Rafael Beneath-Us

by Mark Smith

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

This was an old joke doing the rounds amongst Everton fans back in 2005 when Everton finished in 4th place above Liverpool, the blue noses referred to Liverpools manager as Rafael Beneath-Us, which is quite a good play on words for Evertonians! Now the same could be said this season, infact it looks like 6 teams could be saying that about Liverpool come the end of the season.

Liverpools lacklustre draw against Fulham on Sunday just proved where Benitez’s priorities lie, Torres was “injured” although it looks like he will be back this week. I prefer to think that Rafa was just resting him for the Europe League semi final against Athletico Madrid, what was even stranger was Torres’s recent substitution against Birmingham with 30 minutes left with the score at 1-1. Everyone, including Steven Gerrard was bemused at this piece of management from Rafa – taking off your star striker when you need a goal? Still, who am I to argue when Rafa has won more European Cups than I have.

I still believe that as a Liverpool fan that the club will be OK next season and we will move forward, I mean we haven’t always finished in the top four every year and it gives you a kick up the arse and reminds you how competitive football is and as a fan thats why we love the game, which cant be said of Benitez right now.

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  • Jack

    Love your argument regarding Torres’ substitution. Shows how such a clued up LFC fan you are. Which planet have you been on during these past few days? The guy had to see a specialist for his knee. It is unbelievable how you can slate Rafa for that. Your as bad as that other ‘expert’ Rednapp who loved watching Alonso play during our demolishing of Man U 4-1. A game he did not play in. Do you guys ever think before you write such nonsense?

  • Mark Smith

    Come on Jack, do you really think the substitution was wise during that Birmingham game? He takes Torres off on 64 minutes, then 4 days later he plays 85 minutes against Benfica and then misses the game against Fulham. Those facts show that Benitez would rather play him against Benfica than leave him on against Birmingham in the Premier League. By taking Torres off it weakened our attack and would have also been a massive boost for the Birmingham players… I bet the Birmingham defenders were estatic when they saw Torres was being subbed. Not the positive tactics of someone trying to win the game!!

  • redscouse

    after reading this I thought 2 things –

    1 whats the world coming to when so-called reds are quoting the ‘poison ones’ witticisms in relation to our situation

    2 theres 1 minute of my life I`ll never get back – what a waste

  • Mark Smith

    thanks for the positive feedback… much welcome!

    seriously, do you and other LFC fans really think Benitez is the man to take us forward?

  • Ben

    I no longer think that Rafa is the right man for the job. I really like him and wish he was, but just can’t see it now. For all the talk (rightly so) of the yanks and their part in things, it is ultimately Rafa who has allowed us to get to the situation whereby if Torres is out (which is a regular occurrence now) that we have no one who can score a goal. Yes it may be a freak season etc etc, but I don’t think so. I think he has lost the players, even the Spanish ones. Though maybe not Reina, though I can’t say why? For all those who then say well Shankly didn’t win anything for 6 years etc etc, well a lot of managers don’t, but that doesn’t mean they’ll all turn into Shanks given the time does it? They’ll just keep not winning anything!

    I am worried about the effect on the players we have if he stays. I can see Torres getting totally frustrated by him and then getting negative, frozen out (Benitez’s style) and sold, probably at a loss!!! This feels like the last few months of Houlliers reign now. I think apart from the obvious things like new owners, investment, stadium etc we need someone like Mourinho. Someone to invigorate the players, get the best out of them and attract high quality new ones (regardless of the fact we won’t be in the CL next season).

    On that last note it will be interesting to see if Man City or possibly Spurs get through the CL qualifying round! Remember the bitters in 2005! Out before it got started!!

  • MisoSoup

    Rafa is the best we’ll get. And I for one DO think he will take us forward next season. Try to think of the upheaval involved in getting a new manager installed. The off-pitch developments Rafa has overseen will be torpedoed and we’ll back were we were when he arrived. LFC is neither Real Madrid or Newcastle – we don’t change our coach because the pundits don’t like him.

