Author Topic: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez  (Read 11993 times)

Offline Cracking Left Foot

  • RAWK Supporter
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,519
Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« on: September 7, 2010, 06:16:15 PM »
Interesting article by Sid Lowe about Rafa. I like Lowe as a writer, and he comes up with some good arguments and busts plenty of the myths we've gone over countless times on here :

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/sid_lowe/09/06/rafa.benitez/index.html

Quote
The final whistle had barely blown on Liverpool's desperately bad 3-0 defeat at Manchester City on Aug. 23 when the message flashed up. A challenge was thrown down, a point made. Rafael Benítez had finally gone; those who wanted to see the back of him had got what they wanted and Roy Hodgson had taken over. But there was no immediate sign of improvement. In fact, Liverpool was even worse.

"So," the message said, "can those who have been slaughtering Rafa Benítez for everything over the last few years explain that one, then? Go on, I'm waiting."

Responses flooded in: It was too early. It was a one-off. It was still Benítez's fault. It was, after all, his team -- the team he had put together. The team he had wasted pots of money on buying; a limited, plodding, functional team. When Liverpool fans marched in protest against American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, some carried framed photos of Benítez above their heads. As if he were the Ayatollah. When he left, others could barely contain their glee. They had been screaming for him to go for ages. As if he were the devil incarnate.

Few coaches seem to have divided opinion quite like the Spaniard. Good guy, bad guy; guilty as sin, innocent victim. He is solely responsible for the miserable fate that befell Liverpool; no, he is responsible for the club's greatest moments and was slain by the political and economic civil war at Anfield. There is something about Benítez that forces you to take sides. With him or against him, ally or enemy, there is an intensity, almost an anger, about judging his legacy. About the debate as to whether he was a Good Liverpool Manager.

Black and white, no room for gray. Except that there is plenty of gray.

Halftime in Istanbul, the 2005 European Cup final. Liverpool is down 3-0 but in an hour and a half's time it will be European champion. It will be arguably the greatest comeback ever. Liverpool's fifth European Cup, a glimpse of its true glory days -- its first European Cup win in 20 years. The most stunning in its history.

Benítez has to motivate his players. He also has to change things, quickly and effectively. It's a massive test. He starts making alterations. There is a confusion and tension. Djimi Traore, who has been substituted, is heading into the shower when he is called out again, told to put his kit back on. Steve Finnan can't continue, although he insists he can. Benítez wants to send on Didi Hamann. Djibril Cissé, too. He turns to the tactics board and runs through what he wants to do. As he draws to a close, a hand goes up. "Er, boss?" "Yes."

"There are 12 of us."

Even Liverpool's greatest moment, even Benítez's biggest success -- the success that means that supporters will always be grateful -- is tinged with a feeling of "yes, but." Even Benitez's most brilliant tactical innovation -- switching to three at the back in a European Cup final -- can feel slightly diluted. It can be used as ammunition against him, as well as a shield with which to defend him.

Liverpool won the European Cup, sure. But did it do so when it ditched Benítez's original, botched tactics? Did Benítez win it? Or did Steven Gerrard rescue him, winning a barely plausible victory? Just as he had when the club was within seconds of being knocked out in the group stages, only for Gerrard to score an extraordinary goal against Olimpiakos? Did he do the same thing the following season when Liverpool won the FA Cup -- Benítez's only other trophy -- with a what seemed like a 700-yard shot in the dying minutes of the final in Cardiff?

Yes, the final was freaky; yes, there was luck, but ... Benítez took Liverpool there. Liverpool smashed Bayer Leverkusen. It beat a Chelsea team whose resources dwarfed its own. And it knocked out Juventus with a startling -- and unexpected -- sprint out of the blocks in the quarterfinal, planned by Benítez. That episode in Istanbul could be a metaphor for Benítez and Liverpool. A metaphor for the arguments that surround him. Much of what is said is cliché. Much of it is half-truth. Much of it is just not true at all. Yes, but ... everywhere you look with judgments on Benítez there are caveats. Arguments and counterarguments. So, let's look at some of them, shall we? Let's answer them, explain them.

