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Red nose still has it.

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you say that but what did rafas remarks have to do with football at all really? They are completely unconnected, last night was really just another example of rafa being rafa, to cautious not playing his best 11 because of his squad rotation system and it has cost them points they shouldn't have dropped again

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I'd be foaming if i was a Liverpool fan even though they are sitting on top of the league.

 

Rafa's a petty prick and his squad rotation policy is laughable at times.

 

Liverpool fans are that blinkered though they think he is fucking god the stupid bin dipping wankers!

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Sir Alex Ferguson's relationship with Rafael Benítez plummeted even further last night when he followed up Manchester United's 3–0 win over Chelsea by accusing the Liverpool manager of being "an angry man" and talking with "venom". Benítez claimed to have been inundated with support for his outspoken condemnation of Ferguson, and intensified his attack on United by citing a possible conflict of interest between David Gill's position as chief executive at Old Trafford and his role at the Football Association.

 

Diplomatic relations between the two managers were called off when Benítez described Ferguson, in a list of carefully prepared grievances, as being "the only manager in the English league who cannot be punished" for offences against referees and suggested the United manager was allowed to operate with impunity by the Premier League and the FA.

 

"You have to cut through the venom of it," Ferguson responded. "That's my only response. There was a lot of venom in what he said and I don't understand where it has come from. I think he was an angry man. He was obviously disturbed about something but I think when he reflects on it he will surely realise it is wrong. Hopefully he will reflect and understand that what he is saying is absolutely ridiculous."

 

Benítez not only repeated his complaints, but dragged Gill into his argument that United receive favourable treatment from the authorities. "The situation now is we are at the top of the table and they were saying Liverpool is not a threat," Benítez, speaking before Ferguson, commented. "Now they know we are a threat, they have started playing mind games. But I don't think it's a mind game when you already have control over everything; it's a mind game when you are on the same level as the other people and you can show you are cleverer than the others. But when you have control of everything and your chief executive is in the FA and things like this, then that is not mind games."

 

Asked if Gill's position represented a conflict of interest, Benítez added: "It's another fact. It is a fact that one person who has a lot of power and control and is on a lot of committees is in the FA."

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Talks between Benítez's agent, Manuel Garcia Quilon, and Liverpool's co-owners have come to a standstill over the funda­mental issue of who dictates transfer policy at the club, with neither party currently willing to back down. The new ­contract, which will extend Benítez's career at Anfield until 2013 and provide an increase on his current £3.5m-a-year salary, is now at risk of collapse unless a compromise can be found.

 

At present Benítez recommends who is bought and sold to Hicks and Gillett plus the Liverpool chief executive, Rick Parry, who then decide the player's value, what the club can afford – in relation to purchases – and divide the transfer budget accordingly. In future, however, the Liverpool manager wants to dispense with the existing chain of command and operate on his own terms, setting the valuation on players providing the transfer budget allows.

 

Benítez is, in effect, trying to ensure there is no repeat of last summer's exhaustive and unsuccessful pursuit of Gareth Barry, the Aston Villa midfielder he envisaged as a replacement for Xabi Alonso but missed out on when Liverpool's owners refused to meet Villa's £18m asking price. Hicks and Gillett said the Barry deal collapsed over the price tag and not because they lacked the necessary funds, having agreed a £20.3m deal for ­Robbie Keane, and the Liverpool manager believes his judgment was undermined.

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