::: FistedAway today welcomes a guest post from Elliott, editor of the rather lovely Futfanatico :::
Liverpool fans floated on cloud nine last April, their beloved Reds within striking distance of Manchester United for the league title, and a semi-final date with Chelsea in the Champions League. Then, to put it simply, the wheels came off. Benitez’s zonal marking made a second choice rightback look like a giant, and the second-to-last-weekend proved a bitter pill. At least, until the summer came along.
Liverpool sold midfield fulcrum Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid, replacing him with the unproven, seemingly mythical Alberto Aquilani. While Rafa did purchase the impressive Glen Johnson, the fans were confused. Where had the transfer kitty really gone? Where was the second Torres to complete an unstoppable offense? Rafa complained to the press about stingy American owners, but recent facts have come to light.
Rafa Benitez is a fitness freak. He is obsessed with nutrition, diet, and cardiovascular conditioning. He eats roughly 35-40 wheat pellets a day, usually storing them under a collection of wood shavings in plastic container with a 30 foot radius. He also sleeps 12 hours a day, during the day when possible, and only drinks mineral water. More shockingly – he expects the same of his players. Hence, the Xabi exit.
Still, football managers are a quirky bunch, with superstition dominating rational thought. What is more preoccupying is the roughly 20 million pounds which Rafa spent on fitness equipment – for himself!
Copies of receipts indicate that Rafa spent £5 million pounds on a series of treadmills, with the majority of the costs going towards the necessary R & D for a 20 foot cylinder wheel which is remotely controlled. When asked about the wheel, Fernando Torres merely grinned and reiterated Rafa´s commitment to fitness and confirmed his reputation as a strict disciplinarian. “Rafa would eat his own young, his own pink, tender, young.”
Liverpool fans, infuriated, demand to see results. One fan, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was right to ask – “If we spend 15 million pounds on new age training tread mills, then you’d expect Torres to stay fit at least half a season. And Benitez to look less like…well, a hamster.”
::: Elliott is the editor of Futfanatico :::