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Got Milk? Is Rafa Benitez On Acid?

A sculpture of a dairy cow stands in front of the headquarters of Swiss Migros group in Zurich July 27, 2010. The slogan is reading: 'The fair milk'. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann (SWITZERLAND - Tags: ENVIRONMENT)

Football press conferences are usually quite predictable affairs with the manager trotting out the usual clichés and obfuscation in response to the same old questions from the press.

They are rarely places to deploy an extended metaphor but someone must have forgotten to tell Rafa Benitez because his latest comments about his time at Liverpool read more like T.S. Eliot on acid.

“We have a saying in Spanish….’white liquid in a bottle has to be milk’. He quipped to a presumably puzzled press corp. Yes, it’s likely to be milk, more likely than it is to be paint, but ….well…so what?”

He went on.

“So, white liquid in a bottle: milk. You will know who is to blame.”

Errr…..right. So who is to blame for the milk in the bottle? Is it the dairy that put it in the bottle? The manufacturer of the glass bottle, after all there’s no milk bottle without the bottle. Or is it the farmer who milked the cow or perhaps it’s all the fault of the cow for lactating in the first place? Christ, this is exhausting.

So that’s our options of who to blame, now which of them is Hicks and Gillett? Is he saying they are a couple of big cows having their udders pulled or is Liverpool the cow who is being milked? If so, who is the milker and where is the milk going?

Man, it’s like peeling an onion trying to understand this. Excuse me while I take some psychotropic drugs to try and understand this cryptic metaphor. It’s like something out of Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance.

But he wasn’t done with the milky goodness yet. Oh no,

“White liquid in a bottle. If I see John the milkman in the Wirral, where I was living, with this bottle, I’d say, ‘It’s milk, sure’.”

Yeeeesssss….of course Rafa; now let’s take a little walk with these nice men in white coats.

It’s all as clear as…well, as clear as milk, as it turns out. I’m sure John knows its milk in his bottle and is not likely to ask Rafa to tell him what it is.

Even Cantona’s infamous seagulls following trawlers was a relatively straightforward analogy compared to this.

I’m sure ‘White liquid in a bottle: milk;’ would be a great slogan for the dairy industry. As a way to describe his time at Liverpool it is somewhat more opaque.

Editor’s Note: Johnny’s new book: “We Ate All The Pies: How Football Swallowed Britain Whole” has received the massive honour of being listed as one of William Hill’s Sports Book Of The Year 2010 – the biggest, most prestigious sports books prize in UK.

Buy it here via Amazon US or Amazon UK.

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  1. GaryT

    October 24, 2010 at 2:05 am

    This blog puts the opposing point of view (i.e. that Benitez is actually pretty sane), and I have to say I agree with them:

  2. Football Souvenirs

    October 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    I have not understood an interview less since the famous Cantona speech of seagalls following the trauller

  3. Dave C

    October 20, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Without posting the actual context (i.e. what question prompted the metaphor in the first place), it’s a little harsh to criticize Rafa for this. Certainly the above two posters seem to think it wasn’t that hard to understand.

  4. MAtthew Reed

    October 20, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    I agree, in fact, I read the interview with Rafa yesterday and I followed it very easily. I had a harder time following this blog entry. I don’t even agree with the British media that referred to this as “cryptic”. I think it is pretty straight forward.

    Rafa starts out making the point of the success with Liverpool and the acquisitions before Hicks/Gillette and later when Purslow was appointed. Then discussed what happened after. He was pretty much saying that it is evident who is to blame.

    The only part of the interview I didn’t agree with Rafa is on is that Rafa was not also a bottle of white liquid, he most certainly was…..

  5. Ed

    October 20, 2010 at 11:22 am

    I know you probably already know, but this is apparently the Spanish equivalent of “walks like a duck…”

    Rafa’s plenty strange, yes. Here, though, I think he’s got a valid point about Christian Purslow. Who, incidentally, stepped down today.

  6. Drew M.

    October 20, 2010 at 10:30 am

    “I’m sure ‘White liquid in a bottle: milk;’ would be a great slogan for the dairy industry. As a way to describe his time at Liverpool it is somewhat more opaque.”

    I hear Snoogy Doogy is available for the endorsement deal.

  7. Issam Klink

    October 20, 2010 at 10:21 am

    is your book present in the UAE? if not, is there a way i can order it? I would like to know how and how much it costs.

    • The Gaffer

      October 20, 2010 at 10:31 am

      Best bet is to order John’s book from Amazon UK at

      The Gaffer

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