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Round 4 Goes To O'Neill

Round 4 Goes To O'Neill

Benitez claims O'Neill understands his plans for Barry and that they will be speaking again shortly. Not quite true.

The comments from the Liverpool manager sparked quite a response on the forum, with some fans wondering if we were being lied to.

Things have only intensified since Rafa spoke to the Mirror this morning.

Afterall if MON had spoken to Rafa and plans were discussed the......well the mind boggles.

This little conspiracy angle is probably what Rafa was hoping for though. Continuing to conduct business in the open is designed to achieve a response, and it did - from Martin O'Neill when speaking to the E&S.

"I`ve never denied Rafa Benitez called me. That`s always been there.

"I did get a call about 20 days ago. How else would I know?'

Ok so it clears that one up, but seriously who missed the fact O'Neill knew, then was upset at Liverpool leaking their interest. There had to be a call otherwise he'd have dismissed the original reports as a normal rumour from the press.

He continued:

"He says we had a private chat and he knows everything about my ideas and I know everything from him.

"The thing is - I didn`t have an idea.

'Well, apart from the idea of getting him off the phone as I was going to a reserve game at the time.

"His idea was to ask about Gareth Barry and I said: 'No.`

"I said I`d need to speak to the chairman (Randy Lerner) and I`d assume he (Lerner) would be of the same opinion as me, and he was.

"Without taking breath Benitez then started talking players in a possible swap. He was racing way beyond me.

"He`s now deemed there to be on on-going dialogue for three weeks. It is simply not true.

"He`s called me twice - the second of which was on the Friday and only after I`d rang to complain his bid was in the local newspaper the very next day.

"By that time I still had not had time to speak to my chairman.

"I haven`t enquired about his players. He mentioned players.

"He was a million miles from where I was coming from and it`s nonsense to suggest I knew everything and that so did he.

"And if he`s now saying nothing will happen until the end of the season, then why did he phone me?"

So we can summise this, from Rafa's comments as well.

They talked.

Benitez covered buying Barry, then talked about swops to save some money. That was his idea.

MON said No, but had to confirm with the Chairman who he presumed would back him up and say No also. That was his idea.

3 weeks may have gone, 3 weeks of silence doesn't equal a deal being done or an ongoing negotiation.

The fact Rafa keeps going to the press implies he knows O'Neill isn't interested, if he stood a chance of getting Barry he'd be quiet now.

I'll finish with a comment from Rafa himself:

"He was very clear so we must wait until the end of the season and then we`ll try again."

And I'll type it differently:

'He was clear. (he said no, wanted to check with Lerner who he knew would say no also)

'So we must wait until the end of the season and then we we'll try again.'

Don't read we as Villa, Liverpool. The 'we' is purely Liverpool and him. They must wait till the end of the season and they will try again - probably with the same response from O'Neill.

Writer:Mike Field
Date:Friday May 9 2008
Time: 2:18PM


Liverpool as a club continue to diminish in my mind. Whatever you thought about Liverpool FC in years gone by, they always had a certain dignity. The conducted their business in private, no player or manager or board member was bigger than the club, and you felt you could trust them (within limits ...) Benitez has also gone down in my opinion (not that he'll be bothered, lol). I'm not sure if he's feeling the pressure, but he seems to have lost his dignity too. Shame on you LFC - you're diminishing the public image of your club.
09/05/2008 14:47:00
I have No interset what Liverpool or Rafa have to say. I think MON should just ignore the Spanish fool, and try to get GB to sign a new contract. If he cant then sell him to Chelski for mega bucks!!!!! That would the To***r up...
09/05/2008 14:51:00
Just seen it on Sky Sports News. Them's fighting words from MON and rightly so. Rafa is clearly trying to unsettle Barry and get in before anyone else before the window opens. MON told him to do one and he went to the papers which is very sad ( likened to a kid running to a teacher because noone passed to him on the pitch.) Good on you MON. Liverpool are a joke, its bad enough that they do their own dirty washing in public.
09/05/2008 15:25:00
rafa always spouts off in the media and tips them off on things. perhaps he should remember how the media tried to burn him not so long ago over his rotation policy. what a complete clown, he is far to stupid to win against oneill at this media battle. greasy wop.
09/05/2008 15:52:00
Fight, Fight, Fight....He is a cheeky ****er that Benitez.By unsettling Gareth and hoping we do not get into Europe, strengthens their hand with the player wanting to leave.Dirty tricks campaign, and Rafa can talk all the **** he wants from la la land.I back MON to send the fat **** packing...In MON we trust!
09/05/2008 16:02:00
He has nearly won that battle to unsettle Barry with a performance against Wigan like it was. It was very clever by Benitez, but may eventually back fire as O'Neill will turn this against why Barry should not be moving. Liverpool what is the matter???? Are there teams catching your 4th spot in the Prem? could be an interesting year next one.
09/05/2008 16:06:00
if you are liverpool, you don't wanna miss out on the champions league. benitez knows we are one of the biggest threats to fourth place, so its unsurprising he would want to halt our development. i now hate liverpool, when previously not minding them. shame on them
09/05/2008 16:22:00
He wants to watch himself or o`neill will give him a black eye.
09/05/2008 16:27:00
Seriously though o`neill is a very intelligent man and rafa won`t be able to ***** him around.
09/05/2008 16:28:00
Thats in Martin put Rafa in his place. Liverpool has been so cocky and underhanded with the Barry deal that I feel if we were offered 50mill for him from Liverpool I would not take it, I would tell them where to stick it.
Tallaght Villan
09/05/2008 17:02:00
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