Liverpool must lose inferiority complex when it comes to United

September 12, 2008

Gerrard controls the ballIf Liverpool are serious about a title challenge, and there hasn’t been much evidence to support their case yet, they should prove it by shrugging off their inferiority complex when it comes to playing Manchester United.

Long after Manchester United had usurped Liverpool as England’s top club, there was still a feeling at Anfield that they were at least equal to their chief rivals when it came to a one-off game.

When Roy Evans was in charge, and players like Jamie Redknapp and John Barnes were in the Liverpool midfield, they would try to impose their own game, even if the result would sometimes be defeat.

Since the days of Gerard Houllier, things have been different. Houllier enjoyed a good record against United but it was achieved by shifting the emphasis to watertight defence and strict tactical discipline in those games.

That has continued under Rafa Benitez and Liverpool will doubtless go into Saturday’s game at Anfield bent on denying space to United’s dangerous forwards and hoping for the best on the break or from a set-piece (while getting a European Cup-style boost from the crowd).

I argued earlier this week that England should shake off their fear of failure and they seemed to do that against Croatia. Can Liverpool do the same? Can they go out in front of their own fans and play against (a superior) United side with their old sense of belief?

I’d argue that they should do, even if they risk a hiding if United play to their potential. It’s a tactic Steven Gerrard appeared to be urging as well when he spoke this week:

“Over the last couple of years we’ve gone into games against United and Chelsea very organised tactically – defensive if you like – and still lost 1-0,” Gerrard said. “It’s important a few risks are taken to try to score that goal against these teams because it gives you such a psychological boost.”

Gerrard may miss the game through injury but the players out there should heed those words. If Liverpool are serious about challenging for the title they should play like they mean it.

PHOTO: Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard controls the ball during a training session at Melwood, August 26, 2008. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

10 comments

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Gerrard and Torres both passed fit, apparently. No escuses for Liverpool now.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

The most eagerly awaited away fixture of the year is upon us. The lager will be a chillin’, the steak and eggs will be a sizzlin’ and let’s hope the world famous, knowledgable and a wise-crackin’ Kop will be a weepin’ into their newly acquired designer clothing, courtesy of one Robbie Keane’s recent unofficial garage sale…

Posted by Kevin Egan | Report as abusive

[...] Go to Source Last 5 posts in Premier LeagueDoesn’t Clarke deserve a better Chelsea send-off? – September 12th, 2008England should think back to Munich before getting too excited – September 11th, 2008Losing for your country should hurt more, shouldn’t it? – September 10th, 2008The Dark Side Of Anfield That No One Wants You To See – September 10th, 2008Ray Hudson Interview – September 10th, 2008Popularity: unranked [?] Share and Enjoy: [...]

Torres and Gerrard may start, but will they finish? Liverpool clearly needs them both, and more so, beating Man. U., not only keeps them top of the table, but puts six points distance between the two. Imagine, United with just four points from three games to start the season.
http://startingeleven.blogspot.com/2008/ 09/gerrard-torres-ready-to-return-for.ht ml

I’d much rather see Liverpool play a positive, attacking game tomorrow and lose the match, than sit through another dull, defensive shut-down. What’s the point of continuing with tactics that don’t work? Gerrard is bob on with his analysis, and crossing your legs and hoping for the best is not the tactic of premiership champions.

Posted by Beth | Report as abusive

Gerrard and Torres will be fit to play this match which is very important for the club and i am sure that liverpool will win this match.

ya man i no my team will win present match between we and mancherter united

i try my team the will win mach

[...] Liverpool needs to pull an England this weekend. (Reuters Soccer Blog) [...]

I didn’t see all of it, but at times Liverpool did seem to be playing as equals as they won 2-1 on Saturday. They were their usual scrappy selves in midfield and defence but they didn’t show any fear anway, and they were probably the better side.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

[...] Liverpool must lose inferiority complex when it comes to United By Kevin Fylan Gerrard controls the ball If Liverpool are serious about a title challenge, and there hasn’t been much evidence to support their case yet, they should prove it by shrugging off their inferiority complex when it comes to playing … Reuters Soccer Blog – http://blogs.reuters.com/soccer [...]

I belive Liverpool will mount a good challenge this season.

2-1 was a great result , and they played some great football.

Carra is the most honest player in the game.

We all dream of a team of carraghers

Gregg Scott

http://www.carlingcupodds.co.uk
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thats what you call smart play, break their bones, give em concussions, win, no cards,no torres and no Gerrard. Its a team of 16 Carraghers we need.

Posted by ed njau | Report as abusive