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Lagging behind

Lagging behind

The gulf between Manchester United and Liverpool looks set to increase even further, says Geoff Shreeves.

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Comments (118)

David Lennon says...

Having read all the comments re Fergie in his early Man U days Vs Rafa it's clear that fergie stepped his 1986 team up a level but not without problems. In his first full season - 1987-88 - Man U were runners up to Liverpool in the league but for the next season and the one after that they went backwards! Remember that banner "ta ra Fergie"? That was AFTER they finished runners up! Proving sometimes you may take a step forward but the backwards step is just around the corner. After 1990 Man U have gone upwards with no backwards steps. Give Rafa time and he'll move us forward again. Ignore these Man U fans from Surrey and stick with us! We'll move forwards again. PS - it's taken Fergie 24 yrs to win 2 EC's. Bob paisley won 3 in 9 seasons!

Posted 13:52 23rd March 2010

Bill Pattison says...

Firstly SAF has succeeded in a different country and culture...albeit with the same language. However, this is a ridiculous statement to begin with - are you attacking his ability as a manager or personally for lack of ambition (HAA!!!) based on his decision to stay in England and win everything time and time and time again, in arguably the best league in the world?? Chastising the man for not following all the other home grown talents who, after winning everything in the Premiership have gone onto take the continent by storm e.g. Henry, Ronaldo, Mourinho...McLaren??! "Europe's premier clubs..." Real and AC have both won domestic titles within the last 20yrs. Bayern have more right to be up there with "Europe's premier clubs" than Liverpool. Stop living in the past, you can cling onto your history Philip, you'll always have that. But if there was one team that was going to hit 19 titles and 6 European Cups who's it more likely going to be??! Stop letting your recent successes in Europe's premier competition paper over your clubs (longer term) paltry showing domestically!! Who knows, you may be able to hold aloft your winning of the Europa League as justification for being the standard bearer of greatness and the premier club in England. Good luck with that. Benitez is a decent manager and Liverpool have had a poor season but I think you owe SAF a bit more recognition for what he has achieved with Man Utd. Even if we don't add another European crown to our trophy haul this season, we certainly, under the stewardship of SAF, will have more chance of doing so next year, than Liverpool and Benitez, Philip. Enjoy the fourth best team in the country dog-fight.

Posted 13:44 23rd March 2010

Martin Boylan says...

In Response to Mr Battisons comments, I think you'll find that "stuffed the famous Liverbird" is indeed a wholly appropriate comment to make, and to your immediate reference to the European Cup wins is now a almost cliched and typical riposte and in fact only serves to point to how aggrieved you must feel at the woeful state LFC has gotten itself into. Perhaps you might also care to remember that with regards the European stage, that it was Loserpool and more specifically their fans, who set British football back 20 years when they caused our clubs to be banned from competing in European competition. It was SAF and his technical prowess who actually dragged the English game back to the top of European football in the noughties. If Liverpool fail to finished in that "guaranteed" 4th spot Liverpool as an institution could find itself imploding into mid table mediocrity or worse and if it Man City that take their place, with the cash they have they won't relinquish it easily in the years to come. Look at Gerrard, his disillusionment appears to be affecting his on pitch form and behaviour, he's 30 now, my guessing is he is contemplating moving to a big club to try and have a final few years to remember (I wonder does he regret turning his mind on Chelski at the last minute??) As for Torres he needs Champions league football and considering he has only played for Athletico and Loserpool perhaps he too would like to be remembered as having played at a big club before he retires. As for Rafa well it must be a sad day for Liverpool fans to see a gameplan in place like the one he had on Sunday, I have never once seen Liverpool put a side out that so clearly defined negativity. Bill "second is nothing" Shanlkly would turn in his grave.

Posted 13:23 23rd March 2010

Mike G says...

Rafa only won trophies with the squad he inherited. The rubbish he has brought in (granted apart from Torres) is now the cause of the decline that most Koppites fully recognise. Obviously Mr Battison is happy with progress and if he is happy then why should United fans worry. No tropies in the last four seasons and I doubt that they will win the Europa tin pot League this season. As for no money - Rafa has spent £220 million and turned a squad that were CL winners into a team in mid table obscurity. Get real Mr Battison your team are failures and despite being given plenty of money Rafa has not bought well enough. United don't want to see Rafa go - he has done as much to neutralise the threat of Liverpool as United have - possibly more.

Posted 13:22 23rd March 2010

Harry Callahan says...

Totally agree with Philip. Also note that United have to win another trio of Champions Leagues to surpass us as the most successful English club in Europe. Ferguson has no chance of beating our record in Europe, as Barca are just way ahead of everyone else. We need to stick with Rafa and get some stability at the club. The owners are a disgrace and once we are rid of them, we will be able to move on more effectively.

