Monday, January 26, 2009

Rafael Benitez's latest bout of whingeing

What he said :

For the second time in a week, it is the Red half of Merseyside that appears bitter - this time it was their manager, not their fans, who drenched spiteful vinegar on top of their disappointment. According to Rafa, Liverpool had learnt their lesson from Monday night. It only took a few minutes to prove the Spaniard wrong, a Pienaar corner - a free header from Cahill (for a marked man he was strangely unmarked) - and the finishing touch from our goalscoring centre half Joleon Lescott providing the sweetest of answers.

Everton and Liverpool may just have Stanley Park between them, but they are miles apart in terms of footballing philosophy. Whereas Rafa can toss his managerial dice whenever he wants, Moyes only gets one throw with such a shallow squad. The Spaniard's small club jibe some two years ago was intended to sting Evertonians, and his latest gripes are clearly intended to do the same. The stark truth remains though; after scoring early on, defending was Moyes' only option - and despite having millions on the pitch, more on the bench, and even a £20 million striker in reserve, Liverpool couldn't break down our glavanized defence. Whilst we didn't come for the draw - with Cahill probing and harrying, we had a real goal threat - after they scored defending was the only logical tactic.

Stripped of Fellaini through suspension and Arteta, Yakubu, Saha, and Vaughan through injury - Moyes knew that after scoring, and especially after Gerrard's equalizer, his tiring band of brothers had to dig their heels in and defend. And we did so with great resilience. Everton have a strange strength in their shallowness, and Liverpool have a weakness in the depth of their squad.

Rafa's complaints are hilariously skewed not only because he has so much attacking talent that Robbie Keane didn't even feature on the bench, but because in Europe Rafa is a master of getting that away draw. Although Everton won't be bringing an away goal advantage to Goodison, we hope to have Fellaini and midfield laureate Arteta back for the replay - and Rafa's comments should make sure even more aggression is added to a bubbling Goodison cauldron.

Can you imagine the state of Liverpool football club without some of their key players? Shorn of Torres and Gerrard, they would be ineffective and rudderless. Without a match winner, Rafa has again let out a meaningless belch of a comment, bleating on about Everton and how we play 10 men behind the ball. Jagielka and Lescott both wore their defensive responsibilities like stiff upper lips, and their names will surely be bobbing around the watching Fabio Capello's mind. Rafa just looks like a very forgetful and tetchy hypocrite, whereas Moyes' retort that Everton conduct themselves with dignity was given with all the calm and assurance of a post coital puff of a cigarette.

Yesterday's post game statement from the Anfield manager was simply embarrassing, saying that "I have never played like that here, and never did this while I was at Valencia, maybe at Extremadura a few times,"

Bill Shankly adroitly lifted his men with words after the 1971 FA Cup final defeat against Arsenal, saying "Chairman Mao has never seen a greater show of red strength."

Rafa's statement though, won't lift anyone, and should only serve to redden the cheeks of Liverpool fans and embolden the Blues for the rematch on Wednesday week. Perhaps Rafa should focus on his tongue tied team rather than attempting to restore pride with pidgin insults.

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