Monthly Archives: April 2013

Rafael Benitez: Navigating Troubled Waters

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Photoshop: sideeyesport.com

The circumstances of his arrival couldn’t have been more inclement. Seconds after setting foot on the good ship Chelsea FC, former Liverpool, Valencia & Inter boss Rafael Benitez was struck by wave after wave of hostility that, at times, looked persistent and sizeable enough to drown him. As he floundered about on an unfamiliar deck, dissenting voices rang out, reminding him of the damage he caused to Chelsea’s European voyages in previous years, the fact that his arrival was at the expense of the man who had steered the ship to Champions League glory only five months before and he’d mocked their flag.

Oh, and most importantly, that a fat Spanish waiter had no business on the deck of such an esteemed vessel.

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Champions League Chuntering: Conquerors With Combovers

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Image: PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images.

Love him or hate him, the bloated, whacked out world of elite football needs Jose Mourinho. The Real Madrid manager, still reeling from Borussia Dortmund’s captivating demolition of his team, stated in a press conference last night that he was certain his players could overturn the 4-1 deficit, claiming “Of course we can do it. On a crazy night where everyone performs at a high level and you score every chance, you can do it. What you cannot do is get knocked out without dying on the pitch.”

Like the replay wasn’t going to be entertaining enough without the likes of Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronaldo and Xabi Alonso overdosing on tanning oil if they fail to reach the final.

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Champions League Chuntering: Hit & Run

FC Bayern Muenchen v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: First Leg

Bayern Munich. Purring. Image: Boris Streubel/Getty Images.

Would anyone have blamed Jupp Heynckes if he had sought advice from Pep Guardiola prior to last night’s Champions League semi vs. Barcelona? Few people are as well versed in the delicate handling required to get the best out of the purring supercar that is Barca, and with Guardiola set to take over from Heynckes in June, Bayern Munich, desperate to make up for the humiliating defeat at the hands of Chelsea at the Allianz Arena in last year’s final, could only have benefited from the Spaniard’s advice.

But Heynckes wasn’t having any it. “I admire Pep Guardiola,” he told reporters at the pre-match press conference, “but I don’t need any advice from other coaches“.

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