Sir Alex Ferguson loves the old mind games and it seems that his opposing manager today, Rafael Benitez, hasn’t quite got the hang of them yet. Well, it has only been four years. When Ferguson spoke of his surprise for Robbie Keane’s price tag, a sentiment echoed by most people in the know where football is concerned, Rafa obviously felt a bit of a fool. Afterall, Fernando Torres only cost a few million more than Keane, highlighting all too clearly that Liverpool paid over the odds for the Irish striker.

“Alex should think about how much they spend every year,” Benitez said. “Maybe he feels Berbatov was cheap because they pay £30million for a lot of players and £20million for the majority of them. In our last game against them they had Owen Hargreaves, Carlos Tevez and Nani on the bench – that’s £70million. But if I leave Fernando Torres or Keane on the bench, people are asking questions. If they leave those three on the bench you don’t hear anyone saying anything.”

Poor, misinformed Benitez. If he had done his research (like I have) then he wouldn’t be spouting such nonsense in the press. If we look at last season:

25 players have represented United (not including the League Cup match where several of our youngsters got a run out), nine of them have come from our youth team, seven of them cost £7 million or less, and nine of them were big-money players. Fergie has the perfect balance of youth products, bargains and expensive signings.

I imagine it would also be fairly interesting for Benitez to read that the spending between United and Liverpool over the past 10 years is fairly comparable.

This is again taken from last season, not accounting for the money both clubs have spent this summer.

£34 million. That’s the difference in spending between Manchester United and Liverpool over the past ten years, averaging out at little more than £3 million a season. Whilst United have spent £298 million in the transfer market, an average of £29-£30 million a year, the dippers have spent £264 million, an average of £26-£27 million a year.

Back to the drawing board, Rafa!