Note to Rafa: Leto doesn’t deserve a work permit

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Managers tend be to stereotyped into a number of categories. Mourinho and Ferguson have been typecast as the ‘motivational’ types (regardless of the tactical acumen of both managers) while the likes of Rafa Benitez (and to an extent, Juande Ramos) have been categorised as supreme tacticians (regardless of whether they are better in that department than their adversaries or not).

But since we live in a world where black and white is easier to understand than the nuances between Rafa-ball and Wenger-ball (hint: the difference is in execution, not in methods), let’s stick to these stereotypes for a minute and discuss Rafa Benitez’s credentials as a supreme thinker….

Or rather, look at the ridiculous posturing over the refusal of Leto’s work permit:

“I am disappointed and it was a surprise because this is a player who has played in the Champions League and been in the Argentina squad for the Olympic Games.

You have managers talking about how good he is, so I think the system needs to change.

We have maybe eight or 10 teams in Spain, Italy and Greece asking about him. When you have eight or 10 teams asking about a player and he’s not playing, it means that he is good.

He has a long contract, and I think he can impress and next year will be a different situation.”

Here’s the thing Rafa – Leto isn’t in the senior Argentina national squad, his passport got revoked (and if you want to raise a fuss, that’s what he should really be talking about), he *isn’t* going to the Olympics and playing 4 games for Liverpool (Toulouse in the CL qualifying round and the CL home game against Marseille that Liverpool lost, plus 2 league cup games against Reading and Cardiff) does not qualify a player for the work permit. The fact that he ends up going to Olympiakos instead of a club with a stronger league competition would suggest that he isn’t in as much demand from the top teams/leagues as you would have thought.

Leto’s good, but he’s not that good, and the system shouldn’t change because you’re not getting your way.

Now if you were to tell me that third-parties owning players was wrong, or that rules should change to give English clubs better access to home-grown talent (thus reducing the need for importing talent – although this one internalises the monopoly instead of removing it, but that’s a different discussion), or at least tell me who’s after Leto apart from Olympiakos, then I might think you’re on to something.

This is just petty posturing. You’re bigger than that Rafa… hell, at the very least you’re much smarter than that.

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