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Scolari Is God, Benitez Is The Devil

luiz felipe scolari Scolari Is God, Benitez Is The Devil

It’s so rare these days that a football manager says anything new or remotely intelligent other than the rehearsed lines he memorizes from media training. Other than Joe Kinnear, of course.

But Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari said so many refreshing things on Friday that I felt compelled to write about it. When asked about the massive blow of Michael Ballack being injured, here’s how Scolari responded:

”Ballack is out for maybe two or three weeks. ‘I’m not angry. I’m happy because it’s a test for me that I’m a good coach. I need to change it, to improve, I need to put other players in, I need to motivate other players. It’s good for my job, it’s good for my work. It’s not difficult for me. For me it’s normal, I need to build every week, one different team. Many clubs have injuries from the national games because they are strong games. In football it’s normal.”

To me, those words are poetry to my ears. And I’m not even a Chelsea supporter. The words and perspective he brings is so refreshing. If I was a reserve player at Stamford Bridge, I would feel so empowered by his words knowing that there’s an opportunity to advance under Scolari’s tutelage.

Contrast Scolari’s words with those of Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez regarding the injury to Fernando Torres:

“I am very disappointed about this because it now looks like we will lose Fernando for three very important games. There are too many international games and the demands on the players are too much. Someone needs to analyse the situation because it is putting the players at risk of injury.”

What are the chances of changing international fixtures for World Cup qualifying matches? Practically nil. So why moan about it when you’re unable to change it? Why not think positive and consider Torres’s injury as an opportunity for Liverpool’s Robbie Keane, David N’Gog, Ryan Babel, Dirk Kuyt or El Zahr to shine up front for the Reds?

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

39 Responses to Scolari Is God, Benitez Is The Devil

  1. Tom says:

    Torres means more to Liverpool than Ballack does to Chelsea. I'm sure Phil would be a little upset if it was Frank Lampard or John Terry that came back with knocks (for the third time).

    Also, with regard to your list of replacements at the end, Kuyt is needed on the right wing, Babel also picked up a knock due to a terrible challenge from Pederson, and Keane is already starting, so that really leaves El-Zahr and N'Gog to step up.

    Other than that, I think you're spot on; Phil's words were remarkable, and I'm glad someone picked up on his attitude. I think it's great.

  2. chelski_fan says:

    hey Tom Chelsea r whitout their entire starting XI except Lampard ok.and for the record Terry is injured,so is most of the blue defence.
    a starting XI worths more than a striker

  3. Specter says:

    I first read the headline from my iGoogle homepage and said “…and? What's the new here?”

  4. Raatzie says:

    Part 78 of Gaffer's continuing series “Liverpool sucks my [Gaffer's] left nut.”

    If Benitez walked across the Mersey, Gaffer would whine about the arrogant SOB's inability to swim.

    Spurs – 2010 Championship playoff runners-up.

  5. Arab scouse says:

    Liverpools first team is cheaper than Chelseas bench…wid one player like ballack gone there are 2-3 quality players to fill in..luk at their CMs..ballack,lampard,essien,deco,obi mikel..if sum1 wid dat many quality players complains its ridiculous..liverpool on the other hand hv no replacement fer torres..babel is also injured..

  6. Allen says:

    Chelsea has 2 starting XI, you look at the depth you guys have on the bench and on reserves compare to Liverpool. I'm just happy to see that the people that sit on the bench for Chelsea realize they're wasting their talent and slowly leaving.

  7. deo says:

    Seriously?? You actually need to write an article on this?

    Of course he can come out with comments like this, he has the biggest, most expensive squad the premier league, full of the most expensive individual players. Liverpool have one player who cost OVER 20 million, his name is Torres, how many players do Chelsea have who cost over 20mil??? So of course Liverpool are going to miss their only 20mil plus player….sick of people commenting on Liverpool who are so unbalenced it's pathetic…

    PS…befpre any smart a**es pipe up: Keane cost 19million….

  8. wanderer_abroad says:

    How many players do Chelsea have that cost over 20mil? Well… of the current squad 2, Drogba and Essien. Wow thats a total of 1 more than Liverpool! For christs sake, can't scousers just shut the hell up and stop whining. Despite the ridiculous headline, Gaffer makes a good point about Benitez. He is continually whining and moaning about injuries and players. THAT is the real reason liverpool wont win the league this season, Benitez. He's a cup legend, but a league idiot.

  9. kontra says:

    I can live with out Ballack I will try with Deco instead.
    I can live with out Torres I will try with… N'gog???

    feel my drift?

