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diego

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Everything posted by diego

  1. diego

    Real in for Benzema, apparently

    I agree with you - except for the "bags of tricks". People were giddy with delight (I remember Brendan was one of them) that Houllier had been so clever to arrange the deal before the rest of the world realised what a genius he had signed following his appearances in the World Cup. I said then and I say now he did nothing in the World Cup to justify the hysteria or the price we paid for him. He ran up and down the wing energetically i.e. he was his usually shite self. To think Houllier let Anelka go to buy Diouf!
  2. diego

    A thread about a man named Xabi

    Quote taken from a letter Hitler addressed to Ghandi explaining his pogroms in Poland.
  3. diego

    Summer '09 Transfer Speculation Thread

    It was always said of Reira in Spain that he lacked stamina in any given game and in a season as a whole. I may be wrong, but I seem to recall Rafa remarking on it about the time he signed him. So it was always part of the plan that he would be substituted during most games and replaced peridocially during the season. I think the idea was to help him build up stamina. He did go through some low-energy patches and was rotated and seemed to benefit from rest. His stamina and effectiveness also seemed to improve a little towards the end of the season. I'd be interested in Silva's stamina. In any case there would be some scope for rotating the two of them on the left wing.
  4. diego

    A thread about a man named Xabi

    Are you listening Xabi? "He .....is already relishing the chance to return to Merseyside for pre-season later this month.... I can do things here that would be unthinkable in Madrid.... “Madrid was killing me. I couldn’t go to the cinema, shopping; the team weren’t doing well, it was a constant anguish. “Here it’s the opposite. You get used to winning, you can go out and about, the people on the street respect your privacy.” Fernando Torres: I'm in debt to Rafa Benitez Jul 1 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
  5. diego

    A thread about a man named Xabi

    This thread keeps spinning on. What it has proved is: (a) this forum houses some resilient Rafa-haters: (b) they can't find anything to substantiate their hatred: © some of them seem to base it on the fact that Rafa is a foreigner who has disturbed some kind of old-boy network at the club or because he refuses to give privileged information or access to a certain tabloid journalist who used to make them feel they were "insiders" and who now has to rely for information on a disaffected former board-member who was sacked for publicly attacking Rafa and on ex-administrators and staffers who were let go partly because they were antagonistic towards, or in competition with Rafa: (d) they have tried to compensate for the lack of substantive justification for their hatred by blaming Rafa for some unpleasant activites and attitudes which they attribute to Xabi: (e) in so doing they reveal how petty they are: (f) irrespective of the distortions introduced by the Rafa-haters (who actually don't give a damn for Xabi or his alleged injured feelings) Xabi has tried to engineer a move for himself. Contrary to the baloney from some on here, Xabi was fully consulted last summer about a possible move and he understood the rational provided by Rafa. Xabi agreed to the exercise knowing that it would be dependent on Rafa receiving an adequate price and Xabi being happy about any move. Xabi was keen to go to Juventus (which shoots a hole in his argument that he is homesick for Spain) and was bitterly disappointed when the deal did not go through because Juventus would not pay the price. (g) this summer he and his agent have decided on a strategy of encouraging Real Madrid (and other teams) to bid for him while at the same time maintaining the public position that he is happy to stay, thereby preserving his status with the supporters and protecting any loyalty bonus there may be if he moves. This strategy also offers the potential of a pay rise at LFC. (h) Rafa was genuinely puzzled by the contrast between Xabi statements to the club and press and the activities and words of his agent. Rafa acted straightforwardly when he spoke to the agent about the apparent contradiction. The agent said he had not been contacted by any club. Rafa realised that activities undertaken by Xabi's agent and Xabi's reluctance to disassociate from them publicly might represent a real threat to his plans for next season and the very least might cause confusion in the club and among its supporters. So he publicly reaffirmed that Xabi was a valued member of the team and he did not want to sell him and that if there was any more talk of this it should come from Xabi in a written transfer request and within a reasonable time. Even then Rafa reserved the right to refuse a transfer if the money and timing was not right. The ball is in Xabi's court and the attempts by the Rafa haters on here to entangle this situation in their own agenda is irrelevant to Xabi and everyone else involved.
  6. diego

