Sage advice for Rafa and Grant (Chelsea v Liverpool preview)

Photo Caption: Grant thinks Kenyon was joking when Chelsea picked AG as manager – the ironic bit is, Kenyon might have been.

Both Avram Grant and Rafael Benitez have been locked in various off-pitch wrangles lately. Grant with the press and the fans and if the media is to be believed, players. Benitez with the owners, the board and Neil Warnock.

Both managers recently wrote in to Soccerlens to let off some steam and get some answers to their problems. Here’s how that particular exchange went:

Dear Soccerlens,

I am a 52 year-old experienced football manager with a long record of success. My triumphs include both league and cup wins in my native Israel.

I was drafted in to manage my current club after the previous incumbent failed miserably and showed no ability to manage players, fans or the media. They needed a reliable and steady pair of hands with a sparkling personality to rescue the club from the doldrums.

I have done a remarkable job in my few months in the role and I have taken the club to the verge of an historic double. Despite this, it seems that some of the club’s fans do not like me.

I was given the job on merit as my previous record made me such an obvious candidate for the role, and I have done everything I promised to do. Well, apart from playing attractive football.

Please help me. How can I increase my popularity?

AG. London

Soccerlens replyWell AG, you certainly seem to be being treated poorly by the supporters of your club. The way you are talking anyone would think you had made very poor selection decisions that cost you the Carling Cup and possibly the league, and managed the team to a dismal defeat against a lower league club in the FA Cup!

As long as you have retained your authority and have the respect of all the players at your club, you should be fine.

Whatever you do, keep your great relations with the press and don’t give strange press conferences during which you just walk out.

Keep up the good work AG and I’m sure the fans will all love you even if you don’t win anything this year. They will be patient with you and give you another chance.

Dear Soccerlens,

I hold a position of some responsibility and I think, although I say so myself, I do it pretty well. I have taken my club to the biggest final of all on two occasions, winning it once. This week, I have the chance to take them there again.

Whilst I am trying to get on with the job of ensuring that we qualify for the competition again next season and preparing for the huge match we play this week, my bosses are arguing in public and totally undermining me and my staff.

These two men are having a public slanging match and calling each other names through the media. They don’t seem to realise that we are about to have a couple of the most important games in our history. I am finding it hard to go on. At least the Chief Executive of my company is a loyal friend to me and there is no way he would interview potential replacements for me behind my back like the other two did.

How can I get these two men to behave like grown-ups and stop making my life so difficult?

RB. Liverpool.

Soccerlens replyRB, you are clearly a sad and deluded individual. You must simply be making excuses in case or before anything goes wrong. In the circumstances you describe, with such an important phase of the season coming up, there is no way that your bosses would be behaving like this. You must be imagining it because such childish behaviour is totally beyond belief. As if grown men would behave like that at a time like this!

Please stop imagining and making up these problems and get on with your job. I’m sure that your bosses and the Chief Executive are all fully behind you and only have the interests of your club at heart.

Dear Soccerlens,

I am a professional footballer playing in the top league in England. Most people, including me, think I am currently the best player in the world. I have scored nearly forty goals this season and may well take my club to a wonderful double.

I have enormous amounts of skill and a future that hardly anyone could ever dream of. I was lucky enough to be born with exceptional good looks and I have grown into a tall, strong man with a fine physique.

I have more money than I know what to do with and a lifestyle that other people couldn’t imagine. I drive the best cars, go to the best places and have the choice of any woman I like.

I represent my country and have already played in all the top tournaments and will do so again in a couple of months. I will probably be named as the best player in England, possibly Europe and possibly the world. I will also win the best ‘young player award as I forgot to tell you I am still only 23 years-old.

Can you help me, I really do seem to have everything?

CR. Manchester

Soccerlens replyF**k off.

If you have a football related problem and feel that you could benefit from the wisdom and advice this site can offer, contact us here at Soccerlens. This problem page will run every Monday. Remember, we are here to help.

Graham Fisher writes at Views of a fan.

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