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Rafa Benitez

Benitez Body Language Irks Big Sam


It’s quite rare to find myself defending Rafa Benitez in any respect, but I think the recent comments by Sam Allardyce are more than ridiculous.  After Liverpool’s 4-0 romp of his team, the Blackburn manager claims Benitez showed a “lack of respect” for failing to meet for the traditional post-game drink.  In addition, he claims:

“I think if everybody has a look back at his gestures you will see them as pretty dismissive to me and the Blackburn ­Rovers team as a whole . . . I was hugely disappointed by those gestures. I think they were disrespectful and quite humiliating. Having looked at them again this week, I think I’m right and ­everybody will see why I’m complaining.

“The feeling was that he had written us off. It was open arms and then a ­crossover of the arms as if to suggest that was it. I admit it was a hard game, a difficult game for us, and we were well beaten by an outstanding Liverpool side. But in terms of respect, you don’t expect those sort of things to happen in a game of football. I was very, very upset by it.

“The game is hard enough as it is without a fellow manager doing what seemed to be an undermining gesture. I then waited to have a word with him after the game in his room, but as usual and unfortunately, he didn’t turn up.

“Not explaining himself by not turning up in his office really shows what he is like. The only people I saw were [Liverpool head coach] Sammy Lee and a few of the staff, but he never showed his face. That was just as disappointing as the gesture, and it typifies the man.”

“I gave him the opportunity by being courteous enough after being beaten 4-0 to go and have a drink in his room. There was no need for those sorts of gestures, and my opinion as to whether I’m right is obviously going to be speculated upon by other people, but I think I’m right.

“He would have had the opportunity to have explained himself if he had turned up in his room, but [he] didn’t, so that’s why I’m talking about it today. It’s in the past now and I’ll move on, but I just want to make everybody aware of what I consider to be a lack of respect for me, the Blackburn Rovers players and the football club as a whole

Is this really an issue?  If you’ve just been beaten 4-0, do you really want to have a drink with your opposition?  I love the quote “it’s in the past and I’ll move on”, but only after reviewing the video the past few days, and commenting on sideline gesticulations from nearly a week ago.   Time that could be spent, I don’t know, making your team better.

There’s a misguided notion of honor and camaraderie that simply doesn’t always exist, and I don’t necessarily think it makes the game any much better.  Fair play and sportsmanship are undeniably things every sport wants to impress upon future generations of players and managers. But to make something out of nothing makes Allardyce look embittered and a poor loser, and how he does not comprehend how his comments do more harm than good (at least for himself) is beyond me.

Sure, a handshake and a few words are nice, but winners hate losing, so sometimes they’re not in the mood.  And, when they win, sometimes they just don’t care about sharing a glass.  Of course, Allardyce may not know much about that.

Sir Alex Ferguson joins Sam Allardyce in criticising Rafael Benitez [Guardian]

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  1. Gaz

    April 20, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    It’s a little silly to notice such insignificant gestures, right?

    The game is what you’re supposed to be focusing on, mate (to be precise… YOUR TEAM). Not the other team (especially not the other manager).

  2. peter

    April 20, 2009 at 9:47 am

    strange how big sam went for a drink with Sammy Lee for about an hour but failed to mention it.
    feel so so sorry for big sam having that nasty man waving his arms.
    bunch of hypocrites especially mr alex, why is he talking about Rafa n Liverpool before his important fa cup semi-final (how did that work out for em). didn’t realise rafa was that important

  3. cftv

    April 18, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    No doubt Fergie and Big Sam are in cahoots in their mind games with Rafa. Sam and Fergie are buddies and Sam would love nothing more than for Fergie to win it again and stick it to Rafa for not showing up for a drink.

    And its reason like this I love futbol with all the childish mind games these managers do to keep the heat on them to keep the focus off the teams playing.

  4. Rafa is God

    April 18, 2009 at 10:13 am

    Miss, Miss…those nasty Liverpudlians have beaten us 4- 0 and the man in charge won`t have a drinky with me cos I said to him before that i didn`t like him…

    Miss Miss …my friend “red nose” said he was wrong as well so can you tell him off please..

    samluvsfergiesarse aged 6

  5. sam ate a dice

    April 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    big fat sam really has hide of an elephant. after watching chelsea beat pool in champs league he publicly states he can exploit the same weaknesses. lol and who does he send on? a lumbering centre-half. if i were a blackburn fan i would be humiliated. wat a load of rubbish. if i were benni macarthy, i wld leave cos i’m deemed to be a worse striker than a Centre half. face it big fat sam. u’re just not good enuff. flattered to deceive at bolton, fail miserably at newcastle. and not sucking up to alex son of a gun to round up on benitez. low can you get..behaviour of the british.. a sign of of far they have fallen in moral standards really.

