Monday, May 18, 2009

And the wind cries... Rafa

Well, that's that. Something about how all the jacks are in their boxes, whether the wind will ever remember the names it has blown in the past, oh, and brooms drearily sweeping the remnants of yesterday's life.

The EPL was decided in that most thrilling of fashions, a 0-0 draw that United really could/should have lost, and we must all drag our attention to August, where the excitement and optimism of new signings still makes us all thing our teams are going to win the league. This is the year, this is it, I can feel it... etc etc ad nauseam.

And in a bid to keep the journos busy over the summer, Rafa Benitez couldn't resist another jab or two. Which is weird, as I always thought it was the winners that got to do this kind of thing.

So what did he do exactly? Something very becoming of a high-schooler, or maybe even Tracey Flick. He refused to congratulate Alex Ferguson! He wouldn't give him credit! He was smug! Et cetera!

Asked whether he would congratulate Ferguson in the wake of their 18th League title, Benítez, who had gone public with his grievances with the United manager in January with his infamous list of "facts", replied: "I will say congratulations to Manchester United." Not Sir Alex? "Ah, done well," said the Spaniard begrudgingly, "but I prefer to say congratulations to Manchester United; good club, big club."

It is protocol for the manager that finishes runners-up to send a letter of congratulations to his triumphant counterpart but Benítez gave little indication he will have a pen in his hand over the next few days when he was asked if he would write to Ferguson. "I have had normally to be polite and to respect the other manager at the end of the season. He has said a lot of things that I didn't like. I say congratulations to Man United because they have won and that's it."
(When added to his refusal to admit United are that much better, it makes for hilarious reading)

At least the Spaniard is consistent. I mean, does SAF really give a toss? He's sitting home with his silver polish while Senor Benitez is gorging on paella and figuring out which left-back to purchase in the summer.

Don't get me wrong here; I love Rafa, in large part because this season, despite ending trophyless again, has been the closest to something resembling progress during his tenure. Trending up, they call it, and no, I'm not delusional. Though we crashed and burned in domestic cups early, we're on course to finish second, something I don't think we've managed this century.

There's all the statistical rubbish about finishing within 10 points of the champs for the first time in ages, as well as the wonderful record against United, Arsenal and Chelsea (4 wins, 2 draws, having beaten none of 'em since the Benitez era began).

Still, we finished second, we faltered in February with that agonizing run of draws, and if ever there was a time to be contrite and quiet, it might be that first presser after those c*nts at Old Trafford hoisted the title. I give him mild credit for trying to maintain some drama in the league.

Which brings me to that nagging question: when is Jose Mourinho coming back to the EPL?


Precious Roy said...

Fact: Liverpool are second.

Seriously, hasn't Rafa learned to shut-up yet? I mean it makes for good blog-fodder but if I'm a Scouser with a time machine, I go back to right before that press conference and punch his teeth in so he can't even talk.

Lingering Bursitis said...

PR: He hasn't learned, and probably never will. I expect the vitriol to outweigh the humor and sarcasm by October.

phil said...

I think this weekend was EPL Manager Stupid Talk Weekend.

--Rafa refusing to be gracious in defeat.

--Wenger's odd "It's ManU, what di you expect?"

--'Arry taking a real cheap shot at Pavs in the post-match presser

--Mark Hughes grandly pronouncing about his own job security

--Southgate resigning M'sbrough to relegation a week early.

Brian K said...

Big Club. Great Club.

Lofty Club.