3/29/2012 10:30:00 pm

Rafa rubbishes Alex Ferguson's ineffective 'mind games'...

Rafa Benitez has always denied that he fell foul of Alex Ferguson's 'mind games' during his his time at Anfield, and the former Liverpool manager has come out in support of Man City boss Roberto Mancini, who many believe has also fallen victim to Ferguson's tricks.

In an interview with The Guardian, Benitez - who still has his heart firmly set on a return to the Liverpool hotseat one day - argued:

"As a manager you need to worry about your job and your team – not the mind games. People are talking about mind games with Man U and City. Both teams are very good teams and if City win their next match 5-0 people will say Mancini is not affected by the mind games. If they lose it's 'oh – the mind games.'

"I don't think that it's important or makes a big difference. The main thing is if you have a good team you can win all the mind games, if you don't have a good team you can't. When you have a lot of foreign players normally they don't read the newspapers so the mind games for them are nothing".


Benitez's infamous 'facts' rant in January 2009 is often used as an example of Ferguson winning the 'mind games' battle. Is that true? If you look at Liverpool's results after that incident, you could probably argue both ways;

* Benitez's press conference took place on the 8th January 2009.

* After that, the club lost only one of the remaining 18 league games, which is a great record, and took the club to within 4 points of the league title.

* However, immediately after the 'rant', Liverpool drew three league games in a row, dropping six points. It could be argued that the players lost focus in the immediate aftermath of the incident, which led to the draws.

Draws killed Liverpool that season; with eleven in total, the club dropped 22 points, and if only two of those had been turned into wins, the club would've won the title on goal difference.

As for Mancini: earlier today, one of Ferguson's media minions, Steve Bruce, very publicly accused Man City of 'bottling' the league. Clearly, even after they leave, United's former players are more than happy to do their master's bidding.

Jaimie Kanwar


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41 Comments :

Lion Heart said...

Liverpool's 2008-09 squad lacked quality in depth, eventhough first 11 was good enough, otherwise they would have won the league. 

Theid said...

and if my aunt had she would be my fucking uncle...ifs...buts and fucking maybes...for crying out loud ...you did not fucking win it ...get over it and you are not going ot win it anytime soon

comebackRafa said...

Rafa performed a miracle to get within 4 points of the premiership.He only had Torres as his main striker,Man Utd had Berbatov tevez Rooney Ronaldo Giggs Scholes and best defence on paper in europe.After Rafa stood up to Ferie our points per game over the remaining games were higher than before he stood up to him.The media say it was a rant,I say rafa stood up to the bully,well done Rafa dont change for anyone I wouldnt want you any other way.

SIR Alex said...

Fergusons ineffective mind games? I seem to remember Rafa doing a Keegan after sampling Ferguson ineffective mind games?

hoq said...

I've never bought into the mind games thing and believe its just sycophants trying to give fergie credit thats not due. The most famous one is probably the Keegan one. If I remember right fergie accused teams of trying harder against manu. Its laughable to claim fergie thought if he said that about nottingham forest (I think it was), that it would lead to Keegan going nuts and his team being less effective. I think they are giving fergie way to much credit. And Liverpool had an excellent run after Rafas rant.

h8utd said...

why do managers rise to his crap? i can't believe time after time they respond so angrily. so what if he takes digs here and there? the best way to shove his shite back down his throat is to say nothing and concentrate on beating his gobshite club to the silverware. that would annoy him much more, taggart can only go one or two shades of red more, before he explodes!!! 

h8utd said...

bored of your own forums??? i don't really blame you for defecting.

ShardeYNWALFC4EVER said...

The only mind game whiskey nose needs to worry about is how to stop the shakes in his soon to be hoss-piss when his recurring nightmare Barca come to haunt him again & again & again. Manure can forget about No.4 in Europe with the current bunch, may be they should buy all the Bilbao players and let the old boys join their manger in the pensioners retirement home. You Will Always Walk Slowly 

Joe Moffatt said...

The 'mind-games'

OriginalChan said...

Too many draws, that was the problem in our best league season under Rafa

But still, for once, a terrific league season under Rafa that season. We really were devastatingly ruthless against some teams in that season, some big margin results.

