ANOTHER milestone in the saga of Alex Ferguson was reached on Sunday last, when he celebrated his 1,000th match managing Man Utd, since he took charge all of those long years ago.
It was fitting that, in this away game with Southampton, they would get the vital win, not alone to put the icing on the cake for Alex, but to ensure that they did not lose further ground on the teams ahead of them in the league table, mainly their Man City rivals, who have developed into a very potent outfit, who will be difficult to knock off their lofty perch.
Ferguson, of course, in the history of British Soccer, must rate as one of the greatest managers of all time, although it must be said that his beginnings with Man Utd were anything but convincing, for in those early years he came very close to losing his job.
Notwithstanding, since then he, and the teams that he produced, have won every trophy that was there to be won, some of them many times over and there could be a few more in him.
The Van Persie buy has really paid off, and even at this early stage of the season, he has taken up where he left off last season, scoring great goals.
Liverpool, on the other hand, are really walking alone at the moment, and are finding it hard to settle into the winning mode.
On the surface, they appear to be doing most of the right things, but don’t seem to be able to convert even a modicum of the many chances they are creating.
They did play well against Arsenal, but a few near misses in the first period appeared to unsettle them.
Then, Arsenal scored, against the run of the play, which seemed to further the downward trend in Liverpool’s performance, which was added to when more decent chances in front of goal were spurned, and the game went from them.
You know, sometimes teams appear to go through a period, that no matter what they do, the net seems to be almost impossible to find, not always through bad play, but it could be that the Gods of winning are not doing them any favours.
While this is an ongoing worry, looking at their very solid team panel, it surely won’t be too long before they find winning ways.
West Ham, judging on last Saturday’s display, seem to be putting together a very solid outfit, fairly coasting through their game against Fulham, winning by a very easy three goal margin, which could have been more, such was the Hammers dominance. This type of play should ensure survival for this term.
More about the season’s prospects of some of the other teams next week.
Last week’s selection graph gave us a three out of four ratio again, which is just about acceptable, with Tottenham, still minus Redknapp, missing the bus against Norwich, failing to convert a few of the multitude of chances that they created.
It’s hard to fathom Spurs, but, I would suggest that for the moment, it would be wiser to leave them out of any of our weekend yankee bets.
The World Cup qualifiers this weekend has effectively forced us to move our weekly yankee to the nPower League One section, which may be a blessing in disguise when all is said and done.
First of all, of course, we wish Trapp’s Chaps the best of Irish luck in their away game with Kazakhstan on Friday evening, with the kick-off at 5pm.
An away win here would set the lads on the right road to qualification, albeit that this Irish team will likely see a few new faces in action.
They should be well able to cope with the opposition, and will realise the importance of getting a few points on the board.
On to our bet for Saturday: My two aways are Sheffield Utd to beat Scunthorpe, and I feel that Tranmere will take Crewe.
The two home fancies are Notts County over Shrewsbury, and Swindon to beat Leyton Orient.
Best of luck in your wagers!
Aways: Sheffield Utd , Tranmere. Homes: Notts County and Swindon Town.