Saturday 19 January 2019

'Man United fans will go berserk' - John Aldridge with a warning for Jose Mourinho ahead of Liverpool showdown

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with Jose Mourinho
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with Jose Mourinho

Liverpool goal scoring great John Aldridge has claimed that Manchester United fans will "go berserk" if Jose Mourinho deploys negative tactics in the crunch clash between the two most successful clubs in English football at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Mourinho had enjoyed success against Liverpool throughout his career by using counter-attacking tactics that have diluted entertainment in games and allowed his side to snatch breakaway goals.

The ploy worked to hand Mourinho's Chelsea side a famous 2-0 win at Anfield that all-but ended Liverpool's hopes of winning the 2013/14 Premier League title, yet Aldridge suggests the Portuguese tactician may not get away with such a negative approach this weekend.

"Manchester United fans will tolerate Mourinho so long as they are winning trophies and finishing in the top four, but they will not put up with the kind of tactics he has used against Liverpool in the past this weekend," believes Aldridge.

"We saw the reaction from United fans when Mourinho tried to park the bus against Manchester City a few months back and still came up short. They were not happy and I reckon that anger will go to another level if he tries the same this weekend because United v Liverpool is the game that matters most to both sets of fans.

"However, I don't expect him to change. We know what Mourinho is all about. He will tell his full backs not to cross the half-way line, he will do everything he can to stop Liverpool from playing and will dance around if he gets a 1-0 win out of this game. That is what Mourinho has always done and he won't change now just because he is at a big club like United.

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"The trouble is, this is a football club that expects their team to attack and their fans will go berserk if Mourinho tells his team to play as negatively as they did against Man City a few months back and end up losing again."

Aldridge believes Liverpool have a real chance to claim second place in the Premier League this season, with their front three of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino leading a team that have scored 105 goals in all competitions this season.

"There is a fear factor around this Liverpool team because we have seen that their front three can tear anyone apart and United will be wary of that," adds Aldridge.

"If Liverpool score first at Old Trafford, they could run out comfortable winners because you can see them picking United apart if they are forced to come out of their shell and chase the game, but I also feel United could be better than they are in the final third.

"I'm a big fan of Marcus Rashford and believe he should be starting more games and when you look at players like Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial, there is no reason why United should be playing the negative football Mourinho promotes.

"The key area for me in this game is the midfield and if Liverpool win that battle, they will probably take the points. United have had problems in that area and especially with Paul Pogba, who has not proved his worth since his move to United.

"When you pay so much to sign a player, he has to be exceptional every week and we are not seeing that from Pogba. I think he is a decent player and he looked great for Juventus, but the Premier League is a much tougher league and he has been found out."

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