  10. zekk67 says:

    Sorry deo, you got it wrong, it's not how much the players cost but how much players are valued at their club. True, Chelski has several players over the price of 20m, but given that Scolari has a large pool of substitutes who are happy with kicking their heels on the bench while earning a large paycheck, he wouldn't complain much (also, given that most of the Chelski players are mediocre at best, it wasn't hard to replace any one of their first XI). If Torres were to wear the blue shirt, I am sure Scolari will complain because he is irreplaceable, no matter which club he is at. By the way, deo, Torres cost over 20m, Keane does actually cost over 20m, if you consider the additional clauses, and Gerrard, Carragher, Agger, Babel and Mascherano would cost over 20m (for most clubs who are interested in buying, if the Red scums of Manchester were interested, that would be a special price of 50m each)

  11. Eddie David says:

    The problem that I have with this article is the title. The content makes sense. I am a Liverpool fan but I think Benitez just has to get on with it but why write with a title like this? Does the authr of this article actually personally know Benitez? Is he a devil for aking such a comment? Have we not seen the same sort of comments from Ferguson or Wenger previouslyor any other managers? As I said before, the article makes vlid points, the title is uncalled for. This is precisey what is wrong with “British journalism”. There are very few journalists that can write anything with pure objectivity?

  12. danny pacheco's left nut says:

    gaffer – knob, sunshine – complete knob…….

  13. joshua says:

    deco is injured you plum. so is essien and ballack. who is going to come in? a player called miniero. ever heard of him? didnt think so.

  14. Tom says:

    I'm a red but Raffa should have kept quiet on this one. However, the journo is a pleb for the headline. If he was a decent Journo, people would read his pieces without him having to use ridiculous headlines….muppet

  15. Ben says:

    All this crying from Scouse numptys, look at the squad sizes Chelsea 24, Loserbore, around 35, We loose Essien for the season, no crying, Deco injures himself warming up against manure, we accept it, Drogba still not fit, we deal with it, Carvalho. the best defender in England gone too, we adjust to it, Ballack injured again, no panic.Loserbore loose Torres and moany fat Rafa has a crying match. THIS MAN WILL NEVER WIN THE LEAGUE, did u get that scousers?

  16. Simon says:

    The gaffer is a total prick. Mind you, he is only doing it to get internet hits because he knows he talks such drivel it gets fans backs up and they can't help but retaliate.
    For the record. Scolari has done nothing yet. He is top of the league fair enough. But Chelski, like Liverpool have been hot and cold.
    The difference is Liverpool missing Torres. Chelsea without Ballack is no different because they have cover. There is no cover for Torres

  17. M says:

    Fat spanish waiter! He's just an EVIL fat spanish waiter!

  18. M says:

    Celery! Celery!

  19. Musketeer says:

    Fat spanish waiter! You're just an EVIL fat spanish waiter!
    Celery! celery! If she don't ….
    Thank f*ck for Club football, I can't stand all that Engeerlaand bollox

  20. Alex says:

    Same as many readers here, Chelsea have a wider and deeper squad. The bench would be any starting XI in any of the top squads.

    Torres is a bigger portion of LFCs smaller pie, Chelsea have a bakery and a baker that does not care how many rotten loafs he has to throw at the end of the day!

    Wait till things don't come round as they should at Chelsea, you will then see the real Scolari……If you followed Portugal you would know.

  21. Paul says:

    zekk67 spewed…

    “…also, given that most of the Chelski players are mediocre at best, it wasn't hard to replace any one of their first XI).”

    Good grief.

  22. Jay Lee says:

    Calling someone the devil for something like that?! Well, I would of thought it was just a quick frustrated response from him. If you look at it, Liverpool don't exactly have a whole deal of quality strikers other then Torres. Keane has really not hit form yet.
    Scolarai was talking about it not being a problems because Ballack is out. Chelsea have players to cover up in every position really. Especially in strike and midfield.

  23. Lance says:

    OK…the title is a bit harsh. The point is that the managers view their club contests as the center of the football universe. For each of these two, it is; they get paid to get their club/players to perform. I would think that managers would be thrilled to have the kind of quality players that get called away for regular international duty. It's how you deal with the downside of that duty (injuries, fatigue, etc.) that separates their thinking. If Rafa wants to whine about the negative impact on Liverpool that national duty can impart, then get rid of those players who might be called up. Otherwise, you have to accept the good with the bad. That's what Scolari appears to be doing.

  24. Burt Reynolds says:

    I think Gaffer's point wasn't that Ballack was as important to Chelsea as Torres is to Liverpool. I'm guessing it was that when it comes to things that you can't change, why whine about it? It's pointless, and Scolari gets this why Rafa's moaning.

