Wednesday night saw Liverpool defeat Wigan, with Fernando Torres not risked from the start, and Arsenal held to a draw at Burnley, with Cesc Fabregas limping out with an injury that will see him miss their next match at least.
It’s interesting that nothing has been made of this in the press, or at least I haven’t seen anything. That is of course other than – somehow – criticism for Benitez for not starting Torres! Yes, despite Torres scoring the winner, being nicely rested ahead of an early kick-off, away, and our third game in seven days.
Did Rafa go moaning about fixtures? No. Did he look ahead, think to protect his biggest asset and still get the result? Yes. If only Wenger had done the same he’d have been hailed as a miracle worker in the press.
Another manager who could learn a bit from Rafa is Harry Redknapp. The Spurs boss will “severely punish” those players who it has emerged flew to Dublin for a secret Christmas party four days before their defeat to Wolves, despite warnings not to from their manager.
Such disrespect would only happen in a squad full of British players. Rafa has spoke in the past of the problem with some British players mentally. Even explaining how he was surprised at Robbie Keane’s lack of tactical knowledge led to his short stay at Anfield. Now Keane is being reported as the organiser of the said party and it makes you realise Rafa may just have had a point.
On a sidenote, funny how the press don’t lambast Redknapp for playing Crouch as often as Benitez used to when he was at Liverpool, eh? Ah you gotta love them London based media. Bias? What bias?
A silent victory for Rafa.