Rafa Speaks


Rafa has sounded off on the Marseille debacle and has done so in spades. And, quite honestly, I might add.

Evil Rafa is not happy:

That could be the worst performance since I came here, especially at home. We didn’t create much from the beginning. It was a poor game, we were not playing well from the beginning. We were giving the ball away and not creating chances. Only at the end we produced some pressure and created a little bit.

We knew Marseille were playing better in the Champions League. They’re a good team and we knew the quality was there. You must give them credit because they were working hard, were well organised and were pressing and we were giving the ball away. We knew it could be like this with the players they have with pace and ability.

Marseille played well, they pressed us hard and worked well. But we should have been able to create chances behind teams who attack and press like that. But we did not create any clear chances. We did have the options, but just failed to take advantage and you do not win if you do not create openings.

We were trying to change players and trying to change positions. We were trying, but really the team was playing bad.

We did not deserve anything. From the beginning, the team did not play well. We were giving the ball away, losing second balls and not winning possession up front. It is very difficult to win a game like that. It was worse than in Porto in our first group match.

The only comfort I can take from this game is that it’s finished.

We know in football if you want to progress you need to win. We need to win the next game. At this moment in time the best thing is to think about the next game. We’ve got Spurs here at the weekend and we’ll try and get three points and then see what happens in our next game against Besiktas.

We must improve, we must show our character now.

We know we have to do better. We showed character to get a draw against Porto when we did not play well, and we showed character to win at Wigan last weekend in a hard match. Now we must show character against Tottenham. That is our first priority after the Marseille result.

The Goateed One on the players:

It is not the changes, it is big players not playing well. We are talking about big names before and we had some big names, but it’s not a problem. The team was not good enough.

I chose Leto because he had been training well and he had played well in the Carling Cup on the left with Fabio Aurelio. I wanted to give him his chance because he had shown he was a player who could beat opponents with pace.

But for me it is not right to talk about only one player, the whole team played badly. It is difficult to explain how a team of talented players like ours could give the ball away so much.

I decided not to change Momo Sissoko. I wanted to substitute Leto to try something different and then I wanted to change the strikers, but had to alter my thinking because Aurelio had picked up an injury and had to come off.

I was more concerned with doing different things up front, but it was a very bad day for everyone. I prefer not to point the finger at any one player. The whole team played badly.


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