Posts tagged ‘Rafa Benitez’

April 30, 2010

New manager tops Benitez’s wishlist

Benitez calls for changes

By Bill Hack Chief Football Correspondent

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has admitted it could take five new signings to turn Liverpool into trophy challengers once more – a new manager, owner, striker, defender and midfield-quartet.

Benitez’s men were knocked out of the semi-finals of the Europa Cup last night on away goals to Atletico Madrid – compounding a poor season for the Reds.

“I will always defend the players,” he said. “The art of good management is not to criticise your players, even when they are clearly the ones at fault and it is nothing to do with the inspirational foreign manager.

“Having said that we have to make some changes because they are rubbish. Whoever signed them is an idiot and needs to get some new glasses because they are crap.

“But we only need to make a few changes – a new striker, a new defender and a new midfield will suffice. If a squad became available then we would have to look at that.

“While we are at it, it would be great to bring in a new owner and some sort of coach to find some good players to buy, prepare them for games, select the right ones and tell them what to do during game situations.

“But it will be difficult because apparently someone spent all the money on Glen Johnson and Alberto Aquilani.”

Last night injury forced Dirk Kuyt – known as one of the best defensive-wingers around but not a natural striker – to play up front and the attacking Johnson to fulfil a full-back role.

The lack of a creative midfielder was also evident again last night with Alberto Aquilani – despite the rumours of his inclusion – once again failing to turn up following his summer transfer.

But, despite the recent disappointments, Benitez maintained that his side still remained on course to achieve their priority with success in the Premier League.

“People forget that with only a few games to go the Premier League title is still in our hands,” said the Spaniard.

“If we lose to Chelsea – Manchester United do not win the title. If we beat Chelsea we deny Chelsea the title and, as a bonus, get to keep our pride.

“Plus we are still on course for a top-six finish and that vital qualification into the Europa Cup next season. That is not too bad.”

* This story was constructed from 99% fiction

March 19, 2010

Benitez ignores accusations of ignoring people

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is refusing to comment on accusations by squad member Albert Riera that he is ‘uncommunicative’.

Riera, a flakey winger signed for £8million from Espanyol, was suspended by the club after critising the Liverpool manager for leaving him out of the team and then refusing to talk to him – ever again.

Asked if he was distant and aloof, Benitez shrugged his shoulders, raised his eyebrows and walked away to his private ivory tower.

Riera, visibly distraught at Benitez’s treatment of him, revealed that the Liverpool boss ‘never called anymore’, ‘rarely saw him’ and often ‘dropped him by text’ – sometimes in preference of Ryan Babel.

“It was so hurtful,” he said. “He just began to ignore me, no words of encouragement, no ‘wow that was amazing’ Alberto, no ‘you’re better than Ronaldo’, no ‘you’re the greatest player I’ve ever seen’ – nothing. He just said nothing to me.”

Later allies of Benitez rallied in his support of the world famous Liverpool manager and stressed that he is ‘simply a shy soul’.

Riera is now suspended from all first-team activities including team-bonding sessions until next week – though it remains unclear when the ban actually began.

And with so much free time now in his calendar, Riera has indicated that he is considering taking up football.

The tall and slender Spaniard admitted that he had never had time for hobbies with his hectic schedule of sitting in stands up and down the country during the weekends and acting as a goal post during weekday training sessions – his absence has left Liverpool with a massive void and are said to be searching for a player to act as a left upright alongside right upright Ryan Babel and cross bar David Ngog.

And Riera is now thinking of in ‘some kind of weekend football – may be in some kind of league’.

* Elements of this story are entire fiction