Home » Graeme Souness says he would not want to be in the trenches with Man United

Graeme Souness says he would not want to be in the trenches with Man United

by Red Billy

Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them. And then there is Graeme Souness.

For those not old enough to remember him, or those whose memories were not impacted by his insignificance, Souness was a poor man’s Steven Gerrard, or, to put it another way, a poor man’s poor man.

So it is not surprising that this Liverpool “legend” comes across as somewhat bitter at Manchester United’s success over the years, nor that he will say anything controversial to get attention in his “look at me, look at me” punditry.

So let’s give him his day in the sun as it could be a long time before he gets another.

On Sky Sports before last Sunday’s Liverpool vs Man United tie he declared himself “never more confident” that his side would beat United. United legends Roy Keane and Gary Neville sniggered smugly at him. His side won 7-0, he had the last laugh.

But he was not satisfied. After the game he laid into United, saying “You all have games when it doesn’t go your way, but you need to fight. It must be an issue playing for United that they get a lot of publicity, far more than any other football club. People with lesser personalities can get carried away with it.”

Psychologists have known for a long time that people will accuse others of weaknesses they see in themselves.

Souness accusing people of having “lesser personalities” is a great example.

But five days later, he is still putting the boot in.

In an article for The Daily Mail, Souness first reminds us again that he had predicted the Liverpool win, lest we forget that, like a broken clock, he too can be right twice a day.

“United were a team who had been just about getting away with it recently,” he went on to say.

“…You would not want to be in the trenches with them.

“Good players sense the way a game like that is going. It’s like ring craft. What a boxer knows he must do to close out a fight. Whoever those United players think they might be, they simply didn’t possess it.

“This is not their first heavy defeat. United conceded six to Manchester City. They conceded four to Brentford. Four, six and seven in one season? I’m sorry but that’s not a good sign.

“You don’t know what you’ve got until you lose a few games, or you lose badly. When teams get a few good results, everyone is talking about ‘a winning mentality’, ‘strong characters in the dressing room’ and ‘we’re all in it together.’

“None of those attributes were on show in the second half on Sunday. Erik ten Hag certainly now knows what he does and doesn’t have in that dressing room.

“This result is going to be talked about for years and years. I don’t collect match programmes but I made a point of getting one and taking it home on Sunday, as testament to the fact that I was there.”

Nobody is denying that many United players lost focus, concentration, discipline and belief in that freak second half at Anfield, but it is hard to imagine who wouldn’t.

Far from being intimidated by the Liverpool crowd as Sourness claims, United were easily the better team at half time and should have gone into the dressing room in the lead.

Conceding 7 goals from only 8 shots on target is a freak result. The fact is that although discipline and focus was lost, they only allowed their opponents 8 shots on target – not a huge number.

There is also no mention in Souness’s ramblings of the gruelling fixture schedule that has seen United play nine competitive games more than Liverpool with a threadbare squad, nor of the fact that the manager has only been in post for a few months.

Erik ten Hag could do worse than pin the bitter Scotsman’s drivel to the noticeboard at Old Trafford before the next match against his side to motivate his United side to get their revenge.

As for Souness, perhaps he should frame that programme, because if Ten Hag’s revolution continues the way it started, it could be the last time he will ever witness a Liverpool victory over United.

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