Valery Lobanovsky

I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of people I communicate with on the topic of football must be taking recreational drugs.

This wasn’t even mean’t to feature as my next blog, as I already had something in my draft section, but….. BUT that Manchester United  v Athletic Bilbao is still on my mind, and reminded me why I still watch football. Why I still scratch my head with disbelieve at the performances of certain teams. I think Valery Lobanovsky would be turning in his grave. 

Athletic Bilbao deserved to go through, as Manchester United had already been exposed in the second leg against Ajax, so this was no surprise. Funny enough, I’m not even happy they are out, not even a period to gloat, no excitement seeing a hyped team exposed. I suppose I’ll be hearing from most Manchester United supporters saying that they can now focus on the league. Yes, win the bread and butter, show you are the best in your country, and qualify for Champions League. But is that it ? Poor. No fantasy no excitement. Poor all over. 

OK Rooney has inhaled and exhaled before just scoring guiding the ball into the net. Take a bow.

The crowd in the Estadio Vincente Calderon have been exceptional, applauding Giggs when he got substituted. Athletico Bilbao understand and play football that used to make me drool. No arrogance. Just believe, technique, youthfulness and a hunger to display their talent. United have looked tired and legless. For this years Champions League they simply have not been strong enough, and have been brushed aside emphatically by a far superior side. 

Manchester United have brought Scholes out of retirement, and retained the services of Giggs. They have a sprinkle of youth, and the the injury prone twins. Progba wanting to leave, Berbatov a 30 miillion pound write off, Ravel dealing with external problems, Carrick being Carrick. Does it sound like I’m United bashing ? 
It is what it is. 
This fabricated attitude that with them being world leaders in football, with  assets in the millions that this warrants they are still one of the greatest teams. Nah. Sorry cannot accept it. This just reinforces my belief that Manchester  United, The Premiership, and The National team are all hyped and gone to the dogs. The style and quality of football are poor. 
Wigan, Swansea, Arsenal and Spurs, in no particular order, are the only teams that regularly play with believe, skill and purpose. Man City have the players, and their time will come. 

For the first time in ages I watched a game as a neutral, and my stomach churned with adrenalin, and excitement. Thank You Chelsea v Napoli. Not even watching the League Cup Final Liverpool v Cardiff brought me that feeling. 

The loss to QPR. Well. I guess people thought it was humorous with the tirade of abuse hurled at me and other Liverpool fans, from 76 minutes onwards. 

I knew my life changed when Ekoku and Holdsworth both scored for Wimbledon in a 2-2 draw away on 13th March 1996. I waved the white flag, and had to learn how to remove myself from the madness my life had become engulfed in Liverpool. My corner flags shifted.
Where are Liverpool……… let’s not become disillusioned. We have an average team, in an average league. I think Kenny’s blueprint is questionable. If its about bringing in British players that have premiership experience to steady the ship, and support us to become a cup team, and re-enter the European competitions, then mission accomplished. But what next ? Suarez has a love affair with the goal posts and cross bar, and will do everything but score. Carragher’s plan is a slow retirement, and you can see that, credit to Kenny, as Skrtel and Agger getting their well deserved game time. Carroll, Downing, Henderson, and Adam I’ll save for another time.

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