Rafael Benítez said today that the efforts of a cowardly board member to undermine the Reds on the eve of the league game against Aston Villa haven’t worked.
The Daily Mirror printed quotes from a member of the board intent on causing trouble for Rafa, and of course causing more turmoil for the club. The board member may have felt it was OK to air grievances in public that should really be kept inside the club and in private, but Rafa wasn’t going to sink to his level. He said: “I only want to concentrate on football. I have too much respect for the club and for the board to talk about this. I prefer to speak about it in private. I learnt a good phrase off John Toshack when he was in Spain – ‘no comment’.”
At least Rafa has respect for the club – although we didn’t need to be told that. Rafa knows how important the Red and White is to Liverpool Football Club – well the Red anyway. And he says that his plans haven’t been messed up by this: “This story hasn’t affected preparations for the game this weekend though. We have been working on the match for two or three days and we will continue to do so.”
Liverpool’s Chief Executive, Rick Parry, refuted the claims of the coward about Liverpool being headed in the wrong direction, saying: “We understand the expectations at Liverpool but we are clearly moving in the right direction under Rafael Benítez. We unquestionably have a better squad than we did last year so it is not about making judgments at this stage. There are no trophies handed out at the end of October, with the exception of the Community Shield which we have already won. You can only judge our performance over the course of a full season.”
A lot of Reds have been upset this season but the only “fans” calling for Rafa’s head are those who were calling for it the day after Istanbul. Parry acts as David Moore’s spokesman usually but perhaps it’s time Moores spoke himself on this occasion. Parry explained that putting deadlines on success was pointless: “We all knew there was a sizeable job to do when Rafa was appointed and that is why we have never laid down any timescales or imposed unrealistic pressures. What is important is continuous year on year improvement.”
Parry also spoke about the two bigger trophies won by Rafa since he arrived: “The wins in Istanbul and Cardiff were great achievements which we celebrated together. Some of the early results in the league have not gone as well as we would have wanted which is why we have a collective responsibility to pull together and work even harder to improve things on the pitch.”
Parry speaks for most Reds in giving this support to Rafa, but his hands are tied in how much he can condemn the traitor in the midst. No doubt the coward now knows how far he has stepped out of line and will not dare to attend the game tomorrow. His identity may not have been revealed in the paper but the board and other officials know who he is, and it’s not a very-well-kept secret outside of the boardroom either.