Date:Thursday August 23 2007
Rafa Benitez is losing the plot it seems: he believes the Premier League's treatment of Liverpool is unfair.
Morning kick-offs and the Heinze-case: both contrived to blow Benitez off his mind and he started speaking nonsense as a result.
"I would like to ask the Premier League a number of questions," he said.
"How can a player with a signed agreement be treated like this? Heinze has a document which is clear, but the Premier League prefers to believe the word of someone else who made a mistake.
Dear old Rafa. He's not a lawyer, that's for sure. There's nothing in Heinze's CONTRACT that makes United obliged to release him if a certain offer comes in. A letter? If I write a letter saying that I donate Ł10m pounds for Liverpool, I'm not obliged to do it unless I take full legal responsibility for my sentences.
If that's an informal letter Heinze's got (and it seems this is the case) then even an appeal, in front of the court, will fail. Of course we could have avoided all this if Gill had known Heinze would love to go to Liverpool - but it had not occurred in his wildest dreams.
Rafa went on to state that the League's got it in against Liverpool with all the morning kick-offs but of course anyone who's been following the Premier League in recent years will know what this moaning is all about.
He's trying to create that siege mentality, that 'the whole world is against us' feeling that is the favourite method of José Mourinho (no penalties allowed against Manchester United), Arséne Wenger (Arsenal are handicapped by playing too many London derbies) and our own Sir Alex Ferguson.
It worked pretty well on occasions when players actually believe that they receive unfair treatment and that they have to overcome incredible adversity to be successful. Yet it remains to be seen whether Liverpool players really accept that morning kickoffs are parts of a terrible conspiracy against them.
And there's still the chance that Benitez has simply lost his mind. The following quote can't be explained otherwise.
"Then I want to ask the Premier League why it was so difficult for Liverpool to sign Javier Mascherano, when we had to wait a long time for the paperwork, but it was so easy for Carlos Tévez to join Manchester United.
Now we know that it was easy for Carlos Tevez to join us. Oh my god. What do you use, Rafa, and where can I get some?
But of course supporters must not worry, they will be rallied by General Rafa and the revolution for a more beautiful and fair world will begin.
"It`s going to be very difficult for us to win the Premier League because the other teams are so strong, but I want our supporters to know that, despite the disadvantages we have, we will fight all the way.
We will fight to cope with our more difficult kick-off times and all the other decisions which are going against us."
Mourinho has a lot of ground to make up. How will Chelsea be the victim of every possible decision made on Earth (including my neighbour's choice of breakfast) if Benitez occupies this position so quickly?
Date:Thursday August 23 2007
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