• Benítez spent a fortune in the transfer market -- $353,137,732, to be precise. And most of it was wasted. Look at the rubbish he bought: Andrea Dossena and Alberto Aquilani. Antonio Nuñez. Jermaine Pennant. Fernando Morientes. And the list goes on.

But he recouped $233 million. The myth of Benitez the big spender is exactly that: a myth. His total net spend was $121 million. Over five seasons, an average of $23 million a season. In his penultimate season, his net spend was just $3.8 million. In his final season, he actually made $7.7 million. That's hardly big spending. Nuñez was effectively forced on him. Aquilani was injured. At the time, everyone thought that Morientes was a good signing. Pennant was man of the match in the 2007 European Cup final. And what about Javier Mascherano, Pepe Reina and Xabi Alonso. What about Fernando Torres?

• That's hardly something to crow about. That's not many; they were obvious signings. Any idiot would buy Torres.

Any old idiot like Mr. Ferguson, who decided Torres wasn't worth the risk, for example? Mascherano wasn't a fixture at West Ham. Alonso was a kid at Real Sociedad. Reina had been forced out at Barcelona. Torres was a gamble. If he looks like such a sure thing now, it is testament to Benítez's vision -- and his coaching.

• Speaking of Ferguson, Benítez lost the plot in 2009 with that attack on the United manager. When he walked into the news conference with a piece of paper and ranted about "facts," you knew Liverpool's title challenge was over. Fergie's mind games won out. No wonder Liverpool, which was on top that day, didn't win the league. No wonder Benítez never won the trophy that really matters to Liverpool: the league title. He was paranoid, too, distracted by a battle with the board -- a desire to control everything.

A desire to have the resources to compete, you mean? A desire to be able to do his job without interference? And lost the plot?! After Benitez "lost the plot," Liverpool lost just once in 18 games. It won 10 of its last 11 -- including a 4-1 win at Manchester United. You know, Ferguson's Manchester United. Liverpool lost only twice that season and finished four points behind United -- the first time it had been genuinely in contention to win the league in almost 20 years. But for injury to Torres and Gerrard, it would have won the league.

• Or but for the 11 draws. Liverpool only won 10 of its last 11 because it had to. The team was, as one first-teamer admits, "going all out for it, but by then it was too late." It was chasing results and got them. It should have chased them before. Benítez's conservatism earlier in the season cost Liverpool the title. So did its dependency on just two players. And anyway, then he tore it all apart. He sold Alonso. And he should have played Gerrard in central midfield and used two strikers. Gerrard should not have played off the striker. It was yet another stifling, boring 4-5-1, with no width. He kept buying wingers but never kept faith with them: Mark González, Albert Riera, Pennant. Forever imposing narrow-minded "discipline" on them, he clipped their wings, beat their creativity out of them. He never let them show their talent.

Yeah, because González, Riera and Pennant have done so much since departing. Because Gerrard played so well there against City? He should have played him as a central midfielder even though that season he was the third-leading scorer in the Premier League and provided the second-most assists playing off Torres? Is that not an attacking option? And what about the teammate who privately admits: "Gerrard can't play in the middle of midfield; he doesn't have the positional sense"? And who would you have played up front? As for Alonso, ultimately the sale happened because Alonso wanted it to.

• How about Dirk Kuyt? Or how about buying a striker? Like Robbie Keane. Alonso only wanted to leave because Benítez had tried to shift him out the year before.

Because Benítez wanted Gareth Barry, didn't have the funds for both and had let himself be swayed by the likely implementation of an English-player quota and the desire to have a left-footed central midfielder. Wrong? Maybe. But understandable.

• No, completely ridiculous. And that was yet another example of Benítez's failure to connect to his players. By the end, they were all against him.

Actually, they weren't all against him. And that says more about their attitude than his. The players who respected Benítez are the intelligent, committed ones. Torres has no problem admitting that Benítez can be hard work, obsessive and infuriatingly single-minded -- he tells the story of the coach congratulating him the day after he found out he was going to be a dad for the first time, only to discover that Benítez was actually congratulating him for a near post run he'd made in the previous game -- but he has no problems admitting that Benítez has made him a better player. And isn't that the point? They're there to work.