  25. Rob says:

    As stated above only Essien and Drogba cost more than £20m. Guess what these are both injured and Drogba is the same for Chelsea as Torres is for Liverpool.

    Also missing are Carvalho, Ballack, J.Cole, P. Cech and A. Cole.

    7 Players who played in last year's Champions League final.

    Chelsea replacements up front are Anelka , Kalou (23), De Santo (19) and Sinclair (19). These are the replacements for Drogba that are so much better than the Liverpool replacements according to Liverpool fans

    Midfield available Lampard, Mikel (21), Malouda, Stoch (18) and Deco coming back from injury.

    I like Scolari's attitude. Great manager and he has got the team playing some great football.

    By the way I see comments about replacements in midfield and up front on the Chelsea bench. What is wrong with Liverpool's replacements? Keane, Kruyt? I take Liverpool fans don't rate their squad by the way they are talking about the players.

  26. ST. Chris says:

    Children, bickering. Awful article, sensationalist headline. Liverpool have a great squad, Chelsea have a better one. Scolari is just trying to make allies and friends, calling him God is a bit…idiotic, as is calling Benitez the devil for bemoaning the loss of Torres. Get a grip, all of you.

  27. Weasel says:

    Gaffer one word, HELMET. for every injury at Billionaire Chelsea there is at least two replacements of immense quality as opposed to liverpool

  28. Argus says:

    Erm, sorry, but how much did Bosingwa cost? 24 mil maybe? so that makes it 3! And how many players did they buy in the past well over 20 mil, like Shevchenko? Also, look at the current cost of ALL squads and THEN talk. And you know about football? Muppet

  29. Rog says:

    Erm, Obi Mikel? Or is he injured as well? Idiot

  30. ian says:

    reina 6.5 cech 7
    arbeloa 2.5 bosingwa 19
    carragher 0 terry 0
    skrtel 7 carvalho 19
    dossena 8 a.cole 5 plus gallas, chelsea tap up cole wen worth 16
    mascherano 18 lampard 11
    alonso 10.5 essien 24
    gerrard 0 deco 8
    keane 19 j,cole 6.6
    riera 8 ballack 0
    torres 21 drogba 24

    100.5 123.6

    my conclusion let liverpool have 23.1 million and also 1 tap up of are choice for a player worth 16 million but get him for 5 instead. that would mean these added together should b 39.1 million. thats a strike thats the total value of are two main strikers torres and keane and still have 100,000 change to buy free flags for are fans. sad chelsea bastards 18 time and 5 big ones chelsea is it 3 and no big ones.
    i sign out WERE NOT ENGLISH WE ARE SCOUSE.

  31. CFC says:

    That's how the rest of the country see it too mate. We don't want you in England.

  32. BayAreaBlue says:

    dumb ass! Chelsea bought Bosingwa for 16Mil…stop ranting like a little retarded c**t…Do you live in a cave?…you barely know shit about the game…8 first team Chelsea fc players are injured how about Liverfools?….Why do liverfools whine every fu##### time…btw how many games have the ref save your arses so far? you bastards are playing with 12 players…i don't think you would have won the last two games without the ref

  33. scowser82 says:

    The writer totally missed the point here. What Rafa was moaning was not is inability to replace Torres and give the youngsters a chance, but paying one of his superstars 100k pounds a week only for him to get injured unnecessarily. The national medical teams have to be more responsible with the players that are at their disposal. Right now, I believe they rarely give a damn about the players conditions because if they get injured while on international duty, they are only going to need them for another friendly or qualifier months later, by when the players would have recovered. Its the clubs and players who suffer. Liverpool are not in the same financial league as Chelsea (for now) therefore key players lost due to injuries is causes more damage to Liverpool than Chelsea.

  34. your dad says:

    chelsea fc is a joke, even their own fans cant be bothered turning up to cup finals.

  35. your dad says:

    YNWA. spot on.

  36. your dad says:

    Kruyt ??!! another chelski band wagon cock head. Go to bed its too late for you !!!!!!

  37. Smiler says:

    Can someone unplug this twat 'gaffer''s electricity or DSL.
    What a CUNT PERIOD!

  38. John O'Sullivan says:

    Its all well and good for scolari to be so placid in his views as given the depth of the squad Chelsea has its easy to see why he is so easy going about it. II agree, t is good for his job, it makes it easier, it means he has an excuse to play players who were probably moaning by being on the bench now witout upsetting those already in the first team..Let him have a few more injuries, lets say to a Terry or Lampard and having to replace them with a youngster and then lets see if hes cool about it..The rules that apply to evryone else dont hold for Chelsea

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