Rantlines: Rafa and Money, Good Bye Yeung, Capello Overload, Team Parties and More

20 December 2007

I apologize for not writing over the weekend. My priorities ended up being about a twenty minutes drive from where I am typing this as my dad was in (and still is in) hospital. The gamut of emotions I have experienced I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. The short version of the story is they thought my dad has the MSRA strain of staff infection, and until Sunday was in contact isolation (had to gown and glove up before entering his room). Then Sunday, his doctor ordered a CT scan to see if his body was rejecting one of the shunts put in during surgery around a month ago. That came back negative so finally the concluded he just had a post operative staff infection. It appears to finally have cleared up, and dad's doctor may release him within the next 24-48 hours. It all depends on some test results. When he does come home, he will be on IV antibiotics for six weeks after his release. I know I sound like a broken record, but I sincerely want to thank everyone for their encouraging words to me during this time.

With that said, I've got twenty-nine stories I pulled up over the course of the weekend until present, enough of the gab, more of what you come here for.

Rafa Benitez continues to amaze me. However I have to say that English media's reporting as a whole of his meetings with the owners regarding money in the January transfer market amazes me more. Let's take a closer look at the chain of story events.
Sunday Night: Meetings ease Rafa's mind.
Monday Night: Rafa's ability to spend is tightened to the point where he will have to sell first buy second. This comes on the heels that the proposed new stadium will be redesigned in order to save money.
Tuesday Night: Rafa Benitez slams all this transfer ban talk as rubbish while Tim Rich in the Telegraph reports that the stadium redesign was done to create funds in order to strengthen the squad.
All of this 'will he, won't he' talk has quite frankly done my head in. Let's all be honest about it, with the rotation policy Rafa Benitez has in place (meaning anyone coming in will immediately be parked on the bench and if they do not believe what I'm writing...just ask Fernando Torres), why would you go there to rot? Why would any player in their right mind go to a club where the manager has more excuses than tactics and is generally one move behind when it comes to key situations. Sure Rafa over a home/away will get you results (see his Champions League success), but over the course of the long haul season it isn't the kind of man you can truly put faith in. And if you're a player, would you want to go to a club where the status of the manager in charge is up in the air? All they would have to do is phone a friend at Chelsea to see how that went. By the time it's all said and done, I think the question that will be asked is why Rafa broke the monopoly at the top of the Spanish table, yet couldn't do the same exact thing at Liverpool.

So Birmingham City have lost their patience with Carson Yeung? Quite frankly I don't fault them one bit as Yeung's procrastinating in providing the funds he promised only goes to show one simple thing...he didn't have them in the first place. So why would you if your David Gold and David Sullivan, why would you continue to wait when you know it's never going to happen? The only analogy I can come up with is that relationship has turned into one where one is waiting patiently by the phone for a phone call that never comes. The biggest problem with investing in a club like Birmingham City is simple. How much money can you realistically put into the club before you start getting any money back? St. Andrews only seats thirty thousand and with the budget Birmingham City are currently on right now, will struggle to make the top half of the Premier League table. With the bottom seven clubs fighting to stay in the top flight, the first order of business will be to secure a squad that will stay clear of relegation. I don't expect we will be seeing any talk of a take over at Birmingham City at least until this season is over. The talk of one has already cost them one manager and it could very well soon start costing them players, something they cannot afford to lose.

I doubt the English media reads this. However in the odd event that they do, I have one simple request. WILL YOU FOR THE LOVE OF GOD QUIT ALL THIS FABIO CAPELLO TALK. Just reading the media from over in the United Kingdom, the impression I get is that they did not want Capello as manager nor do they want to give him any chance of succeeding. It also seems like everyone writing a column right now also has the same tactical astuteness that has seen Capello win trophies wherever he's gone. The only column I'm going to poke a little fun at is the one where Emily Dugan questions Capello's ability to learn English in one month. I actually have to agree with her. I don't know how many people can truly learn a second language in one month's time. However if you Capello, the one thing you need to realize is if you can learn English, you'll more than likely be one step ahead of most English players. The reason you were brought in is because of your footballing mind. Look I know he is going to need to learn some English, however for Capello to make a statement saying he will learn in one month's time is simply put absurd.

It's Dream Team over at Manchester United. The only thing that Dream Team hasn't done though is a rape on their airways during a Christmas Party. Manchester United, the club shamed for having an escort sell her story to the Sun about an evening of pleasure at Cristiano Ronaldo's mansion, now has another item to be shamed about off the pitch. Jonny Evans, aged 19, was arrested and bailed in the investigation of this rape allegation. Now I do not want to comment too much until I know all the facts. However I will state my case like this. If it is indeed true that it was Evans that raped this woman (and I say this about any man who rapes a lady), they don't deserve to live and I hope he gets everything coming to him in prison. If this woman is fabricating in the manner that happened in the United States regarding the Duke Lacrosse team (use google if you haven't heard about it), then this woman needs to be jailed for filing a false police report.
Tony Cascarino in the Times makes a great point in his column that's it is time for clubs to get rid of these parties altogether, at least under the club's official banner. There are many reasons for this to happen. One being that more often than not these parties end up with some disaster happening. Disasters like a rape allegation hanging over their head is something that clubs simply cannot have. Hell if this woman wanted to sue Manchester United, she would have one hell of a case and would walk out with one giant lump sum of money. Look I'm not saying that the players shouldn't do something to take their mind off the fact they have four games in such a short amount of time, all I'm saying is the club cannot have sponsor it or have anything to do with it.

Quick Rants:
Am I the only one who finds it odd that Butters (that's Mark Clattenburg for those who are seeing that reference on CSRN for the first time) wants a holiday break during the middle of the season? Hey Clatters, if you can't take the pressure of being a referee, find another profession...if your qualified to even flip my Big Mac and Fries with a Diet Coke.
And speaking of odd statements, so William Gallas says he will stay on the wagon until Arsenal wins the league? So you are not going to drink anything if Arsenal doesn't win this season?
That's just what Chelsea need, Roman sponsoring another spending spree. I wonder if Rafa is giving Abramovich a call going 'please oh please let me borrow some money'. Who has wasted more money, Rafa or Chelsea under Roman (it maybe closer than you think).
Memo to Clive Clark...just retire. Your health is more important than your ability to play football ever again.

Until I write again, may the debate begin! You can comment on this article here.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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