“One or two players were a little bit short today in terms of what we expect of them but I do know the football was good, we kept driving on and they showed good energy, even though we only had two and a half days to prepare for the match,” said Ferguson.

So, who wasn’t up to it?

Michael Carrick

I’m not one of those tossers who’s ever kept berating Carrick. In the summer of 2006, there were plenty of players reds had on their shopping lists to fill Roy Keane’s boots. Given we were spending close to £20 million, players like Gattuso seemed like realistic targets for our fans. But when we’re honest, players didn’t really want to sign for us back then. We hadn’t won the league for three years and we were short on the trophy front. So, we had to ‘settle’ for Carrick and a lot of us, including mysel, weren’t too excited about it.

But the lad is quality. He’s never going to be a superstar, but he’s quality, and I like his unassuming nature.

However, he was shit against Liverpool. There were a couple of quality balls, but by and large, he didn’t look up to it. He wasn’t putting everything in to the challenge and there were far too many wayward passes.

Nemanja Vidic

Arguably our player of the season but he was just off yesterday. His mistake for their first goal was absolutely dreadful. I can’t recall him making such a school boy error like that all season. Whilst Torres was definitely up for it, after going AWOL on the other occasions he’s played against us, the Vidic fuck up was his only attempt on goal, on or off target (aside from his attempt from around the half way line, which sailed high over the bar). He wasn’t in the game, he didn’t threaten the keeper, but Vidic let him in. He gifted a great player an opportunity to score, and he took it.

I can understand his thinking with the Gerrard foul. He saw Rio was the last man, thought it was worth taking a yellow card for. Unfortunately, the referee didn’t see it the same way and gave him a red. I don’t disagree with sending him off, it’s the risk you take when you intentionally bring a player down outside the area. Sadly, he won’t get this decision reversed like Terry did for his rugby tackle.

Cristiano Ronaldo

I know I have made my feelings on this Ronaldo very clear before now. I understand his desire to go to Real Madrid, I do not abide by him showing the club up the way he did in the summer. Liverpool fans may forgive one of their own embarrassing them that way, I will not allow someone, even if it’s someone who doesn’t owe us their childhood loyalty, showing us up in the same way.

Whilst not playing to the best of his ability and missing a month because his operation, and a further month getting match fit, he is still the second highest scorer in the league. It’s ridiculous. He is a quality player always has the potential to be a threat.

But every match he infuriates me. I’m not one of these wankers who gets on the back of certain individuals during a match, but he annoys the fuck out of me. He will run at players, lose the ball, then sits down on the ground holding his ankle, irrespective of whether any contact was made. Play continues, because it wasn’t a foul, and then United win the ball back. Ronaldo is our furthest forward player, he leaps to his feet, but he’s three yards offside. This happens every game. Had he got off his arse earlier, he’d be onside and ready to attack.

Ronaldo picks up the ball, sprints down the field, carrying the ball with him, then runs in to a defender. Sometimes he will take them on, other times he loses possession. Today, out of the several times he attempted this, I can only remember one or two occasions where he was successful. That’s fine, players have bad days at the office. However, when he loses possesion because he’s tried to take it too far instead of passing, it is up to him to chase it down. He doesn’t. He watches his opponent run off with the ball and let’s someone else worry about it.

I’m not judging him on yesterday’s game alone. It’s not his performance that bothers me. Over half our team weren’t good enough yesterday and we had players on the park who were worse than him. But his laziness drives me bonkers. When you’re losing to your hated rivals, you cannot afford to have a player who can’t be bothered to stay on side or try and win back possession after he’s lost it.




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