His dedication to hauling us out of our rutted mediocrity is enlightening. Hopefully he is not meeting resistance from people within the club that have presided over the years of amateurish underperformance.
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Reader Comments (19)
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1 Posted 23/10/2021 at 08:44:57
2 Posted 23/10/2021 at 09:09:51
There have been encouraging signs, there have been road bumps. We are seeing the result of recent irresponsible transfer strategy in our thin and poor quality squad (not team - we have a good team). But any manager would have had to deal with this.
The other encouragement is Brands starting to tweak and change things at the academy. But these are 2 - 3 year things, not here and now. Here and now is Watford.
And I couldn't travel. Does anyone want this ticket?
3 Posted 23/10/2021 at 09:37:43
4 Posted 23/10/2021 at 09:49:19
"I want to be sure every player understands what it means to play for this club and go on the pitch in front of the fans and give everything."
That sounds just fabulous. I love it. That is exactly what we want. Go Rafa!
"They are doing that." – Err... No they're not, Rafa. Certainly not Iwobi or Rondon. If you think that they are, then you are wrong and you are fooling not only yourself.
"I am happy with that and I think the fans also appreciate the effort of the players."
I was certainly not happy with what I saw last weekend from either of these two, or from you as the manager who picked them and kept them on the pitch for so long, losing us a game we should have won.
If you start either of them today, that will be proof positive that you are bullshitting us, like so many before you.
5 Posted 23/10/2021 at 10:24:48
last week was my first Goodison turn out of the season and what a damp squib it was. The fella sitting next to me finished his pie and disappeared before the second half started -maybe he knew a thing or two.
Rafa should stop the Martinezisms - bullshit will not be tolerated.
6 Posted 23/10/2021 at 10:25:07
Moyes had Phil Neville. Couldn't pass a ball to save his life but could finger point and said all the right things in his post-match interviews after a loss, eg, we are gutted and must try harder next time, etc… Neville was always the first name on the team sheet no matter what.
There are too many examples to name but even the great Benitez fell into the same trap at Mordor (towards the end of his reign there) by buying some bang average Spanish players who even the rs fans knew weren't good enough for the Premier League but he persisted in playing them.
I doubt you'd ever see a Guardiola, Klopp, Tuchel, Conte etc… continue to use the likes of Iwobi when it's plain to see the man is rubbish. Rondon might, just might, regain his fitness and match sharpness but Iwobi will never be a footballer of any worth.
7 Posted 23/10/2021 at 10:56:30
I am sure Rondon was bought as someone who could come in around the busy Christmas period to give Richarlison and DCL a break, but because of injuries he has had to be thrown in from the start. But given our lack of strikers outside of our 2 injured players I don't think Benitez has a lot of options.
I hope today Benitez starts with Richarlison and Gordon, I know he is saying that its hard to come straight back in after a spell being injured, which hints he might only want to give Richarlison half a game at most, but after last week I think the fans need a lift and starting with Iwobi and Rondon want do that. I think with a much harder run of fixtures to come after a relatively easy run of fixtures then anything other than a win today will to a stop what has been a good start to the season and have us looking over our shoulder as where we might be at the end of December, especially with Doucoure and DCL being out for many weeks.
8 Posted 23/10/2021 at 11:40:48
9 Posted 23/10/2021 at 19:13:59
10 Posted 24/10/2021 at 10:16:51
Benitez will not be everyone's cup of tea, especially this morning, but these comments are a glimpse of his appraisal of the club. Appreciate that he can only go so far in what he says for reasons of diplomacy.
The reality is, he is clearly and unequivocally saying here that the whole set-up needs a bus driving through it. Every aspect of the club is not fit for purpose. It has been run at an amateur level and wholesale change and improvement is needed across the board.
The biggest worry for me is the resistance he will face in trying to make us professional and competitive again. It's going to be a turbulent and transformative season.
11 Posted 24/10/2021 at 10:44:28
Benitez has looked at this and seen the blatantly obvious. Stagnation and comfort-zone mentality at all levels. Top to bottom clean out, restructure and improvement needed. The 5 - 10% is a first step.
At face value, he seems to want to do something about it. That's the difference. Although he and Ancelotti no doubt identified the same thing, I think the previous manager was banking on a short-term quick fix (Europe or a trophy). The current one is talking about improving over time to fix the problem. And I'm guessing with his Merseyside connections, he understood a bit more before he walked into it.
The challenge will be that he is not shy at falling out with boards. If he speaks his mind and challenges the institution, there could be turbulence ahead. But I hope he does poke the sleeping bear and cause a storm.
It might just make the person with the real power (and purse strings) wake up and realise you can't keep blaming the managers, who come and go, but the blasé and underachievement remains.
Institutional change. From the Boardroom to Finch Farm. Change the mentality, even though a few will not like it and feel uncomfortable. Fine... then go.
12 Posted 24/10/2021 at 10:59:34
Yes, we are, and have to be, in this for the long haul with Benitez. We change managers but the same problems remain. So frustrating to have such a slim squad, even without injuries, but stark lack of quality when the injuries start to mount up.
Hats off to the effort from the likes of Davies etc for stepping up, giving (at least in Davies's case)100% effort. But effort only takes you so far.
Let's see where we are in a year's time. More routing out of the weaker elements in the squad? A few bargain buys? One or two U23s stepping up?
Who knows? Not me. I just accept that Benitez will be here for the long haul, and we'll have to see what unfolds over the next year.
Next up: Wolves. I will travel in hope.
13 Posted 24/10/2021 at 11:07:32
I imagine Moshiri spits at the very mention of this club's name...
14 Posted 24/10/2021 at 11:10:33
15 Posted 24/10/2021 at 11:25:36
16 Posted 24/10/2021 at 17:21:25
It is exactly the same as Ancelotti's appraisal only it is actually coming from his appraisal of the internal management in the club. Ancelotti spoke more of the result of this i. e lack of work and effort.
Benitez has had to confront the situation during the International break and this is the response he got: lack of work and effort.
This is what had happened for years at Everton when the internal management has been confronted. The training ground gots on a effective go slow.
They have done it on manager after manager. Why not? They have got away with it for years. Only the manager goes and they stay in their fat comfortable jobs on big wages. When they did it to Ancelotti, they will have no problem doing it to Benitez.
I am that sick of it. If Benitez leaves for Newcastle I may go with him. At the moment, I feel like those two parts, Ant and Dec, who, for god knows what reason, were at the game and should have been at St James's Park.
18 Posted 24/10/2021 at 21:00:30
"Benitez has had to confront the situation during the International break and this is the response he got: lack of work and effort."
Rafa (after the international break):
"I want to be sure every player understands what it means to play for this club and go on the pitch in front of the fans and give everything. They are doing that. I am happy with that"
Pretty brutal confrontation.
19 Posted 24/10/2021 at 21:36:16
20 Posted 25/10/2021 at 20:35:21
It would have not been brutual, but would have been said, and understood by all. The happy at work would be what you would have expected him to say, but what was said above on Friday was the business end. Friday wasn't the first time Finch Farm heard it.
May have got my wires crossed regarding Ant and Dec on the live forum. I take it that is where you are coming from?
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