Rafa Benítez, should he stay or should he go?

by Michael Somerville

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

After Jermaine Pennant came out from his Spanish Villa and criticised Benetiz for miss-management of players, it felt like the final nail in the coffin for the Spanish manager.

A poor result in mid-week against a Lyon team not at the peak of their powers looked like silencing Rafa once and for all… and that’s a “fact”. However, as we all know, Liverpool came out like “a wounded animal” and produced a dogged performance to beat a well-below par Manchester United at the weekend.

Beating Manchester United in the league should look like a great result, and it is, but it doesn’t stop Liverpool being desperately mediocre.

One positive that can be taken out of the weekend for Rafa Benítez is that surely, finally, for the last time please, Liverpool need a top class striker that can fill in for Fernando Torres when he is injured. David N’Gog, although he scored the penultimate goal that finally silenced United and their fans, is not a very good player and would not make it into any of the top twelve teams in the Premier League.

Manchester United will not win the title on Sundays performance, simply due to the fact that they have become too negative. I really did think Liverpool was going to implode in the last few minutes at Anfield, having taking off Benayoun for Skrtel and Torres for N’Gog. When you are under the cosh in a tense game, the last thing you need is a complete lack of creativity in the final third. Benayoun and Torres give them exactly what they need, and when they need relief from United’s long balls, Benítez takes them off. It simply invites more pressure from the opposition.

Luckily for Liverpool it turned out fine, but on another day it could have gone horribly wrong.

I feel that the only reason he is still in a job is because of the turmoil behind the scenes involving Tom Hicks and George Gillette, in which Rafa has understandably been upset by. Being promised extra transfer funds and then denied funds because players have their contracts renewed and improved is simply the owners being misleading, not to mention skinflints.

Nobody blames the manager for that. Or do they?

I feel Benítez should have made more effort to communicate with the owners, and despite all his self- evident stubbornness, obviously didn’t do enough to make his case heard.

I think its fair to say that Liverpool would have a stronger side with Alonso, Sami Hyypia and Keane as a part of it today, and the manager must take a slice of the blame for letting such influential players leave.

Liverpool’s match at Craven Cottage on Saturday is the Kop’s biggest of the season (I will be there.) It will show exactly what sort of team Liverpool really are.

All will be revealed on the weekend.

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  • Mickey Marbles

    I fancy Liverpool to still be in the thick of it at the end of the season. They ain’t too far of the top and have played most of their games without Aurelio who was very good at the weekend and the new boy Aquilani. Everyone is writing them off already.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    If Jose wants the job yes, if not, no

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    Does Paul Merson hate jamie redknapp? Twice he answered his questions with 2 word phrases, I wonder if it’s bcos redknapp is better looking?

  • dexylongshot

    Maybe he just had toothache. Aqualani looked the business when he came on, granted he isn’t match fit but he queud up some very intelligent pass’s and through-balls in the last 15 minutes he was on.

  • Michael

    Liverpool need a goal against the Cottagers, and Benetiz takes off Benayoun and Torres- again!

    Liverpool are a shambles at the moment, with the team they put out at Fulham they would struggle to be a mid-table side. What does everyone else think?

  • Stevie

    I totally agree, their squad is very poor, they’ve spent so much money too. They have no cutting edge what so ever. Thing is, it’s all well and good saying get rid of Rafa but who do you bring in?

  • dexylongshot

    I’d keep him personally, people have short memories.

  • Mike

    Liverpool cannot afford to sack Rafa, they would have to pay him his four year wages in full (he recently signed a new lucrative deal worth 18 million.)

    I reckon they will improve, they have to. Gerrard will come back, Torres will get fit again, but you’ve got to question the motivation. If they get knocked out of Europe on wednesday what exactly will there be to play for?

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