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Fergie's Liverpool swipe

05 Aug 2009 10:02:40

Fergie's Liverpool swipe

SIR Alex Ferguson has cranked up the pressure on Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez by declaring Chelsea to be the biggest threat to Manchester United's dream of an unprecedented fourth consecutive Premier League title. Big things are expected of Liverpool this term after their most consistent top-flight campaign since 1990. Yet Ferguson does not see the Merseyside giants making the improvement necessary to end their championship drought. ?Liverpool had probably their best season for 20 years and still finished four points adrift,? he said. ?It will be hard for them to match last season, let alone improve on it. Other teams will know more about them, so it has to be Chelsea as the main threat.? Benitez is bound to bristle at such comments, although with Xabi Alonso about to join Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Karim Benzema at Real Madrid, it is difficult to see how a Liverpool side whose focus continues to be the axis of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard can get better. The arrival of Carlo Ancelotti also brings an unknown dimension to Chelsea, although Ferguson believes the Italian's past record makes him an opponent to be respected. ?Ancelotti will play the Milan way,? said Ferguson. "It brought him two European Cups - it should have been three because they should never have lost to Liverpool, so why should he change?? That put-down of Benitez's proudest moment as Liverpool manager from Istanbul in 2005 will not endear him to the Anfield club either. Improve Fergie also insists there is life at the Reds without Ronaldo and he feels his squad is good enough to cope. ?People have misread our situation and underestimated our ability to improve players,? he said. ?We are expecting a lot from Jonny Evans, Danny Welbeck, Darron Gibson, Federico Macheda and the Da Silva brothers (Rafael and Fabio), while Nani and Anderson will improve this season. ?We will miss Ronaldo's goals, that is obvious. But Berbatov will do well this year and Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen are both capable of getting 20 goals.? In addition, Ferguson is still counting on top performances from his old guard of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville. Giggs in particular has impressed in pre-season so far, even though he is approaching his 36th birthday. ?People may say they have had their day but that is a pretty dangerous assumption,? said Ferguson. ?Giggs has been out of this world in pre-season. I don't know how he does it. He still has so much energy and an incredible change of pace to go past defenders.? Is Fergie right? Tell us your views


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