Monday, 5 April 2010
The moment the ball flew off Didier Drogba's boot and rifled in to the back of Edwin van Der Sar's net, with the heavy suspicion of offside, I knew, predictably, that Ferguson would instantaneously begin rehearsing his ensuing wrath about the officials for the post match press conference.
The replays, as expected confirmed that the linesmen had made a glaring mistake, and I am sure the incrimination, would have had the offending man in black panic stricken, also bringing in to question his chosen profession. Why on earth would you be a linesman?? Is this not a job that could have been replaced by a more efficient and accurate machine? Holes in the wall can dispense cash, arguably with more polite delivery than their human counterparts, so why is there not a machine that can judge offsides? Failing robotic linesmen, at least give them the use of a video replay.
Ferguson didn't fail to cite the officials incompetence as the reason for United woe's after the game. However, conveniently, Federico Macheda's annual spring goal, which looked like it got a helping hand as it bundled its way in over the line, did not receive quite the same amount of attention.
I understand that the criticizing of officials is more about deflecting the short comings of his own team in the public spot light, but the United players know they didn't match the energy of Chelsea, and that the dodgy offside was a side note on what was only ever going to be one result.
Benitez on the other hand is predictably unpredictable. Bare with me. What I mean is, you can predict he will always make random substitutions or tactical decision, you just never know when exactly they will occur and to what extent it might have on the outcome of a game.
During Liverpool's away trip to Birmingham on Sunday, Benitez exercised his latest tactical prowess. On this occasion, Benitez elected to bring on David N'gog for Torres around about the 65th minute mark, give or take. I will admit, Torres did seem to be in one if those frumpy, freckled teenage moods, but even with an adolescent temperament he still has the capacity to finish goal scoring chances should they come his way. The look of astonishment upon Gerrard's face once the numbers of the electronic substitution bored had sunk in, said it all.
Unfortunately, at least three golden opportunities were created by Liverpool, which all came N'gog's way. And, N'gog didn't disappoint, missing the target or gifting it to the keeper on all occasions. I'm sure back at Melwood, that N'gog is guiltily the last one to be picked during 5 a-side training session. And what other possible explanation can Benitez have for fielding him, other than N'gog having bolshy parents that relentlessly yell french expletives in to Benitez' ear.
Benitez took a gamble, and his unpredictable roll of the dice might have paid off, had he the adequate resources to play with. In David N'gog, it was clear to see that these were small time chips in a high stakes game.