc?

Well Iím not sure about the friendly welcome! Getting across Stanley Park alive is usually a good start! Anfield is like most other Premiership grounds in that it can be deadly silent, but no doubt the volume will be turned up on Saturday.

Any young up and coming players in the squad that we might not know about?

David Jones is a very good player, one of quite a few we have in the youth academy.

Do you have a particular memory of any previous meeting between us?

Yes, more recently I was there when Forlan netted two and Barthez made one of the most amazing saves Iíve ever seen!. I have a few other slightly less memorable moments, I wont be going into those!

How much longer do you anticipate Fergie being at the reins and do you
think he's still the right man for the job?

I think Ferguson will be there for a minimum of 2 years. I still think there is no better man for the job, heís made some errors in the transfer market but he has a clear plan for the future and I entirely support it.

What sort of line-up will Fergie put out against us?

4-3-3. Smith is a certainty to start in such a highly competitive game, Rooney and Ronaldo either side of him with Keane sitting in front of the back four to [hopefully] nullify Gerrard in and around the penalty area.

Do you have a favourite/best chant(s) and perhaps any that require an

ĎThe Red Flagí is a great song when sung in itís entirety, instead of just the chorus.

Where do you expect Utd and Liverpool to finish in the Premier League?

United 3rd and Liverpool 4th.

Which Liverpool player will you fear the most?

Gerrard without doubt, a tremendous player. Baros also looks revived under Benitez and is also going to be constant threat.

And your feelings on the new 'Spanish flavour' Liverpool. Rafa Benitez himself and our new recruits?

Itís interesting. Benitez has seemingly replaced English grit and mental determination with superior Spanish technical ability. It makes Liverpool a lot prettier on the eye than under Houllier, but in my opinion less physical and aggressive; the Liverpool side that came to Old Trafford this season was one of the most spineless Iíve ever seen, whether it will be different this time, I donít know. One thing I think Benitez had to do was rid of Houllierís dead wood, he has done that, but has arguably replaced it with his own dead wood: Nunez looks pretty non-descript upon first impression, Garcia a bit of a maverick and Josemi hapless! That would be the key concern if I were a Liverpool fan. Alonso is an excellent player though, IĎm sure Morientes will prove good business too.

Care to predict the score? Go on!

Iím risking the cruel finger of fate, butÖIĎll say 2-1 United.

Thanks again to Steve for his answers.

© RAWK 2005

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