Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Why Rafa Benitez should put up or shut up

Everyone knows about Liverpool's front office troubles that it has become an embarrassment. It should also serve notice about choosing one's business partners well.

As much as I am eternally grateful for Rafa Benitez piloting the Reds to a Champions League title and another finals appearance, I on the other hand am royally ticked off about his incessant blaming his side's lack of bite because he doesn't have the funds to get the right players.

As I've said time and again, this side is his team. There are only few holdovers from Gerrard Houllier's tenure as Anfield boss. There's Carra, Stevie G, Sami, and John. The rest he's signed and bought. If he says that his side cannot compete with Manchester United and Chelsea then if I were the players I'd be pissed. It's an indictment of their talent. At the start of the season, he said he was happy with their off season purchases and that there's no reason why Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt, Peter Crouch, and Andriy Voronin shouldn't get 20 goals apiece. But did he ever give Crouchy the playing time?

His side won and lost running his system -- whatever the hell it is.

I simply cannot believe that scarcely has a week gone by since the Premiership ended when he's already saying that there's no way Liverpool will compete for the title next season. This early? He should be fired for such insolence and cynicism. If you're not going to compete, then don't play.

He keeps harping about the lack of funds and how in Spain they spend freely. Well, Real Madrid and Barcelona spend millions and millions of Euros every year but it doesn't guarantee a title. Granted that they won the last four La Liga titles doesn't guarantee anything. The galactico project by either side shows what people already know across the northern pond (read: the New York Yankees) -- all star line ups don't guarantee success.

At the start of last season he was saying he was happy with his new purchases. By mid-season, he was saying they weren't good enough and that they should take advantage of the January transfer window. Stop blaming the owners for your troubles, Rafa. You put that team on the field.

Everyone thought that Arsenal was going to collapse when Thierry Henry left. Instead they played great football for 3/4 of the season before injuries got the better of the squad. Obviously he's sending a not so subtle message to the owners that he wants more money to get better players. Particularly to backstop his aging backfour. Carra and Hyypia were repeatedly beaten by the much stronger and faster Didier Drogba and the slick passing game of Manchester United. If you ask me, Manchester was even better because of the heady and steady play by Owen Hargreaves in the midfield. He made life easier for Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, and Carlos Tevez.

If I were Benitez, I'd study what the other teams are doing right rather than make a broad assumption that their opponents have the best players.

Shut your hole and be a man, dude. You put together that side.

This entry was linked to (a site all Rafa Benitez check it out).

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