Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Well, what'll it be, fellas?

West Bromwich Albion 0 – United 5

Rafa might as well do away with rational thought and his usual, reasoned explanations that the next match is the most important, the team is training hard, the notes he takes during play mean anything, blather, blah, mumble, phooey. It's bad enough Villa and Arsenal are rolling, Chelsea is hanging around and a continued run of mediocre form could conceivably find Liverpool in a month's time in the mix for 4th or – gulp – 5th.

No, his team talk before the match this afternoon at the JJB should consist of him just saying the scoreline at the top here out loud while looking the players in the eye. Just say it aloud to them with no expression on his face. Hold the silence for a beat, let that score linger, and then let the players decide if they're going to be serious about running with their most-hated rival and try to win the League.

Wigan's been sharp this season, but Liverpool is catching them just a few days after Emile Heskey took off for Villa. They've lost a key component of their more-than-expected performance this season. Is Liverpool going to take this game from them today? Is there sufficient desire and ability to execute what's needed, which is to just score in the first 20-25 minutes and then add at least a second before Wigan can reply? I'm not talking about leaving it until late, wasting a bunch of chances and then popping one in after 85 minutes. Just get in there, score and then score again – and, hopefully, again. Play like a team that wants it and isn't starting to fill up with doubt.

Is that going to happen? Chelsea comes to Anfield on Sunday. What position do these players want to be in when they walk out for that match?

1 comment:

Darrell Balzrina said...

Nice article/blog! Quality, and well said....

I wouldn't worry though, still plenty of football yet to be played.