Saturday, January 10, 2009

And With One Bound ....

Rafa Benitez turns every soccer neutral (as far as the title race is concerned I don't think my Baggies are quite capable of catching up) into a Liverpool supporter.

The Spaniard said that Ferguson and his staff's haranguing of match officials when they leave the bench at half-time was so severe that his side had resorted to "marking" members of the United bench and he advised Luiz Felipe Scolari to do the same when he arrives at Old Trafford tomorrow. "We know what happens every time we go to Old Trafford," Benitez said. "Mr Scolari needs to know so that maybe he can use zonal marking against the staff of United because they are always doing man to man with the referees when they go to the bench and especially at half-time. Other managers need to know this."

Benitez detailed four instances – against Hull City, Southampton last week, his own side last April and Portsmouth in the FA Cup last March – of what he sees as Ferguson's repeated attempts to influence referees, as well as football authorities with his criticism of scheduling.


Fergie's a funny chap. I keep hearing how his Govan roots make him a natural Labour donor, but that strikes me as the one publicly visible streak of sentimentality in an otherwise pretty ruthless and focused operator who's also clever enough to know when he's bitten off more than he can chew. After all, Labour are no longer the party of those grim but golden days, having spent the last fifty years increasing reliance on the state, rewarding irresponsibility and punishing self-reliance - none of which spring to mind as core Fergie values when you see the way he runs his teams. He's IMHO more likely to think that the Lord helps those who help themselves. I don't think a Fergie Prime Ministership would have a great deal of time for benefit culture, to take one example. If he could personally interview all claimants I think we'd see claims dropping by 80% - and the truly deserving 20% would get more.

But he does always seem to need to push the envelope just that little bit more, doesn't he ? I tell you this - I would love it - love it - if Liverpool win the league this season.

11 comments:

Thud said...

i find myself reluctantly (well not realy) forced to agree.

Michael Calwell said...

As a keen Liverpool supporter, I agree wholeheartedly.

Martin said...

Ferguson is good at running fitba' teams; otherwise, his opinions are of little interest.

Anonymous said...

Stoke 0 Liverpool 0

Michael said...

The only British manager of the 'big four'. A Scot, one of those engines of empire (oft lamented on blogs like this) who sought a bigger stage. A man whose foresight, energy, and ruthlessness has made him the most succesful manager in our (and the european game and who also has nurtured and encouraged British talent - Giggs, Scholes, Beckham, Rooney...His work ethic, cunning and desire for excellence are the qualities that once made GB top nation. And Laban Tall sides with Benitez the Spaniard. Bizarre. Stoke 0 Liverpool 0 indeed.

Sam Tarran said...

Michael, I don't believe a person's nationality is reasoning for siding with them on everything. Particularly not a United manager.

Liverpool won't win the League, though. I think everyone is just waiting for their downturn. It comes every season, usually when the Champions League really gets going.

As fantastic as it would be to see the smug smile slapped off Ferguson's face, I think United will still snatch the championship.

Michael said...

Sam, this blog is often about nationality - in particular the lack of British will or gumption. As a bitter blue, surely you understand Mark Hughes as City manager is a plant by the Rags and yet more evidence of Fergie's genius? And maybe Laban should switch allegiance to Villa is he hates Man Yoo and is looking for British excellence? But the scousers - no, no, no....

Sam Tarran said...

Sam, this blog is often about nationality - in particular the lack of British will or gumption.

Yes, it is. But you're advocating siding with Ferguson just because he's British. Which is stupid.

As a bitter blue, surely you understand Mark Hughes as City manager is a plant by the Rags and yet more evidence of Fergie's genius?

No, not really. Personally, I wanted and still want Mourinho.

And maybe Laban should switch allegiance to Villa is he hates Man Yoo and is looking for British excellence?

I don't believe he supports Man Yoo as it is. I don't believe he 'chooses' which team to support. But I do believe he supports, as his post suggests, West Brom, which would make a 'switch' of allegiance to Villa even more distasteful.

Laban said...

Villa ? I would rather eat worms.

staybryte said...

Oh dear Laban, do I sense a little bitterness after Saturday's result in the latest instalment of English football's oldest derby (and increasingly the most predictable)?

Holte Enders in the sky...

Laban said...

Sad thing is the Baggies played well.

But I don't hate the Villa - even though they sent a double-agent called Ron Saunders, disguised as a manager, to get us relegated and destroy our footballing style twenty-odd years back. Took us a decade to recover.