Reformed character

Has Rafa Benitez gone soft?

Why so coy Mr Benitez?

Hello everybody

There were occasions last season, when it was  impossible to open a newspaper or turn on a televison, and not be confronted with Rafa Benitez chatting about something or other. He was the footballing equivalent of Paul Ross on one of those ’100 greatest’ Ch4 shows – ubiquitous, ill-informed, irritating.

Yet given the opportunity to rant about a genuine misjustice, a winning goal against his side that should never have been allowed, Rafa instead has remained calm. Speaking about the beachball goal in his press conference yesterday, Rafa said:

“I don’t know if the referee didn’t know, maybe he couldn’t see. Anyway, I think that is better to move on. I think the referees and Keith Hackett know that a mistake has been made but I do not want to criticise. He is a young referee and there are not too many referees around the world so if you have someone who has a passion and wants to be a good referee then the best thing to do is to just move on.”

Ok, very admirable and dignified. Best not to criticise referees as they are only tryng their hardest. Does this apply to Phil Dowd too Rafa?

“I think everyone could see there was a penalty, especially to Voronin, it was so clear. The third one, you could excuse. You can say that the hand was to the ball or the ball was to the hand, it could be, but the other one was so clear, it was unbelievable.

Can you get two penalties at an away ground? No. With this referee, I knew that this was impossible.”

Ah. Could the new Rafa have anything to do with being warned as to his future conduct by the FA last Tuesday? thespoiler thinks it might….


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