    A thread about a man named Xabi

    Nobody missed it. It's mainly a compilation of what has been in the press for 36-48 hours. The only new bit is where he is quoted as saying its up to the clubs to negotiate. If he said that it would indicate that he is maintaining his line of encouraging Real Madrid while refusing to lodge a transfer request. The fact is its not up to the clubs to negotiate if LFC doesn't want to negotiate.
  7. diego

    A thread about a man named Xabi

    manicss01 - good post. Not only has Rafa been the "saviour" of the club during its most difficult time since the 1940's, he is also a manager "anointed" by the supporters when they turned out for him in their hundreds of thousands on the streets and on the net when his position was threatened. I'm sure many of those supporters would disagree with him from time to time about his selections, substitutions, tactics, transfers etc but when the chips were down they knew he was the real deal and the best manager for LFC. No other manager has been compared to Shankly as much as Rafa has been.
  8. diego

    A thread about a man named Xabi

    Rafa knows how to deal with Real Madrid. He has many inside sources there. He knows their strengths and weaknesses. He will know who they are scouting instead of Alonso. He has taken them on and beaten them in the Liga and in the CL. Nor does he want to do their Director of Football any favours. Wisely he signed Alonso in the first place and then re-signed him to a long contract and as a result is now in a position of strength to keep him or sell him for a good price. He has clearly said that he does not want to sell Alonso and reminded everyone that Alonso has said he is happy at LFC and looking forward to his sixth season. Giving Rafa's professionalism he will also have a plan "B" in the works, a replacement worked out and a price he would be willing to pay. IMO opinion its not up to Alonso. Rafa will not change his stance just because Alonso wants to go (he clearly does). He will change his stance only if it is in the best interest of LFC. That boils down to enough cash up front and enough time to put Plan B into operation. One more time for all those who are still flogging the dead horse of Rafa not being nice to the players. Virtually every player in the current and past squads have said Rafa is one of the best, if not the best manager they have played for, and all the players trust him. Even Alonso has said he has the same professional relationship with him as Rafa has with the other players.
  9. diego

    A thread about a man named Xabi

    In the recent past Torres has said that Rafa is a first-class manager who all the players trust, Masch has said the same adding that Rafa's signing a new contract has made everyone at the club feel better. Steve Gerrard has said he is his best manager ever and everyone trusts him, Dirk has said something similar as has Carragher, Dossena, Agger, Arbeloa, Hyppia, Lucas, Darby and others. Even Pennant and Crouchie have praised him. Alonso says he has the same pofessional relationship with him as he has with the other players. How is it that this forum has managed to continue to propagate a view entirely at odds with the statements of the players and with the fans who marched in Rafa's defence and the 60,000 who signed a petition that the owners better not sack him? Well, it seems Rashid relies on the statements of a few on here who "know people" - even though he does not know them himself. Bascombe is prepared to publish to a 4 million Sunday readership that Alonso is so unhappy with Rafa he will put in a transfer request in a few days (never happened). ATK knows someone who knows someone and as a result hates Rafa and assumes that Alonso does, too, and Brownie knows a Middlesborough supporter who knows a Middlesbrough player who wants to come to LFC who says that it is common knowledge among the players etc etc. The only reason I got involved in this debate in here is because there was clearly an attempt to denigrate Rafa using Alonso as an excuse. It was so relentless that the tabloid press were using this site as a source of the assumption that Rafa and Alonso did not like each other. I'm glad that the issues have been fully aired and the anti-Rafa brigade have been shown up for what they are.
  10. diego

    A thread about a man named Xabi

    That's the nub. He and his fans constantly justify his putting himself on the market by reference to the notional fall in the value of his contract due to the depreciation of the Pound Sterling against the Euro. That depreciation has lasted about 6 months in an extended contract of some 8 years. During the time when the Pound Sterling was appreciating against the Euro he never offered to give back the notional rise to LFC. Even with the notional decrease his 65K a week is still 65K in the UK - he doesn't live in Spain. He also has access to the finest specialist financial advisors to shield him from much of the UK taxation and he can, if he wishes, also buy hedges against fluctuations in the value of currencies. The fact is that a move to RM would win him a very big cash bonus as a signing-on fee as well as increase in his wages measured in Euros. He has said on several occasions he does not have a conflict with Rafa and that Rafa treats him the same as he treats every other player. Why do his fans not believe him? This thread has been driven from the beginning by mischievous, agenda-driven disinformation.
  11. diego