Liverpool players who rejoiced at his departure should heed the warning of what happened at Valencia. When he left there, the players were delighted; six months later, they admitted they were better off with him. The coach who led them to two league titles in three years. Without him, they won nothing. Why should he indulge the egos? Why should he pander to them?

• Because ultimately, it's about winning, getting good performances out of players. And if that means coddling a player, sucking up to him, you do it ...

And that's the thing. Benítez never could. Ultimately, it was the simplest skill of all that proved the hardest. The tragedy of Benítez's time at Liverpool was that he just couldn't talk to key members of his squad, he couldn't relate to them, communicate to them, motivate them. He couldn't do the same with the owners and administrators of his club. And, for all the good things, that inability ultimately cost him his job. In the end, he probably had to go. Yes, he had become a problem. But he wasn't the only problem. And he wasn't only a problem.


Offline Foregone Concussion

  • Ultimate Movie Night Draft Winner 2017. King - or Queen - of Mystery. Hyzenthlay. The 5th Benitle's sex conch.
  • RAWK Supporter
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 52,299
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #1 on: September 7, 2010, 06:23:50 PM »
Thanks for posting. Good article. But don't agree with the last paragraph.
We have to change from doubter to believer. Now.

Offline Happy Chanukkan!

  • Chaka Chaka.....is in love with Aristotle but only for votes. The proud owner of some very private piles and an inflatable harem!
  • Matchday Commentator
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 79,065
  • Internet Terrorist lvl VI
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #2 on: September 7, 2010, 06:24:08 PM »
Thanks for posting. Good article. But don't agree with the last paragraph.

Offline electricghost

  • Might haunt your wiring, but will usually stop if requested to. Lives in a spirit house in Pra Kanong.
  • RAWK Supporter
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,340
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #3 on: September 7, 2010, 06:25:23 PM »
Good article that.

It manages to condense about a dozen RAWK threads into one post.   ;D
“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
― Steven Weinberg

Offline smitalfc

  • RAWK Supporter
  • Kopite
  • *****
  • Posts: 672
  • We all Live in a Red and White Kop
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #4 on: September 7, 2010, 06:27:34 PM »
Hazell, I thought exactly the same as you, but can't quote from the mobile! Still I'm so used to reading bad stuff about Rafa that when I saw the title of the article I was already to read the usual guff, so the contents came as a positive and pleasant surprise.

Offline payback

  • is full of shit, shit and more shit, oh and chillies.
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,283
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #5 on: September 7, 2010, 06:28:32 PM »
excellent article that. thanks for posting :)

Offline nyctex

  • God Bless America
  • RAWK Supporter
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,171
  • Close your eyes...and imagine it's Jason McAteer
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #6 on: September 7, 2010, 06:33:38 PM »

Why does Sid hate Hodgson?  More media attempts to destabilize the club!!!!

Thought I'd be the first to say it. (although I'm joking, but wanted to get it out of the way)


Great read.  I had no idea he has a column on Sports Illustrated.   He is one of the few reporters that makes any sense. 



Offline choi

  • of sex.
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,628
  • Toto
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #7 on: September 7, 2010, 06:36:48 PM »
Excellent article that.

Yeah cheers for that.
Betfair Refer and Earn code
Use code: Q67MT446H when signing up to Betfair and we both get £25 for free!
To be honest ive enjoyed watchin Young Boys, made my cock really hard.
Gonna go have a furious wank

Offline SalisburyRed

  • No fun "budding young Tory"!
  • RAWK Supporter
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,917
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #8 on: September 7, 2010, 06:38:27 PM »
Sid Lowe is one of my favourite football journos, and this article is an example of why. Good stuff.

Offline thegoodfella

  • makes reindeer pizza
  • RAWK Scribe
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 15,624
  • ...siempre es posible
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #9 on: September 7, 2010, 06:43:52 PM »
Great read, with a balanced perspective, I like the bit about Valencia players. I remember reading about Albelda moaning the fact that Rafa gets credited for the La Liga titles and that is wasn't all about him, the players worked as well. He was one of the ones that were glad when Rafa left Valencia, and has since won fuck all.

