Friday, 9 January 2009


SO Rafa Benitez has pointed the finger at Fergie - and rightly so.

"Sir Alex" has played his games for long enough and it's about time someone turned the tables - Rafa has done just that.

And he did it a calm, considered and humourous way - not bad, considering English isn't his first language.

But some of the media "analysis" of this so far has been laughable.

Don't get me wrong, as a journalist myself I fully expected Rafa's actions to be described as a "rant", that he "blasted" Fergie, "stunned" journalists at the press conference and "launched an unprecedented, stinging attack on Fergie".

Of course, what he actually did was unfold a piece of paper and reel off why Taggart gets away with murder time after time.

But I'm not getting into the semantics - especially having written the Daily Sport's backpage headline for tomorrow - RAFA BLOWS HIS KOP (in case you were wondering).

Some people take offence at this kind of thing. It wasn't a rant, they'll say, he was cool, calm and collected. He was.

But are you really going to pick up a paper tomorrow expecting to see the headline: RAFA COOLY REVEALS HIS RESERVATIONS ABOUT FERGUSON'S ATTITUDE TOWARDS REFEREES.

No. Well, unless you read the Telegraph of course...anyone?

But that's not my point. No, what got me was that before you could say "overpaid annoying tw*t", Brian Woolnough from the Daily Star was on Radio Five delivering his "expert analysis".

Now if an argument is well thought out and can be backed up with facts (like Rafa's about Ferguson for example) then I'll listen.

Woolnough's wasn't. His point? Rafa's lost it. He's cracked under the pressure, risen to the bait and done exactly what Ferguson wanted to him to do.


And why's that, Bri? Bri? BRI????

The high-haired hack couldn't expand on his argument, instead reeling of a series of cliches and frantically bringing the old 'rotation' chestnut into it.

Desperate Mr Woolnough, desperate.

I'm not saying I'm an expert either - but I believe I can offer an argument that holds more water than Daily Star's Mr Rentaquote.

And it's this. Rafa, with his considered attack on Ferguson, is showing he is ready to take on Fergie (to "knock him off his fucking perch" if you will).

Because let's be honest, who else is going to do it? Phil Scolari? Nope. He's too busy batting away speculation about his future and in-fighting at Stamford Bridge.

Arsene Wenger? Hardly in the position is he?

So it's up to Rafa. He has to show Fergie he's on for the fight. So he has. And he is.

Woolnough started to drip on about the effect on the Liverpool players. Again, he, and I, can't possible know. But we can speculate.

And my speculation is that they are thinking pretty much what every Reds fan is thinking right now: "Well in, Rafa, now let's show them bastards and win the thing".

I can't imagine Carragher and Co. shaking their heads, shrugging and saying: "Well, that's that boys - the boss has risen to the bait - may as well throw in the towel."

No, they'll be thinking, we're top of the league and we're bang up for it.

The other lazy analysis is comparing Rafa's rant to Kevin Keegan's collapse in front of the cameras (you know, 'And I'd love it, love it if we beat them.')

Sorry, nothing like. Keegan flipped because the pressure was getting to him - on that occasion Fergie's "mind games" HAD worked.

With Rafa - he's just turned the tables. He's said what every manager, player and fan not connected to Manchester United thinks.

And now, just maybe, officials will be ready for Fergie's attempts to sway them.

And perhaps the big wigs at the top of the game will, for once, develop a pair of plums and tell the Scot to do one when he comes calling with his complaints.

And maybe, it will wind up Fergie, Man United players and get the media salivating - leaving our players to get on with the most important thing - winning.

For me, it's a no lose.

The Spaniard hasn't made outrageous claims about his team's ability like motormouth Mourinho. He hasn't thrown his toys out of the pram like Wenger did ("I refuse to speak anymore about that man"). And he hasn't emerged steaming from the ears like Keegan did.

Nope, he's turned the spotlight on Fergie - said "the pressure's on you bollocks" and called for officials to be stronger when dealing with United.

And all, I might add, 48 hours before United play Chelsea at Old Trafford.

The actions of a man who's "lost it"? Don't think so!

1 comment:

Dave Molyneux said...

Your absolutely spot on fella

Above all it’s a battle cry I think which he is fully entitled to do, and your right skipper: it’s about time someone rattled Taggart’s cage.

One thing that stood out about the interview was the fact that Rafa kept referring to him as ‘Ferguson’ and kept the ‘Sir Alex’ out!! Hahaha, that’s plainly shows how much respect Rafa has for the man. Another thing is that Taggart was asked to comment yesterday on Rafa’s comments and he had fuck all to say!!! That speaks volumes as he basically has fuck all to come back with!!! Shithouse!!!!!!!!!

As for all these hacks referring to Keegan’s rant is this: the difference between Rafa & Keegan is that Keegan was an emotional wreck and Taggart walked away saying “job done!”. Rafa proved at Valencia that he takes no shit. Whilst at Liverpool he took one Moanrinhio … and won!! This will not be the last ‘blast’ or ‘outrage’ I don’t think

Well in Rafa, watch out Taggart !!!!!!!!!

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