    A thread about a man named Xabi

    Yesterday you said you had heard that Alonso had said his goodbyes to LFC staff. I immediately posted asking how could he have done that if he was in South Africa and they were in the UK. My post disappeared without explanation. Another post of mine a couple of weeks ago that commented on the relationship between Bascombe and this board and the anti-Rafa brigade also disappeared. Let's be frank, Brownie. You don't know what the LFC players are saying about Alonso. You are not ITK.
  12. diego

    A thread about a man named Xabi

    But they are not really concerned about poor little Alonso and his hurt feelings. They could care less about Alonso. They and their friend at the NoW manufactured the story in order to use it as a stick to beat Rafa. That's how hypocritical they are.
  13. diego

    A thread about a man named Xabi

    Alonso signed a fat extension to his contact with LFC and obviously thought he had done well for himself. Then he started playing below par and also got injured. When the possibility of a move arose he agreed to being sold by Rafa on the proviso that he would have the final say and could refuse any move of which he did not approve - which was his contractual right. He liked the idea because it might mean more wages and a fee for his agent. There was never any suggestion that Rafa would punish him if he refused to move. Only an anti-Raf bigot would call this "politics" by Rafa. Its the meat and potatoes of management. Rafa conducted himself honourably and efficiently in the affair and coaxed and excellent season from Alonso - although Alonso was by no means the best player in the squad.
  14. diego

    A thread about a man named Xabi

    Can we just add that to that list that Alonso was not the main reason why the team did well last year and he was not the best player.
  15. diego

    A thread about a man named Xabi

    Its the self-promoting ITKs who are the internet warriors.
  16. diego

    A thread about a man named Xabi

    Shanks Legend is another fake ITK. Periodically he gets called out and goes into a sulk saying he won't share his pearls of wisdom any more if people won't give him respect - but he always comes back looking for attention. His "sauce" is just general gossip, usually picked up from other sites, plus a lot of not very inspired guesswork. His "inside" info is full of "ifs", "ands" and "buts" so he can always say circumstances changed since he made his most recent wrong prediction. His running commentary on the H and G takeover- sale to the Arabs and related matters was laughably wrong. It amazes me that people on RAWK still give him the time of day considering his high bullshit content.
  17. diego

    A thread about a man named Xabi

    How did he say goodbyes to LFC staff if he was in South Africa and the staff were either in Liverpool or elsewhere in the UK? Looks to me like its more hogwash from fake ITKs.
  18. diego

    A thread about a man named Xabi

    I disagree. While I appreciate Hyppia's 4 footballing analysis I think his characterisation of Alonso as a long suffering saint and Rafa as a Machivallian sadist is poppycock of the highest order. Alonso was a slightly better than average player when Rafa bought him. Rafa has developed him, given him a central role in the team, given him a very generous extension to his original contract and provided him with as much support as any footballer could reasonably expect. Alonso has responded professionally in footballing terms. But at the same time he has tried to second-guess his boss within the club, and directly or through his agent has used the tabloid press to encourage mischievous speculation about his relationship with the club either (a) to create pressure to secure more money or (b) to get a transfer. Rafa will ignore all this and do what's best for the club.
  19. diego

    A thread about a man named Xabi

    Sometimes last season when Alonso was not playing the team lacked fluidity and organisation causing people to say he was irreplaceable. Obviously Alonso's linking and organising abilities were missed at the time. But this is not because he has unique abilities but because he was made an essential part of the set-up by Rafa who played him as often as he could. If Alonso were not around another player or players would become an integral part of the team and perform the same role. While some of his long-range passing was nice to see, it was not all that effective in providing assists. His long-range shooting was often a waste of an opportunity because more often than not the trajectory was over the bar, or around the posts and when it was on target it was comfortably within the goalies control. One of the reasons he was a "calming" influence on the mid-field is because he was slow and therefore predictable. I could well imagine a different player providing some more creativity and speed.
  20. diego

