Chelsea FC: The truth about Rafa Benitez’s magic dossier
ON Monday, the Daily Mail had a scoop on Chelsea FC:
“REVEALED: How Rafa dossier worked a treat against Wigan”
Neil Ashton had the story of a “detailed document handed to Sportsmail. Chelsea’s interim coach stresses the strengths and weaknesses of Roberto Martinez’s team ahead of their Barclays Premier League clash. With remarkable accuracy, the report identifies Wigan’s vulnerabilities and urges Chelsea players to take full advantage of their anxiety.”
This was a bit odd. Why would Benitez write that down when he could just show his players with videos? Ashton said that each member of the first team squad and coaching staff got the document. In it, Benitez noted with sage-like insight that Wigan (Premier League games played this seasons: 25; goals conceded: 47) were “awful” at defending. No shit, Sherlock.
Chelsea then won 4-1.
Benitez’s insight had been “spot on”, said Ashton. The soothsayer had noted that Wigan would would “push men forward”. Di Santo was “capable of genius”. Really? Benitez said that? Ashton added that this dossier had been “put together by Benitez’s first-team opposition analyst Xavi Valero”. Benitez “went through Valero’s document line by line with the players on Friday afternoon …”
Wow. Only, it was nonsense. One day on, the Mail has another story, this one not splashed over an entire page:
A sports story yesterday headlined “REVEALED: how Benitez’s dossier worked a treat” was based on information that we now understand to be inaccurate. The article has been removed from Mail Online. The information was published in good faith. It was understood that the scouting report referred to in the article was a genuine Chelsea FC club document. We have since been advised that this is not the case and we are happy to clarify the position.’
With the digital revolution – mobile phones, laptops, blackberries, texts and emails on the move – I actually suspect reporting is more accurate now than ever.
You just need to remember to use the phone to check the facts. Moreover, what would be news, would be if Ashton told us who gave him the dossier. Then we could all work out what its purpose was. What with the digital revolution, sources are becoming more transparent…