Messi: The Ball Winning Manager
Football Manager Profile of Rafael Benitez is itself a topic for a whole book. appreciation of what he has achieved with his team, the record he has for the most number of clean sheets, as well as his inspiration to his players are all there for anyone to judge, and in this case justifiably. It is however his footballing philosophy and the way in which he sets out to generations of footballing generations that come after him, that is the real all important difference between a great manager and a popularity cult. Off the pitch flamboyance is almost non-existent, off the pitch when put in his position he only seems interested in doing things right. His performances on and off the pitch in his new job are every bit as good as a legend, and a case could be made for him MUST be placed in the first class all-time XI.
Rafa’s emphasis is more on education, with a Theo Walcott of youth development, at the head. His record of arriving early to watch his promising youngsters train, developing them, touching them and providing an environment for young potential holders to dream points of order; a real rarity in English football. It is not an over-due status, what many critics would tend to consider the transfer situation has made it difficult for top flight clubs to turn their backs on some of the best talent, but the overall lack of first team action, this season (standers included) has hurt a great deal.
Why the Revolution?
Rafa is enrolling youngsters not just to learn how to play football, but without them knowing the first thing about the sport, it’s a negative spiral that seems to be getting worse. One reason being that the obvious way of developing new players is to start giving them various skill and fitness drills which they can immediately pick up and master. This is what happened with England under Steve Mclaren, with a world cup prospect, David Beckham, learning the rudiments of the game.
Rafa Benitez tends to buy players who have a future generations potential in mind, whether it be playing for his country, or chasing a famous England job, and he doesn’t come across with this media attitude very often. Although I must say that I often find it hard to disagree with him, especially in the high pressure football press world he operates in.
How is he different from most other managers?
He seems to speak to the media in the language they should be speaking to themselves. He seems genuine and is not buying into the hype and media speculation that seems to accompany the role of manager, especially of a club the size of Liverpool. In recent times I think he has more freedom to make his opinions heard with less fear of repercussions from the board. Many current Anfield players probably would not have been brought in if the manager had imposed his will upon them, or at the very least bothered denying them an England place.
It seems that everyone is to the point where they depend on him, Liverpool is as competitive a club as you could get. It has often been said that he picks and moulds his squad as much as any other manager, and I can see this being the case. He makes decisions months in advance without any interference from others, this can not be said about any other manager. He makes his decisions without using the services of a chief scout, someone he has full control over. He makes luxury decisions, and sometimes this rubs people up the wrong way.
He is not a pushover
Those that are critical of Rafa tend to fall into these categories: people who dislike sacklings, people who are afraid to confront bad situations, and people who want to see their club as a monopoly.
But it is just this kind of casual attitude that has made Rafa a great manager. After years and years of his faith being tested to varying degrees, he has come to the conclusion that at the end of the day, he has performed at his best if the team wins.
What is he saying about the game?
He has said many things that can be taken as the truth, and whatever you want to take from this performance we will leave to your opinions.
Whatever you take from what he has said is your opinion, not mine!