Respected forum member GBH responds to Geebo’s article yesterday about Benitez’s methods and how he got us to the final – again.
THERE is something else about Rafa which is an ingredient used by all successful people – meticulous planning.
Some of you may have heard of operation tea-cup. This was applied by the England management team when the Rugby Union squad won the World Cup.
The game was so well planned that the strategy for the final minutes of the game was such that if England were in range of goal and the score was level/close they would implement ‘tea cup’.
Sure enough when the opportunity arose the captain shouted “Tea Cup” and the ball was thrown to Wilkinson to kick for goal.
Operation Tea Cup worked.
By employing the same eye for detail Rafa overcomes some of the weaknesses his team might have. In a way it’s a bit like preparing for a job interview. The best person for the job might not be the best prepared for the interview and as a result the best prepared person has a great interview and wins.
Benitez is a master at preparation and his prep began last summer when he signed certain players to do certain things. In January he signed the incredible Javier Souness…..sorry, Mascherano, and this young lad has simply added to an already brilliant midfield. Benitez (it now turns out) knew he did not have the resources to win the Premier League and so focused everything on the competition that brings the most money. He knew that if he concentrated on winning this years contest whilst doing enough to qualify for next years then he could earn himself a lot of spending money. He would also establish Liverpool as the best team in the Champions League and thus attract better players.
By not worrying about the Carling and FA Cups he could also concentrate on his plan to dominate european football and he seems to be on the way to achieving this.
What Rafa didn’t know was that two Americans would fall in love with the club and give him some more pocket money. This can only be a positive as the Benitez wagon gains momentum.
Benitez also plans and considers the mental side of the game. His controlled responses and taunts worked Mourinho into an embarrassing state and as a result his team buckled under the pressure.
In preparing to do battle with Milan Benitez will already be looking at their tactics and their squad. He knows that thay no longer have the strikers that they did have and that they are not quite as good as they were when we last beat them.
He knows that if you control Kaka and get stuck into Gatusso they have little to offer. I am sure we have the resources to do that.
Perhaps the greatest plus for Rafa and the team is that Milan have started to do exactly what they did two years ago – brag.
Here are some examples:
“The final will be a fascinating challenge – Liverpool are not as good as Manchester United but they are harder physically.”
So Steven Gerrard and his lads are not as good as the scum….ok, that’s one bit of motivational help from the opposing coach.
“All of us feel the need for revenge, as we are still under shock from Istanbul.
“It is curious and intriguing that after two years our opponents in the final are again Liverpool.”
Yes it is and you must be very scared as our squad is better and yours isn’t.
I think that Rafa will already be thinking that this time we can beat them properly. They will talk about how good they are and how we are more of a physical team than them etc.
But we should all remember that we have the best all-round midfielder in the world, two of the best young, central defenders in Europe, the best keeper in europe, height, pace and some young players who would never have dreamed they would be playing in the Champions League final.
We also have the best planner and best coach in the world too and with that in mind I predict that we will beat Milan quite comfortably this time.
We did it to Barcelona and Chelsea and we are due another European Cup. After all, we’ve not won it since 2005 and that’s along time for us!