Scholes' Fears Are Justified - Remember 2005
Paul Scholes warned everyone that Liverpool will be an even tougher proposition than usual. Though we boast an excellent record at Anfield in recent years this time we're certainly underdogs.
Why is that? Well, criticism is raining down on Liverpool, they are under extreme pressure, there are internal struggles despite a public vote of confidence in Benitez by Gillett, the fans plan a protest against the owners, the team is decimated by injury problems, they are in horrible form while United are picking up wins...
"Obviously they`re going through a bit of a sticky patch at the moment but they`d be looking at this game as an opportunity to turn things around,' Scholes told United's official website.
'In fact, it`s probably the perfect game for them to try and bounce back from the problems they`ve had."
They will have their backs to the wall, they will drink blood on the morning of the game while we have a fairly relaxed team who, I'm afraid to say, won't be nowhere near as committed as Liverpool.
Just remember November 2005. United were in deep trouble in the Champions League group stages, were way off the pace in the league and hosted runaway leaders Chelsea who arrived with a 40-game unbeaten record. Just before the game Roy Keane delivered his famous verdict on players like Smith, Fletcher and Richardson which led to his sacking from the club a few weeks later. We were having problems with injuries and we were afraid that Chelsea might simply steamroller us at Old Trafford.
You know what happened. United produced a defiant, backs-to-the-wall, all-action performance, Fletcher heading home the winner and putting in the mother of all shifts with Alan Smith. Chelsea were a superior team on that night but they were defeated by United's spirit. Quite simply they were too comfortable ahead of the game.
It's the same this time: what do we have to lose? The worst case scenario is that we'll slip two points behind Chelsea, big deal. Liverpool, on the other hand, are fighting for their lives after all the criticism and this will tip this contest in their favour.