So, Rafa’s tip-top tactics have been outed by intrepid bin botherers after the recent Club World Cup final defeat to Corinthians. But Ball Control can exclusively reveal that the Spanish Waiter has form in this area.
On a trip to Barcelona in Feb 2007 your correspondent made the pilgrimage to Camp Nou. This was a good few days after Liverpool had achieved a 2-1 first leg victory on their way to progressing to the quarter finals of the Champions League on away goals.
When the official stadium tour reached the spartan away changing rooms it was immediately clear that the whiteboard had been deliberately left untouched for all to see. What it presented hardly amounted to cutting edge analysis, and there was definitely no sign of the manager’s hand in directing Craig Bellamy towards his infamous goal celebration.
Why had the board been left untouched, when all else had been cleaned up ahead of the impending weekend fixture against Athletic Bilbao? Rafa and his staff would, of course, had ample opportunity to erase the valuable material – but as a fellow blogger, I can understand his yearning for publicising just how big and clever he is. For the Barca staff, perhaps they left the formation on the board as evidence that, on the day, they came up against a foe that was just too canny and calculating for them. No shame in losing to a rigid 4-4-2 featuring Dirk Kuyt, after all.