Offline kopitecrash

  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,006
  • We all Live in a Red and White Kop
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #10 on: September 7, 2010, 06:44:19 PM »
Sid Lowe - amazing journalist.
You could open a door with him, he's such a knob.

Offline Breitner

  • Charles 'Charlie' Charles says: "No more tactics God damn you. This is Association Football!"
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,287
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #11 on: September 7, 2010, 06:45:07 PM »
I'm sure everyone who is devoted to Benitez will love it but it just comes across as childish and sneering. The whole premise seems to be be based on a bad performance in the second game into a new manager's reign. Maybe he should have wrote it after the battling performance against Arsenal the week before. I await his next article claiming Inter are pining for Jose after a draw away to lowly opposition in the first game of the season.
If you can't trust Kenny, you need to find another club, seriously.

Offline thegoodfella

  • makes reindeer pizza
  • RAWK Scribe
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 15,624
  • ...siempre es posible
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #12 on: September 7, 2010, 06:47:18 PM »
I'm sure everyone who is devoted to Benitez will love it but it just comes across as childish and sneering. The whole premise seems to be be based on a bad performance in the second game into a new manager's reign. Maybe he should have wrote it after the battling performance against Arsenal the week before. I await his next article claiming Inter are pining for Jose after a draw away to lowly opposition in the first game of the season.

Is there anything in particular you diagree with? I am sure some will point on the last paragraph and call the whole piece bad, but it's hardly childish and sneering.

Offline guest

  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 14,736
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #13 on: September 7, 2010, 06:50:32 PM »
I'm sure everyone who is against Benitez will hate it but they just come across as childish and sneering. The whole premise seems to be be based on six years of the old manager's reign.

Offline UntouchableLuis

  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,249
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #14 on: September 7, 2010, 06:52:22 PM »
Good article and pretty much sums up the Rafa debate. I suppose the conclusion is that Rafa was a great manager and still is a great manager but IMO he's a short-term manager rather than a Ferguson. He did great things at Valencia and at Liverpool and while you're winning trophies the players will love the manager but once the dust settles and things don't go so well then the players will want a manager that will still make them feel good; Rafa doesn't do that, he's only interested in football and football alone and there's nothing wrong with that from a fans' perspective but when it goes stale I imagine some players need flexibility rather than totalitarianism.

I like the point Lowe makes about Alonso, Reina and Torres. They certainly weren't household names but Rafa changed that and now you could argue the 3 of them are the best in the world in their position.


"IT'S ENDED.....THE EUROPEAN CUP IS RETURNING TO ENGLAND AND TO ANFIELD."

Offline Songs to Sing

  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,357
  • ...Hold your head up high He made the people happy
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #15 on: September 7, 2010, 06:58:33 PM »
i think rafa is very much a long term manager, if your lucky enough to hang onto him, and dont have c*nt owners
-Rafael Benitez 03/06/2010: "Thank you so much once more and always remember: You'll never walk alone." No, thank you, you wondeful, humble, gracious man. You fought for us for years and won't be forgotten.-
The 5th Benitle

Offline otitito

  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,256
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #16 on: September 7, 2010, 07:00:38 PM »
Spot on 100%. As much as I love Rafa, he doesn't seem to be able to lift up the players against a poor run (mid 08-09, whole 09-10). It's down to communication and all - Arry, Fergie have it

Offline UntouchableLuis

  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,249
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #17 on: September 7, 2010, 07:02:10 PM »
i think rafa is very much a long term manager, if your lucky enough to hang onto him, and dont have c*nt owners

I'll believe that when I see it. I realise we have poison owners and until they go we wont be able to move forward but I can't see Rafa lasting more than 4 or 5 seasons at Inter either if I'm honest. He will always divide players and cause conflict with owners. Mourinho will do that as well and wont be at the Bernebau more than 3 or 4 seasons but one thing you can always be sure with Mourinho is that he gets all of his players on board. If you have the players on your side the decision to part company with your club becomes yours rather than the owners. Sadly I don't think Rafa had unanimous player power at the end of his Liverpool reign.
"IT'S ENDED.....THE EUROPEAN CUP IS RETURNING TO ENGLAND AND TO ANFIELD."

