No other way to describe it really. A massive takeover and imminent spending left everyone around Anfield happy campers and, with a massive match against Barcelona in the Champions League coming up, very excited about the rest of the season.
Cue Craig Bellamy, the Premiership’s foremost troublemaking gnome, getting drunk, hitting team mates with golf clubs, and generally getting everyone in a spot of trouble. Everyone was momentarily in “innocent until proven guilty” mode, but Rafa Benitez’ statement sort of removes any doubt,
“I met this morning with the entire first-team squad and made it absolutely clear to all of them the responsibilities that come with playing for this club and the way they are expected to conduct themselves both on and off the pitch.
“The players worked extremely hard at last week’s training camp, but we will take disciplinary action and fine any of them who are found to have breached club rules during our stay in Portugal.”
You would think this would mean Bellamy’s last chance, given that his conduct has seen him forced out of Blackburn and Newcastle for some rather public falling outs, but of course it won’t. He’s still a great striker on his day and there should be a few Premiership clubs (Bolton) coming in hoping to mend his ways.
Benitez isn’t really the sort of manager we can see losing a dressing room and struggling to control his players, and with a nice pile of American dollars in the bank account he’s got everything he needs to revamp the whole squad, again, in the summer.