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Some FACTS For Benitez On Liverpool And United Spending

The football was nothing to write home about in 2008-2009 but in terms of excitement and nerves, it was one of the best seasons for years. As usual, we were fighting it out for the title, but this time it was against our hated rivals, Liverpool.

United were a few matches behind everyone else at the turn of the year after taking time out to compete in and win the FIFA World Club Cup. By the time we returned, Liverpool were at the top of the table. Then one afternoon, Rafael Benitez flipped his lid, went to a match day press conference with a piece of paper with ‘facts’ about Sir Alex Ferguson and set us up for a fantastic end to the season.

That weekend, Liverpool drew 0-0 at Stoke and United beat Chelsea 3-0, moving five points behind Benitez’s team, but with two games in hand. Four months later we equalled their record of 18 league titles.

The following season, Liverpool finished 7th, 22 points behind United, and Benitez left the club by “mutual consent”, although reportedly settled for a £6m pay out by the club.

Benitez then inherited Jose Mourinho’s Treble winning Inter Milan team but was sacked a few months in to the job after falling 13 points behind AC Milan in the league. He has been out of work since but that hasn’t dampened his feelings for our manager.

Ahead of today’s game against Liverpool, Benitez was asked about the importance of Sir Alex Ferguson in United’s recent dominance. Hilariously, the Spaniard claimed our 12 league titles, 2 European Cups, 5 FA Cups and 4 League Cups are not a product of Ferguson’s genius, rather the money we have spent.

“No, I think it’s the money they were spending,” he said. “If you analyse the transfer record and the history, Rooney, or Ferdinand, for example, £30 million for a young player or a centre back. Every year they are very well-off. It’s not just because of the interviews or the press conferences; it’s because they had money.”

It won’t come as a surprise to you that this statement is as factual as his loony rant back in 2009. Benitez spent £301m on gross transfers over six years at Liverpool, recouping £144m. During the same period of time, Fergie spent £231m and recouped £178m.

Liverpool fans would argue that Benitez had to rebuild the squad, which explains why he spent more money, even if that does little to support Benitez’s claims that we were the club spending all the money. Still, if you look at the five years before Benitez got the Liverpool job, the spending is comparable.

Stats from AndersRed

Regardless, if Ferguson’s personality doesn’t come in to United’s success, if it’s just down to money, you would be under the impression that United have spent more than any other club, right? Wrong, obviously.

Stats from Transfer League

He’s cracking up, he’s cracking up, he’s cracking, Rafa’s cracking up!

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. TheCantona says:

    MAYBE you should go back play your FM2011 instead spouting BS here…

  2. brett1985 says:

    Of course Rafa didn”t have to start from scratch either. In his first year at Anfield he won the champions league with a side he largely inherited.

    He was able to buy some very good players like Torres but he never pulled the rabbit out of the hat with bargain buys like we did- in vidic and evra. In fact we took the trickier path with players that had potential- Ronaldo/ Nani than Benitez who largely bought players who had peaked with limited ability- ie crouch.

  3. Kuanl says:

    @the cantona, so you don’t think we need proper right back? See anybig teams in Europe and compare their RB to ours… And wht BS abt Sneider, it was in media, u think he’ll be at inter next year? No ways I just hope city don’t get him….

  4. brett1985 says:

    At right back we have Rafael and Fabio. O’Shea was let go in the summer so the boss must have felt we had adequate cover. I don’t really think Jones or Smalling suit that position and the option of Valencia is attrocious as he can’t defend.

    So we need Rafael and Fabio to come back into the team. A while ago I’d have said they can’t defend either but they were young and can improve. I don’t really think Maicon is any better. He was destroyed by Bale who isn’t that good. Ramos at Madrid is a madman and Alves at Barcelona has basically no need to defend.

    I think we have a more pressing need to sort out the midfield. It is exciting to watch Cleverly emerge but the problem is- we need to be better than Barcelona. If not we are going to stand still at best. It is a tall order for Cleverly to become such a great player. If he should fall short of worldclass then he will fit nicely in our collection of very good but not exceptional midfielders. But we do need a standout player in there.

  5. Den says:

    It’s useless to show these facts to Benitez. HE DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO COUNT, HE IS NIL IN MATHEMATICS.


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