ANFIELD, LIVERPOOL - At the heart of the unfolding story of Liverpool Football Club's poor start is Rafa Benitez, which is also the tale of the 'Rafalution'. Many have wondered what, when and where the 'Rafalution' started, will start or has started? More of that later.
In an in depth interview with Rafa, as his friends call him, we can reveal for the first time the complex character and the inner most problem that Rafa is now facing at Liverpool Football Club... The Magic Roundabout!!
Rafa in his own words, "Our problem now is with the Magic Roundabout!!"
The interview went into silent mode for some time. I asked Rafa repeatedly "Was it a system of play?", "Is this a training technique or exercise?", but all I got was glazed look of a man who seemed bereft of a solution and gripped by an inner fear.
At last after an hour of silence and cold sweat, Rafa blurted out "I can't handle the Magic Roundabout no more..." Rafa slumped to the floor, as it had been quite an admission.
At this point I had wanted to stop the 'interview' in respect to Rafa and his 'Rafalution'! However, his wife insisted I stay and calmed my concerns, stating that Rafa would be alright after a cup of tea. In fact Mrs Benitez praised me for what I had already done, as she had been unable to find out what was on Rafa's mind for days. Now she knew it was the Magic Roundabout, Mrs Benitez assured me that this interview would help Rafa and hopefully it would see a way through the problem.
After the cup of tea, Rafa opened up, "It was at Istanbul in the Champions League Final, that the Magic Roundabout came into it's own. At half time, I got hold of Stevie Gerrard and played through the Magic Roundabout psychology audio training tape, the rest is history... Even at the FA Cup Final when Liverpool beat West Ham, with Stevie Gerrard getting that late equalising goal, the Magic Roundabout psychology audio training tape was played there too!!"
After a pause Rafa continued, "Last season Liverpool Football Club was on a role, we kept playing Stevie the Magic Roundabout psychology audio training tape and I knew we going to win the Premiership... Then came the night club fraca in Southport, which saw Stevie Gerrard at Court in Liverpool!!"
I just listened in stunned silence, as Mrs Benitez knowingly poured us both another cup of tea...
Then Rafa blurted out and nearly spilt his second cup of tea!! "I warned Stevie not to keep playing the Magic Roundabout psychology audio training tape, so what does Gerrard do, asks for the Magic Roundabout psychology audio training tape to be played at the night club!!"
"What is the Magic Roundabout psychology audio training tape and what does it do?", I cautiously asked...
Rafa just said it like it was, "Stevie Gerrard listens to the Magic Roundabout theme tune and focuses on Dougal the dog, Dillon the rabbit, Brian the snail, Ermitrude the cow..."
My mind was reeling, "You mean the theme tune from "The Magic Roundabout", the 1970's edition of the seminal Children's TV show, written and voiced by the unique Eric Thompson?"
Rafa replied with blood shot eyes, "Yes, it's all my fault!! I was told that this would help Stevie Gerrard, now he is addicted to the Magic Roundabout psychology audio training tape...."
I just nodded in disbelief, not quite knowing what to say or where this interview was going!
Rafa continued, "Stevie Gerrard asked for "The Magic Roundabout" theme tune to be played at the night club and was laughed at, no wonder it all went wrong there... It was "mither" alright!!! They laughed at him at the night club, at the Police Station. They were taunting Stevie, "What you want the "The Magic Roundabout" theme tune played, Ha, Ha, Ha?" I did my best to make sure that this didn't come out in Court..."
Mrs Benitez poured us both a third cup of tea and gave me the thumbs up... More relaxed now, as if a weight had been taken of his chest, Rafa Benitez, entered a more reflected point of the interview as it drew to a close...
Rafa in his own words, "It was getting out of control, Stevie had the Magic Roundabout psychology audio training tape, as a ring tone on ALL his mobile phones, the door at his mansion, when you entered any room in his house, it automatically came on... All his cars were alarmed with the Magic Roundabout psychology audio training tape. Wherever we went as a squad, there was the Magic Roundabout psychology audio training tape, in the gym, on the training pitch, the hydro pool, the canteen, on the coach and on the plane, when the squad travelled away..."
As an aside I asked, "What can be done?"
"Thankfully we have a solution!" said Rafa, "The problem is we have had to limit the Magic Roundabout psychology audio training tape in the early season. I hope that makes you and your readers understand why Liverpool have made a stuttering start to the 09/10 Premiership Season. When Stevie Gerrard is given the all clear on the Magic Roundabout psychology audio training tape, he can listen to it again more often. It is just finding the right balance and optimising the Magic Roundabout psychology audio training tape. If we can get that right, the Premiership is ours!!"
Thanking Rafa Benitez for giving one of the most candid interviews so far, I left with Mrs Benitez giving me a copy of the Magic Roundabout psychology audio training tape. Mrs Benitez knowingly smiled as I left...