Friday, February 01, 2008

The Luckiest Man in Football

It's hard, offhand, to think of another manager of a major European club who has; a) spent tens of millions in the transfer market to no apparent purpose b) vastly underperfomed expectations in the league for three years running; c) failed to win any of his last five games; d) just had the club's only decent defender admit that fourth place might be a stretch this year.

But it's even harder to imagine another club at which this self-same manager would not only avoid being the object of baying crowds, but actually be defended by the club's fans against owners who - not unreasonably - would actually like the team to win a match or two.

It is simply luck that Rafa's latest spell of Houllier-fication (he still insists on playing Dirk Kuyt, for Chrissakes) has coincided with the news that Liverpool's absentee landlords have - shock, horror, this was completely unforseen, etc. - foisted a lot of debt on the club. Scouser fans, whose logic escapes me somewhat, seem to have decided that thw way to get back at their vicious American overlords is a) to demand new, kinder Arab overlords and b) back their Spanish coach come what may, even though the team clearly can't play its way out of a paper bag right now.

In this situation, through no skill of his own, Rafa can literally do no wrong. Which is good, because he ain't doing much right at the moment.

Lucky Bastard.


Blogger mbroadhurst said...

Scouse fans don't use logic - they're scousers!

12:59 PM  
Blogger Cam said...

Antonio, Antonio. How could you do this? Does your son agree? I bet he doesn't.

When Rafa has cash to splash, he does well (Torres, Alonso, soon Mascherano).

If Rafa gets to see out (and extend) his contract it's the only way forward for the Reds. If they cut him loose and replace him then it will be starting from scratch all over again.

Obviously they're out of form, but finishing fourth and a deep runs in the Champions League and FA Cup will make this all seem silly in May. In the next few years Torres will continue to improve, Babel will become one of the more dangerous players in the premier league, and hopefully Liverpool can get a few wide players that are worth while.

If the Reds win the FA Cup and Arsenal go home empty handed (2nd place, lose the FA Cup, and CL), will you be writing about how lucky Wenger is to work for the richest club in England, never buy any players, and get away with successive trophy-less season? I doubt it.


3:58 PM  
Blogger Antonio G said...

Cam! How are you, mate? Go to bed, man, it's 4AM over there.

If all turns out as you say, I will eat crow. I actually think 'pool will finish fourth because none of the other pretenders have strength in depth and so are if anything more likely to fade in the stretch than the Reds. I don't see them getting past Inter in the CL, though.

Any news at Shenhua?

4:41 PM  

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