Guillem Balague – Respect or disrespect?

Theres nothing like an insider during the transfer window, especially if its the gaffers mate and somone who is supposedly ‘in the know’ worldwide and who also posseses a good footballing mind.

Guillem Balague came onto the scene earlier on this year with his off-the-cuff remarks about players we are linked with and seemingly respectable views on our team. We know full well Guillem is a fan to an extent, of Liverpool Football Club, and of Benitez, and this has helped boost his credibility through fans worldwide (being seemingly the opposite to Chris Bascome who since joining the News of the World has been not much more than a doom and gloom merchant).

In recent weeks however (especially now the Ronaldo saga is over) Guillem has been throwing bad news at us from all angles. He had little to say about the signing of Keane but yet has managed to have his fair share of opinions on Degen, Dossena and the mystery ‘south american youngsters’ who have yet to arrive.

On Friday he released a blog posting about Rafa ‘wanting to leave Anfield’, and while it is highly possible this actually happened, don’t you feel its just a little bit of a kick in the teeth the day before the opening day of the season? Of course it is also highly possible Benitez engineered this statement so he could come out in the press confrence post-sunderland and quash the rumors while also re-affirming his commitment to the fans (and note its the fans, not the club – which is important) and boosting team morale at the same time.

This is the time we need to start winning things, the season everyone has focused on as the one where we at least challenge for number 19 – but regardless of our hopes and whether they pull through we could do without the bad press constantly trying to put another nail in our coffin, especially from somone who is a ‘fan’ of the club.

I for one, am sick of Guillems comments, his shady replies to questions that quite honestly dont tell us anything we didn’t already know aside from the odd one now and again. Reading his garb and regurgitating it all over the forums (not just TIA – about every Liverpool site going) is getting to a point of silliness where his word is taken as gospel. I imagine if he said Benitez bought Ramos on FM2008 we’d probably beleive his spin and take it that we ‘are signing Sergio Ramos’ or some crazy story like that.

I thoroughly enjoyed his book on Rafa and LFC ‘A season on the brink’, he had some great insights to Benitez’s managerial and tactical mind and it is one of the greatest LFC reads i’ve had aside from ’43 years with the same bird’. And up until his recent website launch and endless rumors of this that and everything inbetween I really had respect for him and did feel he spoke a lot of truth but also thought he respected the fans and what he thought Benitez would want us to hear. Now I just think he is jumping on the back of his inside information from LFC and leaving a trail of dirt through the centre-circle en route to bigger fame.

I don’t like our club and us fans being his launchpad – we are only here to support one thing, and thats the team of 11 men that run out on the pitch – not the managers bessie mate. So it has to be said, is Guillem respecting that the fans want to know everything happening at the club and telling us every inkling and murmur he hears however devastating it could be, or is he disrespecting the club by using it as a ticket to fame?

Discuss this here