Sports Letter: Souness errors

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was overwhelmed by the interview with Mr Souness (Souness unmoved at mock farewell, 27 April). It was a testimony full of misinterpretations of what has really been happening at Benfica over the past 18 months.

I am a Portuguese supporter of Benfica and cannot help writing to you to say that every excuse Mr Souness made is a bad one.

Basically, he is the only one responsible for all the negative results Benfica have had lately. It is relevant to note that he has never acknowledged his mistakes although he is assumed to be a person of harsh self-criticism, if you can believe that.

Mr. Souness knows nothing about tactics in football; he cannot read a match from the coach's viewpoint; he makes the most astonishing substitutions; he cannot make the most of the best players; he is overprotective with all the English players when he has better ones to line up; he has put some key players in the wrong positions; he has started every match with a different team.

It is because of this that Benfica supporters cannot stand him; it is because of this that no one feels like going to a football match as they know that their team could be lined up in a better way; it is because of the apathetic style that Mr Souness has imposed on our football that we feel tired of him.

But about this Mr Souness says nothing, instead criticising Benfica and our players. All I am afraid of, now that I know that he has been sacked, is what can kind of heritage will he leave us? I keep remembering the words of a Liverpool supporter who told me that the Reds are still paying today for all Mr Souness' mistakes when he was there.


Lisbon, Portugal