    SOS - No to Refinancing - IMPORTANT

    While I agree that supporters should be sceptical or the owners and keep them under close and effective observation, I don't agree that they should try to stop them re-financing their loans. The owners made a series of bad mistakes when they tried to undermine Rafa. Thanks largely to activist supporters they realised their mistake and corrected it. We now have one of the finest managers in the world signed up for five years with sufficient managerial autonomy to do the job. The owners also made a mistake by trying to run the club through their sons. They have corrected that - thanks again to effective oversight and criticism from supporters. They have also charged their lavish personal expenses to the club - expenses exaggerated by the fact that they live in the USA, travel by private jets and each hires his own team of expensive consultants and advisors for everything from checking the accounts, seeking financing, selling equity and developing plans for the stadium. As onerous as all this is it is better than their original bad plan to run the club through their sons, and some of those expenses may yet pay off if they do, in fact, attract equity investors. The core of the problem is the debt they have created for the club and their failure to build the stadium. It is in the owners best interest to build the stadium. In fact, if they don't they will never sell their investment at a substantial profit and may face a net loss. I believe that they want to build a stadium and will try to do it as soon as possible. It is not easy to find a construction loan of that magnitude in the present climate. The other debts are more problematic. However, it is clear that the banks are forcing the owners to prove more personal guarantee against their personal borrowings, and the owners are responding by selling USA and Canadian assets. The debts on the club are worrying because for as long as there is no new stadium, the debts will increase and may become unserviceable. The owners know this and are seeking to reduce the debts by finding equity investors either through private offerings or possibly by going public. A lot of supporter opposition is based on distaste that they are Americans and that they are leveraged buy-out specialists using borrowed money to acquire assets which they may then strip if they get into personal financial difficulties. This type of ownership is not quintessential American. It was the British who introduced and perfected and took to extremes leverage buy outs and asset stripping. It would be very difficult to find a British owner who would not also use these techniques. Of course leverage buy-outs introduce a large element of risk. But they also allow things to happen that would not have happened without borrowing. Its perfectly possible that if G&H play their cards right, they will be able to build a first-class stadium through borrowing and increase the value of their investment while at the same time providing sufficient managerial stability to the footballing and commercial aspects of the club to enable it to win trophies.
  21. diego

    Why Kraft said no

    Its interesting that he chose to speak out now given that he avoided comment for so long when he was an active player in the saga. When Parry was seen with him in his box at a Patriots game they were at pains to describe it as a meeting in which Parry was acquainting himself with how Kraft had built their stadium. His speaking out now could be a touch of "I told you so..." with reference to G&H's failure to build a stadium, or it could be a speculative "come and get me.." to G&H or other Premier League owners looking to make a sale or find an equity partner . However, I think G&H have already sounded him out as a minority partner and he refused. Given his modus operandi I could not see him going into partnership with G&H unless they showed him a clear future path to majority ownership. I would guess that he will enter the PL only if one of the clubs in financial trouble which already has a good stadium goes belly-up or is being sold at a distressed price. I guess he will already have looked at Newcastle but been frightened off by the wage bill and the long term player-contracts.
  22. diego

    A thread about a man named Xabi

    If Xabi stays at LFC next season he will have more than his "personal professionalism" as motivation for playing to the best of his ability. He will need to continue to play well (a) to secure his place in a championship chasing team at LFC and (b) to keep his place in Spain's World Cup team and (b) to secure a move to another club in 2010, if that is still what he wants. I still think it best to refuse to sell him this year (unless an offer of 35- 40 million is received soon enough to secure his replacement), hope he avoids injury next season, hope he has a good World Cup next summer and then sell him to the highest bidder if he won't sign a new contract with LFC.
  23. diego

    Whats Going On?

    Susan Boyle is going to release a cover version of YNWA.
  24. diego

    A thread about a man named Xabi

    Code 72 - I marvel at your ability to flog a dead horse. Barry does not play for LFC. LFC did not make a bid for him this year. If the only point of your tedious comparisons is to stoke up resentment against Rafa for agreeing to accept offers for Alonso last year, then please note that Alonso wanted away before Rafa revealed his interest in Barry as his replacement. It was only after Alonso realised that no club was willing to pay Rafa's price for him that Alonso started to complain that he should not have to compete with or be compared to Barry. As a result of this little drama, Barry stayed at Villa and the lost opportunity for Villa cost them about 5 million for the season year. Alonso stayed at LFC and bucked up his game. It was great management by Rafa. He not only managed the team brilliantly he also caused Alonso to improve. Alonso wants to move again but so far no club has made an offer of any kind let alone the kind of figure that might tempt LFC to replace a much improved player. Personally I would not trust Alonso to survive another season without major injury and I don't believe he is irreplaceable. I think we could improve on him as long as we had enough money and enough time to plan the change. I think it a better idea to keep him for one year, hope he avoids injury and has a good World Cup and then maximise his selling price next year.
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