Red stars letting Benitez down

Mon 7th January 2008

A draw away at Luton thanks to John Arne Riise’s own goal and the media vultures are all over Rafa Benitez like a rash once more. I’ve read articles from some suggesting that too many Liverpool fans show ‘blind loyalty’ in their manager and that it is holding us back when clearly we should be looking for somebody else.

Everton were knocked out the FA Cup on Saturday after playing a weakened team. Were there calls for Moyes head in a single newspaper or media outlet? No.  Let’s remember Liverpool are actually still in the FA Cup.

The fact is the media can smell their next victim in Rafa, and the American owners of the club have done little to protect the man.

The way I see it Liverpool are a substantially improved side than the team he inherited. Lest not forget the reds have been to at least one final in each of the three years he has been in charge, picking up four trophies along the way and narrowly missing out on another two.

There is no question that the recent run of form in the Premiership has been disappointing – especially when we set the early pace in the Premiership – topping the table for the first time in a long period. The simple fact is that the players have let Benitez down. There can be no excuse for a team of such star studded international to waste an astonishing 17 chances against Manchester City. No excuse whatsoever – certainly no blame can be apportioned to Benitez. Against both Chelsea and Man United in the Premiership the reds were by far the brightest side – effectively dominating both games and those who witnessed those games will appreciate that to only be left with one point from those six was just extreme bad luck.

Liverpool under Benitez are a team in development. Serious football fans who may remember the early days of both Wenger and Ferguson’s managerial careers with their present clubs will be aware that continuity in the management of a club is sacrosanct. It is part of the reason Liverpool were at the top of the game for nearly 30 years – internal promotion of managers led to a level of continuity unknown at any other football club.

In the aftermath of disappointing results people often make snap judgements in the heat of the moment. Just 2 years ago the reds were losing 3-1 at Kenilworth Road at one point before eventually going on to win the trophy. Ten years ago Arsenal also drew their FA Cup 3rd Round at home to the mighty Port Vale. Arsenal had suffered a horrendous number of results from the middle of October that year and had found themselves 13 points off the league leaders. The side went on to win the league and cup double.

While I am not suggesting that Liverpool are about to pull off the ultimate second half recovery (even though they do make that a speciality) the fact remains it would have been incredibly easy for Wenger to have been pushed out of his job. As it is his youth development policy which has been allowed to mature is now reaping huge dividends for the club.

Supporting Rafa Benitez is not about blind faith at all. The man remains our greatest opportunity of winning the title in 18 years of underachievement. The players need to justify their transfer fee and weekly salary, not Benitez.

20 comments on
Red stars letting Benitez down

  1. I just cannot realize WHY the press pushes LFC’s coach all the time! Is there any “sweetness” over LFC’s managers throughout the ages? Houllier’s been killed, so has Rafa. Indeed, Liverpool’s success over the years was keeping their manager safe, letting him blossom and justify his salary, and boy look at the results. The most successful British club in the 20th century, OFFICIALLY! Is there any particular fear from the press over Liverpool’s coaches?? I wonder!
    Let the man prove his value, he is INVALUABLE, where in the (current) world should Liverpool find a better coach, just ask your selves!! Where and who!!

  2. I agree with Rave Diran.Liverpool need to get rid of players such as sissoko riise kuyt and voronin.we need talent upfront and at the moment it is only torres producing goals.we cant rely on torres carragher and gerrard.we need quality to add with the quality we got,if we dont we are not going to win the premiership until we get them players.

  3. Dirk Kuyt, Voronin and Rise is Rubbish. Play Babel upfront with Torres. We need a deadly strike partnership and skillful Midfielders who can penetrate opposition defense. Our players are still not Good enough and that’s the truth. Don’t blame Rafa bcoz he’s record shows that. I’m expecting Rafa to be strict with his players, if a player not performing give him marching orders. Kuyt, Voronin and Rise dont deserve to be in this legendary club bcoz chances has been given but no improvement. Throw this rubbish away.