Offline thegoodfella

  • makes reindeer pizza
  • RAWK Scribe
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 15,624
  • ...siempre es posible
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #18 on: September 7, 2010, 07:02:33 PM »
I suppose the conclusion is that Rafa was a great manager and still is a great manager but IMO he's a short-term manager

It really depends on the personality of the player in question. He is a driven man, and if the players have a similar character, it can work wonders.

Offline Foregone Concussion

  • Ultimate Movie Night Draft Winner 2017. King - or Queen - of Mystery. Hyzenthlay. The 5th Benitle's sex conch.
  • RAWK Supporter
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 52,299
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #19 on: September 7, 2010, 07:08:23 PM »


Exactly what I was thinking when I read his post.
We have to change from doubter to believer. Now.

Offline Shabby

  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,214
  • We all Live in a Red and White Kop
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #20 on: September 7, 2010, 07:15:45 PM »
Good article. Nice to see a journalist who has done his research.
£15m? It seems low, but what people have to remember is that the fee is irrelevant.

Offline Bob Loblaw

  • Could be John Giles, or his agent.
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 25,820
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #21 on: September 7, 2010, 07:18:18 PM »
Thanks for posting. Good article. But don't agree with the last paragraph.

I wouldn't agree entirely with it, but the gist of it i certainly would.

Offline Slick_Beef

  • RAWK's Master Baker
  • RAWK Supporter
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,679
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #22 on: September 7, 2010, 07:19:00 PM »
Good article that. Don't know if anyone here listens to football weekly on the guardian but Sid Lowe does indeed know his stuff.

Offline howtheredgriffinstolexmas73

  • RAWK Supporter
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,961
  • Thanks for everything Rafa. Nunca Caminarás Solo.
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #23 on: September 7, 2010, 07:21:37 PM »
Thanks for posting. Good article. But don't agree with the last paragraph.
Good article. Nice to see a journalist who has done his research.

Sums it up for me. :)
Rafa Benitez: "I'll always keep in my heart the good times I've had here, the strong and loyal support of the fans in the tough times and the love from Liverpool. I have no words to thank you enough for all these years and I am very proud to say that I was your manager. Thank you so much once more and always remember: You'll never walk alone."

Offline Foregone Concussion

  • Ultimate Movie Night Draft Winner 2017. King - or Queen - of Mystery. Hyzenthlay. The 5th Benitle's sex conch.
  • RAWK Supporter
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 52,299
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #24 on: September 7, 2010, 07:43:07 PM »
I wouldn't agree entirely with it, but the gist of it i certainly would.

There's some stuff about Istanbul I don't agree with but he's pretty balanced. The last paragraph just stuck out a bit.
We have to change from doubter to believer. Now.

Offline Lush is the best medicine...

  • FUCK THE POLICE - NWA
  • RAWK Supporter
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 33,107
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #25 on: September 7, 2010, 07:50:32 PM »
Quote
• No, completely ridiculous. And that was yet another example of Benítez's failure to connect to his players. By the end, they were all against him.

Actually, they weren't all against him. And that says more about their attitude than his. The players who respected Benítez are the intelligent, committed ones. Torres has no problem admitting that Benítez can be hard work, obsessive and infuriatingly single-minded -- he tells the story of the coach congratulating him the day after he found out he was going to be a dad for the first time, only to discover that Benítez was actually congratulating him for a near post run he'd made in the previous game -- but he has no problems admitting that Benítez has made him a better player. And isn't that the point? They're there to work.

is he basically implying that despite what the gutter press (maddock, winter and co) saying that torres couldnt stand rafa at the end he actually had no problem with him at all?

and lowe is spot on with the final piece - they are there to work and their boss is there to be their boss, not their fucking bumchum

Offline A_lonely_Xmas_Without_Ewe!

