Give it a rest Rafa.

Published: Monday, 13 September 2021

Let’s first wish Harvey Elliott a speedy and full recovery. What a talent he’s looked. I said (Saturday)to Andy on beINSPORTS ‘he’s made himself undroppable’. He had. And I’m certain he will again.

For me, no blame attached to Pascal Struijk. Ref Craig Pawson didn’t see a foul either, but rightly stopped play as soon as he realised there was a problem. Top marks for that, but from that point he let himself down. Struijk should never have been sent off. I’d be surprised if Leeds don’t win an appeal. Emotions were running high - especially Jurgen Klopp’s - but he shouldn’t have been on the pitch berating Pawson. Was it co-incidence that Pawson produced a red card straight after guiding Klopp back to his technical area? We’ll never know for sure.

I asked our guys to check with the PGMOL match centre who advised Pawson to show red. Twice - not once but twice, because I couldn’t believe the first answer - we were told It was Andy Madley, the 4th official. Twice we were told it wasn’t referred to VAR. That really surprised me because my understanding is that with any red it’s protocol for VAR to look at it. ‘No, not so’ we were told. ‘It was Madley’s call’.

This morning I read Mark Clattenburg in The Mail and he’s insistent that it was Darren England and VAR that made the decision. Someone is telling porky’s again guys. I’ll never let up on asking - so get your stories straight eh?

Anyway. As emotional a scene as it was - it doesn’t mean that the correct decisions shouldn’t be made. Klopp shouldn’t have been on the pitch and It wasn’t a red. If we allow managers onto the field of play every time they see something they don’t like we’re on a slippery slope. The FA should censure Klopp.

The game was terrific. And Liverpool were awesome. They’re back to their best and it’s good to see. Leeds should beat more than they lose playing as they did - but they’ve got to be careful. It could yet turn into a long season.

Who said this? ‘My life as a manager has normally been with teams where we did not have too much money and we had to sell players to bring in players. As I have said before, we are lucky to have owners who want to spend money and we have to find a way to do it properly’.

This guy has managed Valencia, Liverpool, Real Madrid (for 6 months) Inter (for 6 months) Chelsea (temporarily) Napoli and Newcastle - where he spent £102m on 18 players before a successful tilt at the championship.

You’ve got it. I know you have. As we all know, he left Tyneside for a ‘long term project’ in China, (where they print money) but was back after 18 months looking for a job. The one he got surprised a few people - but not me. He’d been trying like a bear to get it for years. I hope he does it well because he’s with a club I like a lot - but come on Rafa. You’re having a laugh. Never had money?

At which of the above list of teams didn’t he have money? He’s always had money. The problem has been that he’s always wanted more money - more than the owners of those clubs would trust him with.

Now he’s in the last chance saloon he’s got to behave. There isn’t another one for him after Everton - so he isn’t looking to fall out with the owners like he did Mike Ashley.

Where I do have some sympathy is that by Everton’s recent standards he’s had only buttons so far. David Moyes worked with both hands tied behind his back at Goodison and it looks at though Benitez will have to.

A small fortune - £450m - has pumped into Everton in recent seasons. By whom isn’t clear. Farhad Moshiri fronts the operation - but whatever the source - I don’t see the flow continuing.

In my part of the world it’s not a surprise to hear that someone is hawking a football club about looking for money. On the day I arrived here - eight years ago - I bumped into a mate, in a bar, who was looking to construct a deal to sell Man Utd - not that he had a mandate to! I’ve heard Liverpool mentioned - in fact - you name a club and there’s an accompanying story of someone trying to sell it. Few are ever true. There’s lots of sellers - but no takers.

But my ears did prick up recently when a friend of mine told me he’d been offered Everton. The price - £500m and a guarantee of £500m to finish Bramley Dock. The figures seemed realistic so I asked a few questions. My conclusion was that it was a bonafide offer. It was turned down - but it suggests that the current owners of Everton want out. Whether that’s good news or not I don’t know. Of course, a denial is only to be expected - but whatever the truth, I can’t see Benitez getting the same flow of money that he’s generally had elsewhere. It’s back to the future for Everton - to the days when David Moyes worked miracles year after year. I wonder if Benitez has got the stomach for a frugal ‘long term’ project?