Deep down I’m surprised that it’s taken so long for Rafa to hit back at the criticism he and his team have received over their start to the season..
May say criticism should never be addressed. It depends how it’s done however, I never believe people such as actors or musicians who claim never to read their reviews. Come on, who are they kidding?
Perhaps Rafa was waiting for the right moment? Is it any coincidence that one of his targets was Jurgen Klinsmann the person Hicks and Gillett spoke to behind his back about his job. The other “critic” was ex Liverpool manger Graeme Souness.
Both voiced their opinions on Sky TV after the Wednesday’s defeat to Fiorentina. I can’t honestly remember what Klinsmann said but Souness’ remarks about he club being in “meltdown” did make me sit up. TV, radio and newspapers are full of ex players giving their opinion about anything. Few of them are particularly insightful, however I’m always interested to here what Souness has to say even though I don’t always agree with him. I thought his comments on Wednesday, which were straight after the game, were perhaps one of someone who was concerned rather than critical? He did preface his utterances by saying he was a Liverpool fan. Despite this one can’t really, at this stage anyway, subscribe to his theory that we are meltdown and will soon be lining up against Torquay in the division two even though our wonderful owners appear to be giving this a good go!
Sometimes things are said for effect or as a gut, kneejerk reaction to an event that, with time, doesn’t seem as serious has one initially thought. Nonetheless it prompted Rafa, after two days, to say this.
“There is always criticism but I don’t listen. I turn off the volume on the TV. Both (Souness and Klinsmann) have fantastic records as managers, so the fans ignore what they say”
Sorry Rafa, wrong answer! One is tempted to be a smart ar*e and ask how Rafa got to hear about Klinsmann’s and Souness’ comments if he turns the volume down? However, onto the real issue.
Rafa has a good record as a manager but the rub is that it’s not as good as Bill Shankly’s, Bob Paisley’s, Joe Fagan’s, Kenny Dalglish’s and may be even Gérard Houllier’s? Note the common theme and that is what really matters? Moreover although Graeme Souness’ record as manager, at Liverpool and elsewhere, may not be as good as Rafa’s he has a superb playing record for Liverpool and as such is more than entitled than most to give his opinion on the club. Why should Souness, or anyone else, be expected to tow the club line anyway? If we think he’s a pri*k for saying what he says then fair enough the overriding climate of opinion, mixed with the level of respect people have for the critic, will prevail?
All this has done has shown just how frustrating our current plight is for Rafa, not that it should be a surprise. Criticism is part and parcel of the game especially when things go wrong. While others (including myself) comment, is it wise for Rafa to do so? All it does is undermine his situation, reveal a chink in his armour at time when he needs to be strong and resolute? The best way to answer his detractors is, as always in football, on the pitch?
However given the events of this season so far, who can blame him for reacting in the way he has? He’s only human, and at least it shows he cares?