Monday, 27 April 2009

Rafa’s defense falls on deaf ears

During his pre match meeting with the media on Friday, Rafa Benitez explained for the first time since the incident, his hand movements that had so enraged Fergie and his puppet Sam Allardyce. In an article in Saturdays Mail written by John Edwards, Rafa described the event which was detailed in my blog here. “Xabi Alonso and Emiliano Insua were standing over a free-kick and I was shouting orders to them in Spanish. I kept saying, ‘Play it short’ because I thought there could be a surprise element. But Xabi just whipped it straight into the area and when Fernando Torres headed it in, he turned round and gave me a big grin. I just had to laugh and I just made a sign to say, ‘OK, don’t listen to me.” Published in the Mail, Rafa’s explanation was also picked up on Sky Sports website and The Guardian where he explained why his gestures had created such outrage he said "to create something around this means that maybe people have nothing to do." No other media outlet appears to have ran Rafa's explanation of the incident.

Also appearing in the Mail on Friday anonymously written by ‘Sportsmail Reporter’ was a piece clearly supporting Fergie. Picturing him as a serial victim it stated “Benitez has launched a series of scathing attacks on Ferguson since the turn of the year”. Ignoring that he’d made any attack on Benitez, Fergie clearly trying to paint a picture that he’s overflowing in dignity and above the entire argument which he masterminded, said “He s definitely saying a lot, But I’m happy for him to carry on with it”. This was a reply to an article published in Spanish newspaper ABC where Rafa was reported to have claimed that Liverpool are better then United. Talking about this comment, Benitez said “It is an old interview and it is badly translated so it is not true,” he said. "I did not say this. It was a normal conversation with a good journalist and then has been twisted a little bit."

It’s clear that Rafa’s comments attacking Fergie were plastered all over the back pages, whilst the explanation of the incident seems to have been mostly ignored.

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