I don't see it as mind games, I see it as banter between managers. Though once in a while, some managers go a bit too far, like Rafa did with his silly little piece of paper. 

OriginalChan said...

Excellent run after Rafa's so-called rant?

We drew 3 games on the trot after that rant as well as losing one and drawing one out of the next 4 games. We scored EIGHT goals in the two games prior to that so-called rant

Excellent run? pffft.

gabweb said...

Fact is, no one talks about mind games from Ferguson when he was dealing with Mourinho's Chelsea or before he is going to play Barcelona. He doesn't even bother against that kind of opposition. As the saying goes, money talks and bs walks. If Man City are good enough, nothing that Ferguson says will stop them. The problem, for them, is that they don't look good enough and they will be doing well to even be in touch by the time the two teams play at the end of April. They blew their chance when they lost at places like Sunderland and Swansea, huge losses that took the pressure off Man Utd. That 3-3 draw that they pulled out of the fire at Chelsea was a hammer blow also.

Fucklfc said...

Loser, in every sense of the word

Hahaha said...

Sounds like someone has already been affected by the mind games.  Chill out or you'll hurt yourself

Hahaha said...

Sorry, who's top of the league?  Who's 7th and 8 points behind Newcastle? Who's 29 points behind the league leaders?  Who are the league leaders again?

Barry Yates said...

Okay so Liverpool losing their way after the famous 'fact' rant or as some people would hilariously say 'standing up to the bully' was because Liverpool played shite ?? Right ?? Well I can live with that. Also Sir Alex has 'bullied' Liverpool for 20 years and only Rafa had the guts to 'stand up' to him and even he failed ?? Right ?? Can live with that too.

hoq said...

Yeah 3 draws big deal! if you think players are going to be affected by what rafa said you've obviously never played anything at a high level.

Bekim said...

Just cos he had the guts to stand up to that idiot British press started to call it Rafa rant. We only lost two games the whole season and the closest for very long time to win the PL. it would b nice to c him back.

Hoq said...

fergies mind games only work with officials. I dont doubt that he knows what he's doing and that he's good at it. He gets under mangers skin too but I dont think that affects anything. The fa  and refs however are a different matter. The fact it is so obvious and they still swallow it amazes me. He started spreading dirt on Suarez way before the evra thing. The match at Anfield fergie went out his way to accuse Suarez of diving and since then Suarez never got a  foul whatever.

Kopology said...

The problem was Man U. They didn't flinch under enormous pressure. LFC over-achieved massively. People talk about too many draws but we won more games than we should have and the team played well above their station as individuals. We did not lose the title. Man U won it. Fair play to them. The last dozen games were the best I have seen LFC play for 20 years.

Kopology said...

Agree totally. Officials are vulnerable.

Players and managers don't change how and where they kick the ball on the field because another manager sprayed them. I hate the mere discussion of mind games. Drivel.

Kopology said...

Spoken like an expert.

Alex_Star said...

 Hoq is actually right here, the rest of the season after the rant (wasn't really a rant BTW) was far better than before as is evidenced by the points per game stats.

h8utd said...

taggart will always have a gig at us because one thing irks him more than anything else, and it is the truth, he has failed to win more european cups than us. only then would we be truly 'knocked off our perch'. the genius bob paisley won 3 in 5 years, yet it has taken taggart 26 years to win 2. until he gets on par or overtakes our record, he himself will consider his mission  unsuccessful. he has an ego, he wants to be remembered as the greatest manager at all levels not just domestically. so, manure freaks, that is the reality, i actually spoke to him in the summer 2005 at euston station (in the bar, where else would he be), and teased him with the fact that rafa won his so quickly, while taggart had taken so long....it remains on of my favourite memories, the look on his blotchy red face was a picture as he scowled at me. mind games? getting under his skin? yes i did both, sorry taggart, we are still hanging on to our perch, it takes more than your sad comments to knock the mighty reds down, we just keep rolling on and getting under your skin. we are the biggest mind game opponent he just can't crack...ynwa 

Bekim said...

U may also c him on the motorway emptying his bowels. Bars r not the only place hi goes 2. Hahaha

Gary352 said...

