Stand Up and Take Notice – The Boys in Red Are Back
The big boys in Red are most certainly back with a bang. Despite losing to Manchester City, Liverpool looked impressive and are still well in the hunt for the Premier League title. A resurgent Manchester United saved embarrassment at Hull by coming back from two goals down to win 2-3. With the transfer window coming up, both teams will look to strengthen, but why have these two former heavyweights taken so long to get back to their best?
December 27th, 2013
It’s been a long wait for Liverpool fans. Whilst they have done reasonably well in cup competitions, their last trophy came in 2011/12 season, they have failed to impress in the league for many seasons, having not secured a Champions League spot since 2008/09. For a club with as rich a history as them, that’s simply unacceptable.
The second coming of King Kenny didn’t seem to inspire them either, and it has now been 23 years since they last lifted the league title. Enter Brendan Rodgers and his brand of stylish attacking football. Many were unconvinced at first, but Rodgers has bought well, barring Fabio Borini and paying too much for Joe Allen. Signings such as Sturridge, Coutinho, and Mignolet have proved to be complete successes, and fit his footballing philosophy perfectly. You’d be hard pushed to find a better attacking trio except for the ‘galatico’s’ at the Etihad.
Of course he’s been helped this season by the unbelievable form of Luis Suarez. However, you reap what you sow, and Rodgers has stuck to his guns and tried to make Suarez feel welcome. He didn’t sell him off for millions like many a manager might. He didn’t label him a ‘problem player’ and make him train with the youth squad like a certain AVB. Instead, he’s made Suarez the focal point of his attack, despite his ten game ban, and Suarez has more than paid him back. Finally Liverpool look capable of challenging for the title again.
As for the Red side of Manchester, it’s been a tough season so far for new manager David Moyes. The Scot has an enormous pair of shoes to fill, and he’s been left with arguably the weakest United side in the past 20 years. Sir Alex managed to get the best out of them last season, but the reality is that most of the other teams around them performed poorly, which made their path to the title much easier.
Despite the fact they lie in 7th, eight points of the top spot and five off a Champions League place, I think this could be one of the most exciting times for Manchester United fans in a long time. It is a time when they can ship out the old guard who are past their best, and buy some exciting new talent. Players such as Ferdinand, Giggs and Vidic are now beyond their prime, and with Evra and Van Persie not getting any younger, it’s time for United to rebuild, and I think Moyes could be the man to do it.
He’s already started picking up points in situations where earlier in the season they’d have headed back to Old Trafford with a whimper. They came back from two goals down against Hull to win, and comfortably beat West Ham. Again Moyes has a supposedly unsettled star striker to thank – Wayne Rooney has been back to his best this season, and often carried them through matches. Danny Welbeck seems to have found his shooting boots, and Adnan Januzaj seems an exciting prospect.
If they can had some stability to the spine of their team in January with players such as Johann Cabaye and Matts Hummels, along with some flair in the form of Marco Reus, they can start to rebuild a title winning team. The worry comes if the unthinkable happens and they don’t reach the Champions League, because then they could fail to attract big names looking for European football. With the way the current top 4 are playing however, it will be an interesting end to the season to see who gets the coveted European spots.