  • WUM. 'twatito' - The Cat Herding Firm But Fair Voice Of Reason (Except when he's got a plank up his arse). Gimme some skin, priest! Has a general dislike for Elijah Wood. Clearly cannot fill even a thong! RAWK Resident Muppet. Has a crush o
  • RAWK Staff
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 45,295
  • Come on you fucking red men!!!
  • Super Title: This is super!
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #26 on: September 7, 2010, 07:59:10 PM »
Good article that. Don't know if anyone here listens to football weekly on the guardian but Sid Lowe does indeed know his stuff.

Yes, very good and really knows the Spanish game.
Sid Lowe (@sidlowe)
09/03/2011 08:04
Give a man a mask and he will tell the truth, Give a man a user name and he will act like a total twat.
Its all about winning shiny things.

Offline Lush is the best medicine...

  • FUCK THE POLICE - NWA
  • RAWK Supporter
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 33,107
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #27 on: September 7, 2010, 08:06:59 PM »
Yes, very good and really knows the Spanish game.

infact if i remember rightly when the english press were doing their 'torres to chelsea' shit in the summer lowe was one of the few who said that torres' preference is to stay at liverpool and i believe said some things he heard from nando's mates

Offline Alf

  • RAWK Supporter
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 16,159
  • Leader of Alf Quaida & the Scaliban
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #28 on: September 7, 2010, 08:10:13 PM »
Definitely one of the better pieces I've read about Rafa as of late.

Offline pinky

  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,954
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #29 on: September 7, 2010, 08:18:33 PM »
Alonso was a pretty known footballer in la liga in 2002/2003, was included in the starting 11 of the season by many Spanish football journalists, and was already an international player for Spain when Rafa signed him. I'm not entirely sure what Sid Lowe's point is on his signing, but the whole thing sounded a bit like one of those incredibly optimistic Paul Tomkins articles.

Offline Happy Chanukkan!

  • Chaka Chaka.....is in love with Aristotle but only for votes. The proud owner of some very private piles and an inflatable harem!
  • Matchday Commentator
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 79,065
  • Internet Terrorist lvl VI
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #30 on: September 7, 2010, 08:20:35 PM »
Alonso was a pretty known footballer in la liga in 2002/2003, was included in the starting 11 of the season by many Spanish football journalists, and was already an international player for Spain when Rafa signed him. I'm not entirely sure what Sid Lowe's point is on his signing, but the whole thing sounded a bit like one of those incredibly optimistic Paul Tomkins articles.

Littered with optimistic facts and whatnot. No way to write an article.

Offline Aristotle

  • is a bugger for the bottle. Apache tool wielder extraordinaire - especially in wardrobes. The 'Oral B' Specialist.....brushes his cavities vigorously outdoors.
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 14,441
  • Happiness depends upon ourselves
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #31 on: September 7, 2010, 08:28:51 PM »
be their boss, not their fucking bumchum

So you're telling me I went through all that trouble in my effort to become a professional footballer and it wouldn't have mattered anyway?! :no
My twitter
If Harry can get Spurs to the CL 1/4 final then he could get England to the World Cup final.

Offline thegoodfella

  • makes reindeer pizza
  • RAWK Scribe
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 15,624
  • ...siempre es posible
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #32 on: September 7, 2010, 08:31:11 PM »
Alonso was a pretty known footballer in la liga in 2002/2003, was included in the starting 11 of the season by many Spanish football journalists, and was already an international player for Spain when Rafa signed him. I'm not entirely sure what Sid Lowe's point is on his signing, but the whole thing sounded a bit like one of those incredibly optimistic Paul Tomkins articles.

Sure he was known, but not everyone was convinced on him. Didn't Jorge Valdano pass on him, or was that Butregueno?

Offline pinky

  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,954
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #33 on: September 7, 2010, 08:36:57 PM »
Sure he was known, but not everyone was convinced on him. Didn't Jorge Valdano pass on him, or was that Butregueno?

Well. His credentials back in 2004 were the ones I mentioned. Those are facts, which cannot be summed up by saying "he was a kid at Real Sociedad". Especially by Sid Lowe who is supposed to know the competition and all that.

As for Valdano, he was in love with Alonso, but he stopped being the sports director at Madrid in June. Camacho was the coach, and preferred Vieira instead.

