"What do you mean you've hurt 'your' knee, it's Liverpool's knee" - Bill Shankly.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Andrea Dossena lifts the lid on Liverpool FC's Rafael Benitez

by Richard Buxton. Published Sat 24 Apr 2010 15:11, Last updated: 2010-04-24

Former Liverpool defender Andrea Dossena has given Juventus an insight into what they can expect if they recruit Rafael Benitez as their next manager.

Speculation of the Spaniard trading Merseyside for Turin has been rife since January with Bianconeri chiefs believed to be keen to install him as a long-term successor to Alberto Zaccheroni, who replaced Ciro Ferrara later that month.

Napoli full-back Dossena, who left Anfield during the last transfer window after a frustrating 18-month spell, has revealed that the Kop boss is an obsessive tactician who spends countless hours on perfecting dead ball scenarios.

He said: "Benitez loves dialogue and he works hard on tactics. In the car park, on the plane, Benitez never wastes a moment. He uses every second to give an indication and explain positions on the pitch.

"He uses the blackboard and plenty of videos. He is a maniac when it comes to analysing the play. He always dedicates plenty on free-kicks and corners. In England it's always good to take advantage of situations where the ball is inactive."

Dosena, 28, also confessed that he never saw Benitez lose his cool but claims that a former Reds team mate told him that the mild-mannered Spaniard fumed following his side's Champions League group stage defeat to Fiorentina last September.

He added: "He is always clear and gets straight to the point in the dressing room, but balanced too. He always uses a calm approach, and there was never an episode where he raised his voice.

"It happened once, but I was not there. My former team-mates told me that Benitez went berserk in Florence after Liverpool lost in the Champions League."

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Quote of the moment

Defying belief however, is a market Benitez has cornered quite well. The moment you think Benitez is clueless, he defies it by pulling off a result of majesty, like the one achieved in Madrid. The moment he is hailed a genius, he masterminds toothless surrender to a team going nowhere. In the ongoing Anfield power struggle, just when he was cornered by the firing squad, the Spaniard's demise at Liverpool looking practically assured with the ominous suspension of betting by the bookmakers, he squeezes out through a narrow trapdoor and eliminates Rick Parry. Rafa Benitez is Keyzer Soze.
- Just Football blog: The Curious Beast that is Football 28 Feb 2009