  4. Not all the blame can be put on Benitez.I think he is playing players that we don’t even need.Such as Dirk Kuyt,Andriy Voronin.I also don’t get that he wants to buy another midfielder in January,I think he should sell Kuyt and Voronin and get another top class striker such as,Podolski,Berbatov,Anelka who can score goals.Instead of relying on Gerrard and Torres to do all the work

  5. Blame the players? Wasting 17 chances? The reason we look so good against the top sides and always come out losing, is because Liverpool dont know what to do in the last 1/3. and its been like that since the days of Roy Evans. Utd can play bad and win as with 3 passes they can score. The chance Rooney missed with 10 mins to go was a lesson in attacking football. A lesson we have failed to learn in 10 years, and without that, we will play all teams off the park and get beat. The 17 chances V city were not quality chances. Even the 2 for Torres at start of 2nd were not bankers

  6. How much time does Benitez still need, his rotation system does not work, this is debateable, its time the powers that be started to use their brain and not their heart, i think it is time for RAFA to move on, CHELSEA IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF THAT.


  7. The vultures are out for a meal but who cares…if we can see reason. The point being touted in the papers for the current situation with Benitez is because he has agitated the owners on a number of occassions, but those who are familiar with the press will now for sure, that the press always like to play up sensational stories, for obvious reasons, which has nothing to do with the long term well being of the club.

    It doesn’t matter if the majority of the current set of first team players do not perform satisfactorily regularly. What is more important is the in house development of core players, which is what Benitez is trying to achieve and this will definitely take time. The club has lost the ability to churn out first team players regularly like it does before and has to resort to established players bought from other clubs, which almost always will cost a lot of money. Benitez still has to buy these players in the meantime to achieve success, which everyone craves.

    Don’t blame him for the dearth of Championship titles since he is in charge for just the last couple of years. It takes a championship mentality to win the title and the club just does not have enough players to do it yet.

  8. Well well well……… just goes to show. Loyalty goes nowhere these days.

    He moved his young family to Liverpool, yes from Spain to work for us!!! WOULD YOU DO THAT??

    He has the passion, the commitment, the knowledge and the desire to get us the prem.



  9. You know, i’ve read all the above comments and do believe that rafa is the one to take us to the premiership title, time is needed, unfortunatly i dont think he will get it. The day and age of long reigning managers is up, its either deliver or out. I feel embarrased to say that the FA cup and champions league are not what i want, but the premiership is still is the goal for me being a young liverpool fan. I have yet to experience the glory of a league title, and some may say well look at other teams who have never been close, but i look at our team and really see a good base to start with. Maybe one or two world class scorers and we have our goals.

    You can not disagree that when a new manager comes in the players play with more passion and more commitment just to prove themselves to the new manager. So i believe two signings and a new manager will give us the boost needed to be crowned.

    Walk on

  10. The recent results are not pleasing for a mighty FC club like liverpool. However, with the kind of determination the players have and the confidence the Manager has displayed, there are hopes and chances of catching up with the top four. Sacking the manager will demoralise the players and make things worse for the team.

  11. Great article….

    Rafa can’t really do no more its up to the players.

    Rafa isn’t the one missing the chances and not scoring the goals its the players they are the ones whos jobs should be threatened. if we don’t perform at work we get the sack why shouldn’t they???

    RAFA STAYS!!!!

  12. Great article there.

    The only problem being that the press have got rid of the england manager and now they are looking to there next sacrificial lamb. They want either Sam Allardyce or Rafa to be sacked, simple as that.

    The fact is neither deserve the push but what chance the media will get their way? Unfortunately I know a LFC fan who is beginning to demand nothing other than 4-0 victories every match otherwise ‘Benitez has got to go!’. He has no idea of who would be better as a replacement, because he will not look that far ahead. As far as he is concerned Rafa cannot do the job. If he was to win the champs league and the FA cup this year he wouldn’t be happy, because as the media point out: LFC fans only care about the league.

    I hope that the fan mentioned above is in the minority and not the majority, because I for one will continue to support Rafa. You cannot win a marathon event like the prem without continuity (unless you have Abramovich!).

    Long live the reign of Rafa!!

  13. I dunno. I’m not into the blame game but I really do think this is quite a poor article in that it so naively brush aside the problem we actually face/suffer from.

