Rafa’s Rant: Benitez in danger of becoming Kevin Keegan Mark II
Liverpool boss unleashes his Fergie dossier
In case you have missed it, Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has launched a pretty scathing attack on Sir Alex Ferguson. The gist of Benitez’s message was ‘stop whining – there is no vendetta against you or Manchester United’.
The Spaniard’s outburst is reported to be in response to comments made by Ferguson about the fixture list when he claimed that the odds were stacked against United. My opinion is that while there is probably more than an ounce of truth in what Rafa is saying, the very fact that he has voiced his concerns in a way that suggests he has been gawking at Ferguson’s every move sends out the message that he is feeling the pressure at the top of the table.
I’m sure I won’t be the only onlooker to compare the rant to Kevin Keegan’s infamous ‘I’d love it’ speech. Read the rant and give your views after the jump…
Rafa said: “I want to talk about facts. I want to be clear, I do not want to play mind games too early, although they seem to want to start.
“During the Respect campaign – and this is a fact – Mr Ferguson was charged by the FA for improper conduct after comments made about Martin Atkinson and Keith Hackett.
“He was not punished. He is the only manager in the league that cannot be punished for these things.
“How can you talk about the Respect campaign and yet criticise the referee every single week?
“We know what happens every time we go to Old Trafford and the United staff. They are always going man-to-man with the referees, especially at half-time when they walk close to the referees and they are talking and talking.
“All managers need to know is that only Mr Ferguson can talk about the fixtures, can talk about referees – and nothing happens.
“We need to know that I am talking about facts, not my impression. There are things that everyone can see every single week.
“To complain and to always have an advantage is not fair.
“Two years ago we had a lot of early kick-offs away on Saturdays when United were playing on Sundays. And we didn’t say anything,” said the Reds boss.
“Now he is complaining about everything, that everybody is against United. But the second half of the season will see them playing at home against all the teams at the top of the table, it is a fantastic advantage.
“At Christmas, United played on the 29th and the rest of the teams played on the 28th. We were away against Newcastle two days after playing Bolton. They were playing about 40 hours later, but they were not complaining then.
“If he wants to talk about fixtures, and have a level playing field, there are two options if we don’t want more problems with fixtures.
“One is the same as in Spain, the draw for the first part of the league is known, everyone knows which weekend. In the second half everyone plays the opposite, so you all know.
“Sky and Setanta have the right to choose their games and it will be the same for everyone. So Mr Ferguson will not be complaining about fixtures and a campaign against United.
“Or there is another option. That Mr Ferguson organises the fixtures in his office and sends it to us and everyone will know and cannot complain. That is simple.”
What do you reckon?