The saying “fair weather fan” has always been quite popular in America. But it can, for this week at least, best describe a prominent celebrity-analyst of English football.
In a mid-December dialogue for Manchester Evening News, analyst Jamie Carragher – himself a former Liverpool star – took a shot at Manchester United by leaving Paul Pogba out of his select best-of lineup of the Reds and Red Devils. Calling Pogba the “least disciplined player of all time,” Carragher hinted that there wasn’t a single Liverpool footballer worthy of stepping off the pitch in favor of an inferior MUFC depth chart.
It’s February now. United is roaring, going unbeaten in all competitions since sacking José Mourinho on December 18th. The Red Devils recently defeated Arsenal 3-1 to advance to the 5th Round of the FA Cup and are making a run at another Champions League qualification in 2019-20. Superstar in-the-making Marcus Rashford scored the winner less than 10:00 into the club’s latest triumph over Leicester City on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Liverpool dropped another pair of points in a 1-1 draw with struggling West Ham over the weekend, with the Reds failing to protect what was once considered a near-prohibitive lead in the Premier League table.
And Carragher has changed his tune.
“I said yesterday Manchester United have a better squad than Liverpool,” the wishy-washy pundit told Sky Sports on its Monday Night Football broadcast this week. “People may have thought it was a strange thing to say but I think we’re seeing little signs of it.”
Carragher then went on to nitpick various lineup decisions United has made while passing over the real issue – that the “better than Liverpool” could barely (if at all) crack his best-of lineup earlier this winter.
Pundits expect the public to have a short memory. But this time, the media may be going too far in expecting supporters to buy into a fair-weather conclusion on United and Liverpool.
We’ll know more about which is the superior squad once the Red Devils visit Anfield on February 24th.
Image from Daily Mail.