    For instance, the comparison with Arsenal of 10 years ago completly disregard the fact we still have to play Arsenal, Chelsea, ManU, Everton and Spurs away. 6 points from those 5 games would be quite a successful outcome given the results in the corresponding fixtures in recent years. That means a further 9 points dropped. Add to that we will most likely drop another 10-12 points in the remaining 13 games and we’ll finish some 15-20 points behind the winners. Having in mind that we will not be one inch closer to the title after 4 seasons with Rafa in charge I think questions about his ability to actually get us no.19 must be raised.

    Also, analysing our poor record against the top teams by means of bad luck is just pathetic. Under Rafa we’ve played 21 games against the top sides and lost 14. Surely we must be the most unlucky side in the history of this game. Much to my regret Rafa’s comments more and more rings the bells of the horrid GH years. Pointing to the fact Everton, Bolton and Blackburn went out of the cup just goes to show what standards this club’s lowered itself to.

    Maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise we cannot challenge under Rafa seeing as he believe success in the league can be achieved by constantly field mediocre players like Riise, Benayoun, Kuijt, Crouch etc. while, at the same tim, constantly changing the team and its formation. A good manager in Europe he no doubt is, as far as winning us no. 19 I have unfortunately lost my faith in him as much as I respect and love him for what he’s done for this club.

  14. Well Said, this team is developing under Rafa. How many times we have seen Man Utd defend 90% of the entire game? We witness it at Anfield already twice. The one who should get the blame is the players. If they take the chances well, than we should have won all the game right now and no question raised about Rafa’s position. The only problem with Rafa is he likes to rotate but rotate players out of position, definately there is no problem with rotation, if the right player used at the right position. Liverpool certainly should get the best out the players if they play at the position they play best. Hopefully Rafa is given another season to prove what he can really do, and the owners and Rick Parry aswell should back Rafa no matter what the cost is. Hopefully Rafa will make History better than Sir Alex Ferguson at Liverpool. You’ll Never Walk Alone.

  15. While I still believe Rafa’s the right man for the job, he hasn’t exactly made things easy for himself either.

    Top managers have VERY little time these days to get results and i think Rafa’s brought in far too many youngsters who are years from the first team, if they ever make it at all.

    To compete with Man U, Arsenal and Chelsea, Rafa has to pursue established players who can be matchwinners. Only Gerrard and Torres can really be described as making the difference when a result is needed.

    Riise, Sissoko, Kuyt, Pennant fall well short. Kewell might never again be the player he was. Alonso and Mascherano aren’t expected to chip in too much. Babel and Benayoun have already made a decent contribution and could do better.

    For me, Rafa has options to sell in order to bring in names that can add an additional goalscoring option. If he doesn’t do it, the pressure will only increase.

  16. Finally someone is talking sense. If we want to compete with the chavs and manks then the yanks have to give Rafa the money to buy the same quality players. Everyone made a big deal about how we spent £20+million on Torres but they don’t say much about how Mank U paid the same for Carrick, Hargreaves, Ferdinand. We’ve always had to buy players we could afford when we should be buying players we “want”….

    If the Yanks won’t back Rafa then we’ll keep going nowhere. It’s time for them to start delivering on the promises they made when they took our club over. Do they think Moanio is going to be easy to work with than Rafa?

    WE ARE a better team now with Rafa in charge, but we do still need a few players and some of the current team have to go. Much as i like Dirk, if a striker can’t score then he should be sold and buy one that can, simple as that. We’ve dominated most games this season and the only thing letting us down is the finishing.

    Everyone is forgeting how long it took Fergie to win his first title.

    (Rant over, feelin better now)

  17. This is a great article:) It is nice to read this, since every other website is only negative and manager bashing.

    You cannot blame Rafa for the miss kick by Gerrard against wigan. You cannot blame rafa for the great goalkeeping by kirkland.

    It is the players that let him down. Guys like Kuyt / Riise are poor.

  18. A true comment on the current situation. I can only think that all the people baying for rafa’s head are not looking at the bigger picture. He needs more time,support and a budget to allow us to compete with the big three. We have no divine right to win the league. Give rafa time and he will turn us into a regular winning team. No one can win everything.

    Why have liverpool in recent years changed from a fan base that support the manager no matter what to a chop and change team. Look at what changing managers to often does to a team [newcastle]. Lets not forget Evans, Houllier etc. We are moving forward. Have faith. LFC – born and bred.

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