Posted 13:19 23rd March 2010

Steven Tate says...

Philip Battison u make me laugh, incase u haven't noticed the champsions league is alot harder to win now than when it once was. have you even watched liverpool play this season, how do u think ul win matches with 6 7 devensive players on the pitch or the 3rd best player in benayoum on the bench or never completing 90 mins. I think I speak for all utd fans when I say I hope benitez stays at Liverpool forever. ggmu, luhg

Posted 13:19 23rd March 2010

Peter Gee says...

Poor Pool fans, forever grasping at straws to try to give them solace. Facts (Benitez's favourite word) are they have not won the League for 20 years and do not look like winning it for at least another 10. They are a shadow of their once illustrious past and are not half as big a team/club as they would like to believe. Benitez has had more than enough time and money to build a winning team, yet so many deluded supporters side with him. He has destroyed Liverpool. 70 players in, and still only 2 or 3 worthy of a team capable of winning the League.

Posted 13:18 23rd March 2010

Simon Weids says...

Phillip Battison... are you dilusional? you must be a bitter bitter man to say what you have said..Benitez won the champions league in his first season with a squad which he inherited.. Look at all his buys since.. Only Torres would get in the United team.. Rafa has won the champions and the fa cup.. with the amount of money he's spent thats a shockin return..

Posted 13:12 23rd March 2010

Carl Donaldson says...

Re Phillip: i seem to remember we were baned from Europe for a certain amount of SAF'S reign through someone elses fault naming no names. Also there is no denying what Ferguson has achieved and just because he has stuck at Utd doesn't make him bad and unproven in Europe he has been the best manager on the planet now for at least 15 years and what he has achieved will never again be repeated as the money in the game creates extra pressure on managers and a hire and fire culture... so Phillip swallow your scouse pride for once and admit along with everyone whos knows anything about football SAF is by far the best manager ever to grace the game and that sentiment would be agreed with by all the managers you have mentioned in your ridiculous rant..... be a football fan and tell the truth not just your inbuilt bitterness for everything united.

Posted 13:09 23rd March 2010

James Bushall says...

im sorry to point this out to you Phillip but there is a glaring mistake in your statement, SAF has more than stuffed the bird, he has beaten it silly. Yes SAF did take some time to rebuild united but that was at a time when the team he inherited from big Ron was falling apart and were not seriously considered to have been a championship winning team. The likes of whiteside, Mcgrath and others had a serious drinking culture inbuilt as well as being injury prone and SAF had to tear the team apart before he could rebuild it. Liverpool on the other hand were always around the top of the table when Rafa took over and if he managed to win the Champions league in his 1st few years surely liverpool should have gone on to bigger and better things. Yet as anyone can see the team, especially this season has regressed to previous levels. From the moment United won their 1st premiership crown they have always been there or there abouts more often than not winning the title and at any other big continental team (With the exception of trigger happy Real) SAF would have been safe in his job and lauded for his level of consistency. The harsh truth for Rafa is that he doesent seem to be able to move his teams forward the way that SAF can, even Wenger at Arsenal is building a great team, O Neil at Villa and Harry at tottenham are all building better more consistent and more entertaining teams then Rafa and he is merely hiding behind the clubs problems.

Posted 13:03 23rd March 2010

Kevin Thistlethwaite says...

Philip Battison what you wrote is typical Liverpool rubbish. Rafa won the champions league with Houlliers team, and you can't even compare Rafa with Sir Alex. You need to have a bit of humility and accept that what Ferguson has acheived is amazing. He has built team after team and had success with them all. I want a good Liverpool team because the United/Liverpool rivalry has always been a great one, however at the moment Man City are more of a threat to United.

Posted 13:02 23rd March 2010

Barry Goodman says...

Good on you Philip Battison. You have every right to be proud of Liverpool and it's football achievements. I am sure you will also be happy and proud to finish 7th this year and, who knows, maybe even another top 10 finish next year. I think it's great that Liverpool supporters are so much easier to please these days.

Posted 13:01 23rd March 2010

Syed Naqvi says...

I do think it is the time for the Rafa to go. Over the years he spend more than any other big four but he invetsed on average players with no potential to be world class. I am a man united supporter but its a shame to see big club like liverpool going down.

Posted 13:00 23rd March 2010

Bob Tyler says...

