Monday, September 24, 2007

Today's Banter: Hyypia backs Rafa, Rafa vows Reading Cup changes, Rafa frustrated over Gerrard, & more

- Sami Hyypia has been the latest star player at the club to vocally back his boss' rotation policy. The 33-year-old Finnish International has deemed Rafa's tinkering critics 'silly'. I've actually been thinking a lot about the pros and cons of Benitez' ways and will write a post with my conclusion later today. Meanwhile there are talks of Hyypia getting either a contract extension now or a new contract offer at the end of the season when his current one runs out. I really can't see Sami lasting more than another season, but one encouraging note is that the Finn himself is very realistic about what he can bring to the squad. He basically claims he never really had pace, doesn't feel as if he's gotten any slower over the years, and doesn't really understand why people question his abilities. It's refreshing to hear a player living in reality about their attributes. Hyypia's form this year has been inconsistent to say the least and even at times shocking. Hopefully he'll become more restraint in his discipline to help the team out more. If that means going up less for set plays in the box, then so be it.

- Expect to see an interesting and possibly exciting eleven hit the pitch tomorrow for our opening Carling Cup match at Reading. The boss has vowed changes from Saturday's side. I really don't give a monkey's uncle about the Carling Cup, but it would be a good confidence builder for the kids if we can advance. I do expect Reading to take it a bit more serious than us since they pretty much have no chance at much else. It would be great to see Insua, Leto, Lucas, with a rejuvenated Aurelio leading the way. I'll have my 'What will Rafa do?' up later.

- Maybe he's looking to deter the critics and have them turn to their ever favorite victim, the head coach for England, but Rafa has voiced his displeasure with McClaren's use of an unfit Gerrard in England's two recent Euro qualifier matches. I'm not sure if the person who wrote that article hasn't anything better to do or not, but honestly, it needs to be put the rest. Gerrard will probably not play tomorrow so a week off will do him good.

- I apologize for my review on Saturday, it's certainly not up to the standards in which I set myself. I won't erase it though. Anyhow, I'm going to watch the match again here a little bit and will be back with a proper review. Also I plan on doing a post about why Rafa's rotation policy will prevail and of course, my 'What will Rafa do?' for the Reading tie. Cheers.

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