  • Mark Smith

    It does have a touch of the houllier’s about it now, Rafa has had five years now and this season has been a huge disappointment.. It wasn’t so long ago Rafa guaranteed that we would finish in 4th place but that hasn’t looked likely for weeks now and Man City have all but sewn it up. The only reason he has lasted so long this season is due to the boardroom – if we had owners that were interested and took charge of the situation then Rafa would have been long gone by now. Our away record is appalling this season, Babel and Riera have already spoken about Rafas non exisistent relationship with his players.. I just feel we need a change of direction and leadership.

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

    his record in the transfer marker is appalling. How much has he spent on Championship players?

  • Jack

    Mark what if Torres stayed and got further injured during the Birmingham game. Rafa was spot on to say Torres was pretty much doing nothing while he was on. Any way I dont understand how you guys can slate him after he has improved our club every single year with all the problems in the backroom. Darren you need to ask yourself why Rafa signs so many ‘ championship players’ as you put it? He was promised money during th summer and got only Krigiakos for £1.5 million. Please dont mention Johnson and Aquaman as they were paid by Rafa selling players. All the while City and Spurs spent over £200 million together. Which manager do you guys have in mind who can win us the league by competing with Abrahamovich’s millions, City’s bottomless coffers and even Spurs and Villa who have spent vasts amount on player acquisition? Did I hear Mourinho? Oh you mean the guy who won the league by having a squad assembled by spending close to £250 million NET SPEND. A club where Ancellotti is probably going to win the league and cup double in his first season. How far do you think Mourinho will get by spending £0 million NET SPEND during the summer? How far do you think he will get by having to balance the books? Be careful what you guys wish for. A certain club in the North East did just that and are now in the championship

  • Mike

    There’s just something so robotic about him- it’s makes it much harder to sack him than a manager with a personality…

  • Mark Smith

    I agree that Liverpool rivals have been free spending, while we have had to wheel and deal but how many great players has Rafa signed in 5 years? Reina, Torres, Alonso, and Mascherano.. you could add Agger to that list? Bit too early to make Johnson a great LFC player but Aqualani was a strange signing, the whole world knows he is injury prone and palys about 20 games a season so Rafa spends a whopping 20m on him – it baffles me.

    I bet if Babel was at Arsenal Wenger would have turned him into a classy player by now, instead Rafa hasnt do anything with him!? a 11m player not producing… Riera 8m.. and Maxi Rodriguez is another player who just isnt up to wearing the red shirt.. Its not as if Rafa hasnt spent money.

    I just dont know where we go from here with Rafa?

  • Stephen Trenery

    Well, I come on here as an Evertonian, and I have to say in order for Liverpool to progress you need to get rid of Benitez. A change of manager would do wonders for Liverpool fortunes in the Premier League.

    He, Benitez, makes some strange decisions, both on the pitch and in the transfer market and while he has found some gems, he is no Wenger. He does not turn potential in to ability like Wenger does, therefore he buys so-called ‘ability’ off the shelf, ie he expects results straight away.

    Liverpool will always struggle with Benitez as at the helm, you have to reside to the fact, and even Benitez admits, that he has taken the club as far as he can.

    Best of luck next season (oh and this with the Europa).

    PS – I didn’t want to get in to his transfers and who he has bought in and sold. That would take me all day 🙂

  • Mark Smith

    Since Rafa has been in charge he has signed 56 players for 228m and sold 67 players for 153m which gives a net spend of 75m – which is quite reasonable. An average net spend of 15m was spent each season on players, considering the amount revenue Liverpool have generated through winning the CL in 2005 and progress in seasons after that Rafa has been a success at Liverpool in my eyes. But its the end of the line for him now, after 5 years in charge we are so reliant on Gerrard and Torres…

    Its also frustrating with some of the players he has let go.. Bellamy, Riise, Crouch, Warnock, Alonso… and replaced them with some really poor players.. Dossena and Degen anyone?

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