Offline A_lonely_Xmas_Without_Ewe!

  • WUM. 'twatito' - The Cat Herding Firm But Fair Voice Of Reason (Except when he's got a plank up his arse). Gimme some skin, priest! Has a general dislike for Elijah Wood. Clearly cannot fill even a thong! RAWK Resident Muppet. Has a crush o
  • RAWK Staff
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 45,295
  • Come on you fucking red men!!!
  • Super Title: This is super!
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #34 on: September 7, 2010, 08:40:14 PM »
Alonso was a pretty known footballer in la liga in 2002/2003, was included in the starting 11 of the season by many Spanish football journalists, and was already an international player for Spain when Rafa signed him. I'm not entirely sure what Sid Lowe's point is on his signing, but the whole thing sounded a bit like one of those incredibly optimistic Paul Tomkins articles.

His point is that Wenger or Real Madrid could have bought him in 2004 but they didn't - Rafa did.

If it was such a gimme that Alonso would become the player he has - why did Rafa get him so easily?
Sid Lowe (@sidlowe)
09/03/2011 08:04
Give a man a mask and he will tell the truth, Give a man a user name and he will act like a total twat.
Its all about winning shiny things.

Offline thegoodfella

  • makes reindeer pizza
  • RAWK Scribe
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 15,624
  • ...siempre es posible
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #35 on: September 7, 2010, 08:45:05 PM »
Well. His credentials back in 2004 were the ones I mentioned. Those are facts, which cannot be summed up by saying "he was a kid at Real Sociedad". Especially by Sid Lowe who is supposed to know the competition and all that.

As for Valdano, he was in love with Alonso, but he stopped being the sports director at Madrid in June. Camacho was the coach, and preferred Vieira instead.

If I remember it correctly, a 22 year old Alonso, fresh from his best season at Sociedad, was waiting for an offer from Real, which never came. Much like Joaquin and other players that were courted by Real. Rafa wanted him, got him, and Xabi improved as a player. Enough of an improvement that Real finally bought him for price far higher than what they would've paid back in 2004.

hoonin

  • Guest
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #36 on: September 7, 2010, 08:46:49 PM »
Alonso - bought for ~£10M, sold for ~£30M.

We signed him, played him, developed him and sold him for a huge profit. What more can you say?

Offline thegoodfella

  • makes reindeer pizza
  • RAWK Scribe
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 15,624
  • ...siempre es posible
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #37 on: September 7, 2010, 08:48:09 PM »
Alonso - bought for ~£10M, sold for ~£30M.

We signed him, played him, developed him and sold him for a huge profit. What more can you say?

But Rafa didn't love him like people in Madrid did/do. ;)

Offline pinky

  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,954
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #38 on: September 7, 2010, 08:56:18 PM »
I'm not saying that Alonso was a bad signing by Benitez. That would be ridiculous. But he (Lowe) better says things as they were. My point is that some of things he says in that article are kind of coloured ala Tomkins, and some of the criticism he types first could be typed in a different way that would not be that easily refuted.

Offline A_lonely_Xmas_Without_Ewe!

  • WUM. 'twatito' - The Cat Herding Firm But Fair Voice Of Reason (Except when he's got a plank up his arse). Gimme some skin, priest! Has a general dislike for Elijah Wood. Clearly cannot fill even a thong! RAWK Resident Muppet. Has a crush o
  • RAWK Staff
  • Believer
  • *****
  • Posts: 45,295
  • Come on you fucking red men!!!
  • Super Title: This is super!
Re: Sid Lowe on Rafa Benitez
« Reply #39 on: September 7, 2010, 09:07:16 PM »
I'm not saying that Alonso was a bad signing by Benitez. That would be ridiculous. But he (Lowe) better says things as they were. My point is that some of things he says in that article are kind of coloured ala Tomkins, and some of the criticism he types first could be typed in a different way that would not be that easily refuted.

In other words he could have written the usual shite we have to read about Benitez.
Sid Lowe (@sidlowe)
09/03/2011 08:04
Give a man a mask and he will tell the truth, Give a man a user name and he will act like a total twat.
Its all about winning shiny things.