Liverpool and Rafa Saga..

A few days ago, Rafa Benitez has condemned each and every player on the 2 - 0 lost Liverpool suffered to Fiorentina in the group stage of the Champions League match. He even pointed out that both Torres and skipper Gerrard are performing below par. He stated that the loss to Fiorentina is the worst Liverpool performance he have ever witnessed. Well get this Rafa, if your team is not performing up to expectations. The one person to be blame is you. No good managers will criticize their players in public, even if they underperform especially after one match of down fall. It is unnecessary to thrown criticism at your players after one match of football. It won’t do your team any good. It will jeopardize the confident of your players and affected the mood in the changing room.Evidently, managers the l ike of Arsene Wenger or Sir Alex Ferguson never accused of their players for such losses in public. There will always be other factors. The referee, the fans, conditions of the pitch, the weather, you name it. But never to criticize their own players, let alone pointed out names. Look what happen to Roy Keane during his time at Sunderland, his fault was being too honest. By blaming himself and his players to the media for not winning games. The tactics are wrong, the players are not doing their job and so forth. Sunderland conditions are worsening each week. Eventually Roy got the axe.

What have gotten the neutrals even more interested are two things. The way Rafa's tries to get into Alex Ferguson’s mind and for me personally, the failure to sign Gareth Barry. After Wenger and Ferguson have finally made peace, it doesn’t occur to me that there will be anymore mind games between premier league club managers. But besides all people, Rafa is the last one I expected to starts a row with Alex Ferguson. The man that have been behind the mind games for all this while. Gratefully, some of the needless comments that have been thrown by Benitez have fall to deaf ears of Ferguson. He may have thought that he is have gotten too old to be concerned by this or Arsene is the only worthy adversary to have an argument with.

Rafa’s reaction after failing signing Barry is a disgrace by accusing the England midfielder of being greedy. The logic explanation is this, buy only what you can afford. Barry is still a quality player and a world class passer of the ball. His value is justified for every penny. At first, Rafa tries to sell out Spanish ace, Xabi Alonso to Juventus to finance the acquisition of Barry. But that deal has somehow failed. Largely due to failure of setting the correct price for Alonso. Therefore, Barry is not signed and Alonso demotivated because he may thinks that he is no longer in Rafa’s plan. After the end of last season, Alonso relentlessly requested for a transfer. Real Madrid is interested and signed him for £30 million in August. Manchester City managed to capture the signature of Barry just after the season ended. Rafa has loss the two most inarguably world class midfielders resulting from poor management skills.

Rafa promises a new Liverpool for the Chelsea game. A loss against the Blues will certainly push out the Reds farther and farther away out the title race. For you Reds faithful, all that remain is hope that Rafa will get this one right. Read More!

Adebayor gets £25,000 fine

Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor has been handed a suspended two-match ban and £25,000 fine by the Football Association for his controversial goal celebration against Arsenal last month.

Emmanuel Adebayor

Adebayor celebrates in front of Arsenal fans

The Togo striker ran the full length of the pitch at Eastlands to toast his goal in front of the Gunners' travelling support, provoking ugly scenes in the stands.

He apologised after the match and claimed his celebration was a reaction to the constant abuse meted out to him by the away fans throughout the game.

He has already missed three games after he was charged with violent conduct by the FA for a clash with Robin van Persie.

The Dutch forward appeared to have his face raked by Adebayor's studs. Cesc Fabregas also complained of rough treatment at Adebayor's hands during City's 4-2 win.

But now he has received a suspended sentence, Adebayor will be available for City's game with Aston Villa, which is live on ESPN UK on Monday night. As part of the verdict, he could be banned if he contravenes FA rules before December 2010.

City manager Mark Hughes said he was delighted with the verdict. "There has been a lot said and written about Emmanuel's goal celebration. We are just glad to put it all behind us now and I am relieved he will be able to play at Aston Villa on Monday night. Manu was in great form before his suspension and having him available again is a huge boost to us."

An FA statement read: "Emmanuel Adebayor has been fined £25,000 and given a suspended two match ban. At a Regulatory Commission hearing, Manchester City forward Emmanuel Adebayor was fined £25,000 and given a suspended two match ban.

"Adebayor admitted a charge of improper conduct relating to his goal celebration during City's match against Arsenal at the City of Manchester Stadium on 12 September. In reaching its decision the Commission took into account his admission of the charge, public apology and the extremely provocative nature of the abuse he received.

"However, the Commission also stated that players have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a proper manner and that such celebrations are unacceptable and have the potential to cause a serious public order incident. The two match ban was suspended until December 2010 and will be activated in the event of a similar breach of FA rules."

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The Rise and Rise of Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs may be 35 years old, but he sure doesn't play like it. On Wednesday, in Manchester United's Champions League game, the winger continued to exhibit his quality as he led the Red Devils to a comeback victory over Wolfsburg, and in the process reminded us all that he is still one of the world's best players.

To be fair, Giggs was one of many outstanding performers for Manchester United. Wayne Rooney showed off his usual mix of strength and skill at the top of the attack. Dimitar Berbatov came off the bench and injected life into the squad, dropping back to create numerous scoring opportunities for teammates. Anderson controlled possession in the central midfield throughout the evening, skillfully joining the attack when needed -- the Brazilian won the free kick that led to United's equalizer. And Michael Carrickstruck a fantastic curling shot to win the game 2-1. In short, it was a brilliant team effort by manager Alex Ferguson's men.

But, in my opinion, Giggs deserves the most praise due to his involvement in seemingly every dangerous opportunity created by United.

When Wolfsburg went up 1-0 early in the second half (through an Edin Dzeko goal), it was Giggs who led United's charge in search of an equalizer, getting past defenders, whipping crosses into the box and tracking back into his own half to restart attacks.

After falling behind to the Germans, it took United four minutes to draw level as Giggs found the back of the net on a set piece that took a fortuitous bounce off of a Wolfsburg defender. Fifteen minutes later, Giggs relied on pure skill and vision, not luck, to find Carrick with a simple yet perfect pass, which Carrick struck home brilliantly. Game United.

Since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, much has been made of Rooney's becoming the centerpiece of this still-talented team. Rooney has been equal to the task, scoring six goals in seven Premier League games. But in recent games, Giggs has become the backbone of the squad, serving as the critical link between the midfield and the attack. At the start of the season this responsibility had fallen on Portuguese international Nani. But Nani's struggles left the door open for Giggs, who has stepped into the role and played some of the best soccer of the season.

What I find most impressive about this Manchester United team is that it still plays very attractive soccer despite the heavy losses it suffered this summer. This is a credit to the system developed by Sir Alex Ferguson, but also to players like Giggs who have filled significant voids left by Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez.

Against Wolfsburg, United's attacking skill was best exhibited in a Giggs-led buildup that took place midway through the second half. With the score tied 1-1, the winger dispossessed a Wolfsburg player in the midfield. Then, advancing the ball diagonally, from left to right, he initiated a brilliant series of overlapping, triangular exchanges between himself, Antonio Valencia, Berbatov, Anderson, Rooney and Carrick. The buildup was a superb combination of short passes and off-ball movement, and almost yielded the go-ahead score for the Red Devils.

So while there are plenty of entertaining games across Europe this weekend, I will be sure to tune in to United's Saturday fixture against Sunderland to see if the Welshman will continue to delight.

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