23 Nov 2007

Hicks' raps Rafa in unprofessional public outburst

In an astoundingly unprofessional display of one-upmanship, Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks has delivered a stinging public rebuke to Liverpool Manager Rafael Benitez.

There are clearly differences between what Rafa wants and what the Americans are willing to provide, and given what could be perceived as a veiled attack by Rafa in Friday’s press conference, it is understandable that Hicks may be slightly perturbed.

However - Hicks' response shows a dispiriting lack of class and tact. There is NO EXCUSE for making critical public comments such as the following:

“After the Champions League final in Athens, Rafa made certain demands of us and we responded to those demands in the summer. We brought in some good players and spent more money than has ever been spent before at this club.

“We now have some crucial games coming up in the Premier League and the Champions League and we want to see if we can win these games with the players we have.This was the message we gave to Rafa recently and I think during the international break he must have grown a bit frustrated about this.

“We told him to concentrate on the games coming up and nothing else and I guess he didn’t like that. But, for the time being, we just need to be focused on what happens on the pitch.

“George and I will be over in mid-December and that is the time to talk about other issues. It is really time for Raga to quit talking about new players and to coach the players we have.”

With some crucial games coming up in the next two weeks, such comments will have nothing but a destabilizing impact on the club. If Hicks had a problem, he should have discussed it with Rafa IN PERSON and behind closed doors.

Public attacks of this nature are not the Liverpool way, and choosing to ‘deal’ with the situation this was hugely amateur mistake on Hicks’ part, who seemed intent in stamping his authority and showing everyone in the world who was boss.

I happen to agree with Hicks’ contention that Liverpool should be getting the best out of the players already on the books. However, anyone with an ounce of sense knows that washing your dirty laundry in public will only make things worse.


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