Now the Premiership title has been tied up the papers seem to be writing in a way that suggests that everything is over and that next Sunday’s game with Spurs will be nothing but a case of tidying up after main party.
No doubt Robbie Keane will feel he has something to say about this however it’s not stopped the papers looking forward to the summer and speculating over who will be coming and, more easily, going from Anfield. Many of the papers have compiled a “hit list” of players who may find themselves ushered out of the door. We also been treated to list of those players Rafa has signed over the years who, in the papers opinion, have been a “hit” and those who haven’t. As if we weren’t able to figure this out for ourselves for example did you know that they consider Torres to be one of Rafa’s best signings! Next week, Hitler was evil!
It’s strange that we appear to be the only club that has been subjected to this type of coverage? Perhaps it’s because we were “so close yet so far” so they feel it’s pertinent to discuss want is needed to make the difference next season? However, to my mind, as Liverpool fan, there is something slightly distasteful in speculating over who is for the chop before the final ball of the season has been kicked by a red shirted player. Perhaps I’m being to much a gentleman, too much of a sticker for protocol especially as I suspect the agents of those involved will already be putting out feelers to potential suitors?
What is, undeniable, even at this early stage, is that although Rafa has the basis of a good team, one that has proved it can challenge for the title, he does need to make a few changes, “fine tuning” he calls this. Rafa has drawn unfavourable parallels with us and the financial clout and strength in depth of the other members of the so called “big four”. I don’t know if he’s trying to “big up” what we’ve done or suggest that we will continue to be up against it in future years. However, it doesn’t really do him any favours as all it does is highlight, with reported finances limited to £20-£30m, plus whatever he can raise from sales, just how important it is that this summer Rafa’s transfer decisions are the right ones?
However, enough of this, the campaign hasn’t closed yet. And now that Fergie sits in his living room smug, snug and comfy in his slippers listening to Sinatra, sipping his Complan, dipping his digits into a bag of Werthers Originals and pondering over The Manc’s eighteenth title many have suggested that it’s now time for he and Rafa in the words of The League Managers Association (LMA) to “move on” from their rifts.
Said LMA chief executive Richard Bevan
“They are very experienced, very successful and highly competitive. They will at times have strong views but I think on this instant it is time for all parties to move on.”
“At the LMA the image of the game matters and we speak to all of our members on an ongoing basis on a variety of issues”
The image thing is hardly a major issue it’s not as if either manager has been defrauding the taxpayer by getting their moats cleaned, garden’s done or buying Hob Nobs! What is meant by “move on” we are not told. “Move on” from words to all out fighting perhaps? That certainly would be interesting however I suspect it is actually onto a more cordial relationship. I’ve not been especially bothered by the duo giving off sparks. I don’t think it affected our form, despite want some would have us believe and it’s high time that someone stood up to Fergie. However, I’ve always felt that Rafa would be best served by just ignoring him and letting the football do the talking as we did in both our games against the Mancs this season.
Perhaps Rafa could take his philosophy from “the two bulls” analogy. They’re walking along a very high ridge and they see a field of cows. The younger bull says “let’s run down there and f***k one of them”. The older bull says “No, let’s walk slowly down and f*** the lot of them”
The best way to irritate Fergie is NOT to take the bait. Just ignore him, patiently sit back in the sure knowledge that his day will come and that when it does, it be all the more sweeter?