Do you even remember those draws, cuz I do. We were very unlucky to win them, especially the Middlesborough game. Its a whole lot better draws than the ones we are having this season, where there is no drive, or obsession to score. 

Gary352 said...

Yes who can remember those nail-biting comebacks that season. In Rafa, we had a team that never gave up, and to think Downing says the same about this team. Ha. 

OriginalChan said...

I didn't say he/the team were effected by it (hence why I belittled this perception of 'rant' by saying 'so-called'). 4 draws, 1 defeat and 2 wins in the next 7 game isn't a 'excellent run'. If that is a 'excellent run' in your book, than we got different standards.

OriginalChan said...

er no he isn't as I was disagreeing with the notion it was a 'excellent run', on the basis of the results, not the importance of the rant itself. 

In relation to this season, well we are not talking about that.

OriginalChan said...

We are talking about that season, not this season. Secondly, yes I do but I was referring to the results, not the performances. 

Michael said...

I always hate people linking Rafa's FACTS rant to our failure to win the title that season.Who is Ferg16?

OriginalChan said...

Aye, compared to our previous seasons under Rafa as well as since KK's first reign, that was a brilliant league season for us. 

OriginalChan said...

KK is hardly sounds more coherent and sober than Ferguson 

Barry Yates said...

So when United  finally overhauls Liverpool's european record will you have the balls to admit defeat ?? Or will you come up with some other pathetic excuse ?? 

h8utd said...

taggart has had enough goes at trying to do it and has failed again and again. it will not happen while he is in charge, manure are nowhere near the standard of years gone by, their elimination from both euro competitions prove that. even with all manures money, they still have to play old hands, in the likes of scholes and 'keep it in the family' giggs. don't get carried away ,manure freaks, the glazers are using your money to bail out their failing shopping malls in the usa. jonathan woodgate is right the prem is slipping in standard. so to all the non lfc fans on here, carry on sniping, and welcome to lfc world. you all want to be part of us, otherwise you would be on your own forums. 

gabweb said...

I really think that Man Utd will go into decline before the overhaul our european record. I think there are a lot of signs that, while they will remain a challenger and a top club, that the next few transfers are important, because I just don't see some of these new players dominating football the way that the Ferdinands, Evras, Giggs and co have. Particularly in defence, Vidic is good, but Ferdinand is on the way out and I don't see Evans or Smalling doing anywhere near the same job. Ever. Jones has a good future though. Midfield needs an overhaul too. Whoever follows Ferguson will have a huge job and that carries a lot of dangers as well. Arsenal will find the same thing when Wenger moves on. The only two, of the top 5, who look, temporarily, here to stay are Chelsea and Man City, for obvious reasons. Tottenham and us can end up mid table at any time.  

Hoq said...

I am right, you may have chosen to focus on the next few games but if we're talking about wheather or not Rafa or Liverpool were put off by mind games you have to focus on the rest of the season. If we had a run in now as good as then we could have had a chance of finishing fourth still.

OriginalChan said...

You never explicitly said 'excellent run' (original post, as that is the key here) meant the long term results or the immediate impact/short term results, hence it is fine for me to deduct immediate impact/short term results from your vague and ambiguous phrase of 'excellent run'. So you are wrong, as you said a phrase without defining what it meant, as such a phrase can be interpreted in more than one way, therefore very easy to pick holes. Next time, make your original argument clearly, so you don't start moaning 'oh that is not what I mean bla bla bla' when people interpret it differently from what you allegedly intended. 

Its valid to look at the short term/immediate impact as that is when so-called mind games/rants are at their most potent. To deny the validity of that is just simply naive and petty.

Hoq said...

Dont get upset, I only corrected one one two of your ill thought out points. No need to cry!

Wilson Michaelpaul said...

to be honest it was that clown Viera who started this round of 'mind games'  - I dont believe in the fergie mind game hype but Viera should have kept his mouth shut about scholes coming back in light of them having to eat a supersize humble pie and field want away tevez again . All that did was add more pressure onto City  - not aid them in any way .

DanieRed said...

4 a change u have said a fact

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