Much was made of Rafa Benitez’s press conference yesterday where, according to the Telegraph,
…he refused to speak expansively on numerous topics yesterday, insisting that he was “focused on training and coaching”.
That mantra, repeated 15 times in a nine-minute briefing with newspaper journalists, was a clear indication of his anger at what he perceives to be a crucial issue not being viewed as a top priority by the club’s owners, who he thinks have told him just to get on with his job rather than complete key transfers.
Seemed like mostly conjecture, maybe Rafa was just really focused on training for some reason to try and improve his side. But one half of the Liverpool Yankee Doodle Dream Team, Tom Hicks, revealed that there is quite a bit of fire to this smoke,
“After the UEFA Champions League final in Athens, Rafa made certain demands of us and we responded to those demands in the summer,” Hicks told the Liverpool Echo.
“We brought in some good players and spent more money than has ever been spent before at this club.
“We now have some crucial games coming up in the Premier League and the Champions League and we want to see if we can win these games with the players we have.
“This was the message we gave to Rafa recently and I think during the international break he must have grown a bit frustrated about this.
“We told him to concentrate on the games coming up and nothing else and I guess he didn’t like that.
“But, for the time being, we just need to be focused on what happens on the pitch.
“George and I will be over in mid-December and that is the time to talk about other issues. It is really time for Rafa to quit talking about new players and to coach the players we have.”
So Benitez throws a strop after losing the Champions League final. His owners blow 50 million odd on his main man (Torres) and a few other extremely talented players (Babel, Lucas) and now that Liverpool are struggling a bit he’s complaining that they haven’t spent even more?
Rafa made his name winning trophies at Valencia despite having a fraction of the transfer budget of his rivals, yet all of a sudden it seems that the bearded one has gotten a taste of the good life and forgotten that it’s his job to win with what he has. If for some reason he thinks he can only win if his club matches the spending of the teams around him, maybe he should look to the current table toppers for some advice. Wenger has been starved to death compared to what Rafa has been handed in recent seasons, yet he’s quietly got on with it and relied on his managerial ability and scouting network to pull through. Not one word of moaning.
Benitez is doing himself no favours by pointing the finger all over the place, he’s got a squad that is good enough to compete at the very top and it’s up to him to get them firing on all cylinders.