  6. yonas

    April 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Rafa the great has obviously got under ferguson’s skin. People thought he was the master of mind games, until they saw the real master RAFA RAFAEL RAFA RAFAEL!!! ferguson is following every minute of LFC games even the little incidents, what a looser? Sam allardyce you shud rather be a wrestling coach, you tried to help your friend, but you didn’t succeed. even man u can’t stop LFC scoring 4 against them. Don’t cry now you looser.

  7. John carvalho

    April 17, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    it is indeed a pity that such a team as blackburn well suppoted and let’s not forget did win the premier in the days of great man Jack Walker always welll run with some great managers Kenny Dalglish anyone has seen fit to employ Sam Allardice.2 days before he talks about Rafa the winger!Oh and the game plan!!gets interviewed by SKY afterwards and not a pip.gets clobbered solid and suddenly Rafa is disrepectful.if you want to be top dog as he claimed when he left Newcastle blaming everyone but himself you don’t use your North West buddies(Mafia)to do your bidding.Concentrate on your paid job of saving Blackburn from the drop.Improve your tactics and make sure that the Blackburn supporters are happy.And they are not!!!!!and more importantly LEARN!!you are such a crass plonker! The FA did see the light afterall thank god.I am afraid for Blackburn.And Fergie find better allies.Finally RaFA is not PERFECT!!!but he never got personal.

  8. title talk

    April 17, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    If you don’t like someone, you’re not obliged to share a drink post match. In the same way a certain “famous” manager will always send his Assistant to talk to the BBC coz he hates the BBC journalists. You know who I am talking about, don’t you? the one and only manager who can’t stand critisism – a la Fergie…

  9. Zana

    April 17, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Am a man united fan but i also love the way liverpool playing football , they r such a historic club no doubt .u deserve a better manager than mad hystrionic Rafa.

  10. redhed17

    April 17, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Why would Benitez want to have a post match drink with someone who doesn’t like him, and has been vocal in saying so? If someone said they didn’t like me, it wouldn’t even enter my head to have a drink with them. I’ve seen the gestures on Sky Sports and well, can’t say I see much in them. Just as I didn’t notice anything whilst I was watching the match.

    As has been said, Allardyce should be spending his time working on his team, and why this tactical genius sent a defender up front, and kept a proven goalscorer, in the shape of Benny McCarthy, on the bench. Thank God he didn’t get the England job. It may have been John Terry up front, and Wayne Rooney on the bench.

    It seems to be an orchestrated thing between Allardyce and Ferguson to try and unsettle Benitez. Quite sad really.

    I wonder how many more will fall in line with Ferguson wanting to keep on his good side?

  11. Zana

    April 17, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Come on liverpool fans ! Show some dignity and dont deny it , i mean Fergie at least was right while u were head to head with chelsea Benitez attacked Fergie!it was childish dont u think?

  12. title talk

    April 17, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Sore loser!! Be4 the game he was on about knowing how to exploit LFC weaknesses exposed by Chelsea and complained about whingeing Rafa. He failed to do that and is now mourning about respect. RESPECT is not talking too much about the other team be4 a game. The big loser is trying to repay Fergie for some soft drinks he was offered earlier at Old Trafford 🙂

  13. Mo

    April 17, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Fergie and Sam are trying to isolated Benitez and draw a line between the managers and Benitez and make him look bad for celebrating. Fergie is doing it as he knows liverpool is the only threat Man U winning the legaue, he s been saying things for last three weeks to unsettle Benitez and Liverpool, so far he failed. And Sam doing it as he confessed before the game that he dids not get on with Rafa. what s intersting is that hes done it five days after the match and at the same time as Fergie, which indicates that action was planned by them.

  14. magnumopus

    April 17, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Sam has had a running fued with Rafa since having his Bolton players play extra rough against Liverpool and Rafa called him on it.

  15. Tim

    April 17, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Strange how Sam only mentions it today (instead of in the post-match interview) and Fergie also mentions it today.

  16. kev

    April 17, 2009 at 11:32 am

    So the fat Alex Ferguson stereo type dislikes Benitez. Get over it, no one likes you especially Benitez who has made it clear in the past. Fool!!

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