Categorized | Jason Parker

Rafa Knows Best


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Rafa and Keane not to be.

Rafa and Keane not to be.

The dust has settled from the Robbie Keane debacle and once again Rafa Benitez ends up with egg on his face. Granted, Keane returning to Tottenham confirms that he is a second rate striker who can only score goals when the bright lights aren’t on. But for Rafa, this is just business as usual at rocky Anfield. Instead of discussing whether Sunday’s victory over Chelsea is a turning point for the slumping club, the man in charge of As the Pool Turns is defending his lack of striking support for the wonderful, yet fragile Fernando Torres.

Luckily for himself, Rafa sees no problem. Explaining the Keane move, Benetiz says that, “I have to analyze things and try to look at the bigger picture and this means thinking of the club and the team and what is best for them.” I guess pinning your title hopes on Dirk Kuyt or Ryan Babel stepping up if and when Torres suffers yet another injury is doing what best in Rafa’s world. Selling a proven, yet unsettled, goal scorer, without bringing in another forward to replace him is what’s best? Is his retirement savings plan lottery tickets?

For Keane, a move that began with talk of the fulfillment of a childhood dream had turned into an ugly reality of few goals and dwindling appearances. His dream move was unofficially over when he was left out of the squad entirely for unknown David N’Gog for their FA Cup match against Everton. And now, Keane gets to return home to a club where he’s comfortable. A place where Keane says, “Everything is set up for me to walk right back into.” There’s even discussion of making him captain. He can move on, help Spurs fight relegation, and act as if six dreadful months at Liverpool never happened. He’s the lucky one in all of this.

Benetiz must know he has just increased the pressure on himself, and it seems to me that he must enjoy being on the hot seat. Why else would he spend an entire press conference reading a written list of complaints (or facts, as he called them) against your biggest rival? Why would you publicly demand to have full control over player procurement, when you’ve brought in the likes of Dirk Kuyt? In Rafa’s mind, Rafa knows best. He just doesn’t realize the rest of us don’t think so.

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