The jibes have started early ahead of Manchester United’s two upcoming games with Liverpool.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be telling his players to largely ignore the media hype surrounding Sunday’s top of the table clash.
But he might want to show his players comments from clearly biased ex-Liverpool striker John Aldridge, who has branded the majority of United’s team as ‘ordinary’.
Aldridge told the Liverpool Echo that apart from two players, United’s squad is ‘ordinary’.
The retired star said: “Jurgen Klopp will be making his players aware of what United are good at this week. What they are good at is getting the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford on the ball – they’re the danger.
“The rest of their team is pretty ordinary, they’d be coming in fifth or sixth place but those two make them into a team. Klopp won’t be going overboard on United this week because we are a better team and we’ve proved that.”
What isn’t in doubt is that without Fernandes and Rashford’s goals United would be worse off. Just like how Liverpool would be a poorer team without Mohamed Salah’s seven goals and Sadio Mane’s nine.
To dismiss the rest of the United team as ‘ordinary’ is both arrogant and insulting for a team which sit top of the Premier League table.
United anything but ordinary
If Liverpool want to underestimate a player like Edinson Cavani then that could be a big mistake.
Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood combined to score 40 goals in all competitions last season and despite their inconsistency this campaign, they are more than capable of doing some damage to a Liverpool side which is out of form.
United’s midfield depth of Paul Pogba, Fred, Scott McTominay, Donny van de Beek and Nemanja Matic arguably is on par or superior to Liverpool’s options. Pogba in particular is anything but ‘ordinary’.
David de Gea is one of the league and world’s best goalkeepers. He is not an ‘ordinary’ goalkeeper.
Two bites at it
United play Liverpool twice in as many weeks, in the league and then in the FA Cup.
The team selection could look very different for both games, giving United’s fringe players like Van de Beek a chance to step up in the cup tie if not selected on Sunday.
It gives United a great chance to lay down a marker with back to back wins over Liverpool and prove this team is anything but ‘ordinary’.
Aldridge’s comments are an insult to United’s squad and the players should use them as motivation to prove a point. The chance to beat Liverpool should be a motivating factor in itself, but it doesn’t hurt to have a little extra incentive too.
If they serve to inspire Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side for both matches, the jibes could backfire spectacularly.
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