Tuesday, 2 November 2010

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”

Rafael Benitez still clearly casts a long shadow of Liverpool football club and even the Premier League. His comments yesterday, following Roy Hodgson’s accusations that he barred Kop legend Kenny Dalglish from Melwood training ground, have been lampooned in the press once more. Indeed it is a strange position that current boss Roy Hodgson finds himself in, in that his predecessor gains more press headlines then himself. Hodgson, during his pre match conference at the weekend said: “When it was mooted the club wanted me for the job I made it clear to Kenny I wanted him on board and it wouldn’t be like it was with Benítez where you are here in name but never allowed to set foot into Melwood and we don’t want anything to do with you.”

Rafa, who was instrumental in bringing Dalglish back to Anfield, was forced to address the issue yesterday, after repeated questions from the media asking for his opinion on Roy’s comments. Not surprisingly this has been laughed off by the press like it’s the latest rants of a loon who can’t stop having a pop at people. Well if you repeatedly ask the question, then feign surprise at the answer, there is clearly an agenda in place and a myth to perpetuate. The press’s latest reporting of Rafa’s suggestion that “some people cannot see a priest on a mountain of sugar.” has been met with smirks, puzzlement and bemusement. Although evidently aimed at Hodgson, the comment should also ironically apply to the press, as they’re clearly unable to spot the truth even when it stares them straight in the face. Undoubtedly the statement refers to the ease with which the priest's black robes can be spotted against the white of the mountain of sugar. Simple. However an agenda driven, xenophobic British press would prefer to laugh at the Spaniards latest attempt to educate them in Spanish colloquialisms.

Indeed the press failed to reports Hodgson own xenophobia recently when following the Merseyside Derby. A journalist from Scandinavia suggested Liverpool’s lack of goals was clearly because there was no supply line to Torres.
Hodgson asked: “Are you from Denmark?”
“No, Norway,” replied the visitor.
“Ah, two countries I never want to work in again,” replied Hodgson.

How was this insulting, dare I say racist comment greeted by the press? Martin Samuel reporting for the Daily Mail called Hodgson ‘chippy’
It’s clear the foreign press has a better understanding of Liverpool then the British press, and the British press is happy to let this type of comment slip because they ‘like’ Roy.

Hodgson who has said one ludicrous comment after another, whilst in charge of the Reds has gone from insulting the fans with his comment: "The protest does not help but it is something I have had to live with since I came to the club," to calling the win at Bolton a “famous victory”.

Not a peep from the press though. They continually call for him to have more time whilst he re-builds the wreck of a club left by big spending Benitez. Indeed, such is the absurd myth surrounding how brilliant Hodgson is, Bolton boss Owen Coyle recently laughably claimed: “He is an elite coach in the world of football.”

However all these comments are reported on in complete seriousness without a hint of irony. So when Rafael Benitez enters the frame and is asked to answer the lies uttered by Hodgson, this is how it’s reported:

The Telegraph says:
“Inter Milan manager Rafael Benítez launches tirade at Liverpool manager Roy HodgsonForget the “facts”, forget the “milk”. This was the Rafa rant to end all Rafa rants. The evening the former Liverpool manager unceremoniously turned on his successor, Roy Hodgson”

Incredibly the ex boss still has an intuitive relationship with Liverpool fans, something Hodgson will never have. Most appear to support him over our current boss. Benitez, speaking about Roy Hodgson’s press conferences last night, said: "Every single press conference is even worse than the last one. He's talking about things that he doesn't know.”

"Maybe he hasn't been in Liverpool too long. We gave the fans their pride - again. We fought for the fans, we fought for the club and we fought for our players.”

Well now its time to fight for him.

Rafa's statement was a call to arms for the fans. Benitez has had to endure a dishonourable few months as accusations from the media, experts, ex players, Premiership managers, ex owners, ex managers, and yes, sadly even our own fans, try to revise his history as manager of Liverpool FC.

The 1976 classic film ‘Network’ satires a generation of people who have become lethargic, complacent and whose minds have become softened by the seduction of the media. Its main character Howard Beale in its most famous scene proclaims: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore,” and it’s time for fans to do the same. The Madrid born manager understands the city of Liverpool and its fans, and he has not stopped fighting for this club, even now as he manages Inter Milan. So neither should the fans.

Some fans state that Benitez should keep quiet, but why should he have to endure the lies and myth making of the last few months? I wouldn’t. And using the same argument, why can’t Roy keep his mouth shut?

I may be accused of being a Rafa apologist, but I apologise for nothing if it means standing up to lies, miss-truths and falsification of our history.

“O Captain! My Captain!" Señor Benitez.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Benitez answers back after Hodgson's slur

Ex Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, has defended himself after current LFC boss Roy Hodgson accused him of banning Reds legend Kenny Dalglish from Liverpool's Melwood training ground during his time in charge.

Rafa who is back in England for Tomorrow night's Champions League match at Tottenham, was attempting to once again set the record straight in front of a baying press pack

"I think that Mr Hodgson, he doesn't understand," Benitez said.

"Every single press conference is even worse than the last one. He's talking about things that he doesn't know.

"And some people cannot see a priest on a mountain of sugar.

"Maybe he hasn't been in Liverpool too long. We gave the fans their pride - again. We fought for the fans, we fought for the club and we fought for our players.

"So maybe he cannot understand this."

He added: "I brought back Kenny Dalglish to do a role in the club and Christian Purslow gave him another role.

"He (Hodgson) doesn't know but I will explain it to him.

"So, instead of talking about the flips or the flops, he has to concentrate on his players, try to do his best.

"He has a good job to do."

"They've signed nine players.

"With £10million net spending, I left that squad with £300million value, 13 internationals.

"So, instead of talking about flips and flops, he has to concentrate on his job, try to do his best and not talk about the level of his players or the new players.

"Concentrate, try to do your best because it will be the best for the club and it will be the best for the fans."

No doubt Benitez’s comments will attract more criticism from the British press intent on re-writing his history, as another “rant”.

Although the repeated questions from the press asking for his views have been carefully edited out, his comments can be viewed here