Wow Philip Battison you must be one hell of a person still living in denial. i quote "Benitez's results and trophies won is far superior to Ferguson's in his first 5-6 years at Old Trafford". Seriously mate call a spade a spade. How can you compare those 15 years ago to the last 5 years. As usual all liverpool fans are living on the their past glory.. "Breaking news" thats about to change when we claim our 19th title in may that will be the 12 th title under fergie. Here is another comparison taking into account when your awful manager was hired in 2004 since than fergie has gone on to claim 4 P.L titles . The reason all liverpool fans say we dont have the money like united have. Lets see, rafa has made 220 transfers since his time at anfield FACT. Yet its a two men team in which by the way one of them is Stevie G who was already there. Wow seriously take a bow liverpool fans you have really entertained us to the highest level... You seriously dont walk alone.

Posted 12:55 23rd March 2010

Jeevan Jay says...

Philip you have it twisted. SAF inherited a United team that didn't have a premier squad that was challenging like liverpool was when Rafa came along. Fergie is the most successful manager in England's history and let's not kid ourselves, only biased liverpool or valencia fans will even begin to suggest he's better than Fergie. Rafa's bought a bunch of players and what do liverpool have to show for it, Lucas in midfield?!?! Liverpool have 2-3 world class players at best with Mascherano, Torres and Stevie G but he's not the same this season due to injuries. This is typical Rafa tactics, let's lose Xabi Alonso because I wanted a weaker player in Gareth Barry and then let's bring in Aquilani and then not play him. Rafa is a fool when it comes to domestic competitions. He knows how to grind out victories in Europe but that night when liverpool pulled off that miracle it had nothing to do with him. Rafa needs to go if liverpool ever hope to win more silverware but the options for new managers are limited so you might be stuck with him. Plus his contract will backhand slap you across the wallet if you give him the good ol' heave-ho! Sorry liverpool fans, your club is in shambles and there's no way it's getting any better before it gets worse. With battling owners, limited funds and a manager who doesn't value the league title, the scousers will have to wait for a while before another glorious european night.

Posted 12:54 23rd March 2010

Glen Robin says...

@ Philip Battison, you can choose to talk about Sir Alex's achievements in Europe or you can look Liverpool's inability to win any domestic trophies over the last 20 years. What kind of record is that for one of Europes Premier Clubs? The truth is harsh, Liverpool are going backwards and they've spent much of the last decade clinging on to their Top Four status within the Premier League. 'Stuffed the famous liverbird' and finally the chickens are coming home to roost.

Posted 12:53 23rd March 2010

Bobby Quinn says...

Phil don't get me wrong I hope Rafa Be.Neat.Us gets a knighthood and signs a life long Contract wiil Liverpool, cause with him there playing for Draws every week ye will always be BE.NEAT.US. but lets be honest here what's more important, having teams look up and seeing the Premier leagues Champions Flag flying high when they at games in your Stadium or winning the Champions league, if ya honest there's only 1 answer, even do its nice to have both of them the Premier league is every teams target.

Posted 12:49 23rd March 2010

Andy Lee says...

The likes of Capello, Hiddink, Mourinho, Van Gaal and yes Benitez have all only won just 1 European Cup where as SAF has two. 2 in 20 years is not as good as it should have been given the quality of the teams he's produced but it's better than 1 if my maths are any good!!

Posted 12:47 23rd March 2010

Robert Hearns says...

Philip this is England not Spain or Italy which are run differently. Other managers have stayed a long time like Wenger over here. 2. Man u were an up and coming team when SAF took over for the first few years, not a challenging heavy weight (there were no demands to win euro cups year in year out). Rafa's record against Fergies was similar first 5 years both won an fa cup and a european trophy. In the early 90's our league total was around 7 and to have come so close to surpassing the old total (18) is something truly amazing- thats knocking the liverbird off its perch!. Man u are on the up and a continuation of these successful years continues... Plus It remains to be seen if pool dont get 4th and what will happen in the summer to determine if their going forward or behind.

Posted 12:46 23rd March 2010

Kunal P says...

Haha Phillip, that's the mentality you Liverpool fans have taken to these days is it? The league should always be the priority in this country so it shows that you guys have your priorities the wrong way round. I'm not saying that we don't want to win the Champions League but league comes first. The 'top' european clubs you mention, let's have a look at where they are in domestic and european competition NOW, forget the past. AC Milan, struggling against their city rivals in Serie A and easily knocked out in the Champions League. Liverpool - didn't even make it out of the groups alive and nowhere to be seen at the top of the premierleague. Real Madrid - Battling with Barcelona for the La liga crown and out of Europe after failing to prove their worth. And the only reason they are even near the top of la liga is because of the vast amount of money. So I think Geoff has it spot on, the Liver Bird has been well and truly stuffed.

Posted 12:45 23rd March 2010

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