Sport Soccer

Friday 28 July 2017

Liverpool's directors know nothing about the game, blasts Benitez

Rory Smith

Rafael Benitez has taken a sideswipe at the Liverpool board who ended his six-year reign on Merseyside during the summer by saying that the club's directors "understand nothing about football".

Chairman Martin Broughton and managing director Christian Purslow moved to replace the Spaniard -- who won the Champions League in his first season at Anfield and reached a second final in 2007 -- after a disappointing seventh-place finish in his final campaign.

Both men enjoyed a fractured relationship with Benitez and the Inter Milan manager yesterday claimed that failure of communication was because he was unable to discuss football issues with his employers, a stark contrast to the situation at his new club.

"My relationship with (Inter owner Massimo Moratti) is really good," said the Spaniard. "He is a man who knows his football.

"You know that if the team does not do well he will be angry, but at least he is someone with whom it is possible to talk about football.

Talk

"In the last year I was at Liverpool that simply did not happen. The directors that I had did not understand a thing about football, whereas with Moratti you can talk to him."

Benitez has remained silent on the circumstances surrounding his departure from Liverpool in June, but his disputes with both co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, as well as former chief executive Rick Parry, must have played a part.

His replacement, Roy Hodgson, will tonight hand debuts to Danny Wilson and Brad Jones, two of his summer signings, in the game against Northampton in the Carling Cup, while youth-team player Andre Wisdom is likely to be named on the subs bench.

Hodgson will also name defender Daniel Agger in his side despite the Denmark international's apparent criticism of his style of play after Sunday's defeat to Manchester United.

Agger yesterday claimed his remarks had been taken out of context by the Danish media -- stating his belief that Liverpool play attractive football and reiterating how happy he is at the club -- and insisted the idea he was unhappy at the role asked of him by Hodgson was "100pc wrong".

"(A Danish) TV journalist asked me what I needed to do to get back into the team and suggested I should start hitting more long balls," the 25 year-old explained. "I said I would not do that because I am not that kind of player. That is where that quote came from." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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