Aquilani being protected

Rafa Benitez’ insists that Alberto Aquilani will fully commence his Liverpool career only when the time is right.

Alberto’s longest display for the reds came in the League Cup defeat away at Arsenal 4 weeks ago, but the player then went on to pick up a virus that ruled him out for 10 days.

Liverpool fans on LFC Reds have speculated to the reason as why he has not been introduced, with some suggesting the reds poor defensive form as a good reason to avoid throwing in the more attacking midfielder.

Benitez today explained his thinking over Alberto while speaking to the Daily Post.

“The player is fit. He is training. Match fitness is something you can improve by playing games, so why have I not been playing him? Because the games are so close that if you put a player on the pitch who is not physically ready [then] maybe he cannot settle down in time.

“If it is 1-0 like it was the other day and they are attacking a bit more and you changed Lucas, Gerrard or Mascherano to play him, maybe you are making a mistake because you will lose the control.

“If we were winning 3-0 in the first half of every game he would be playing because it would be easier for him to settle down.

The reds head to Goodison Park to face Everton in the 212th Merseyside Derby later today but Benitez will exercise caution again with the new boy.

“The derby game is a physical one and everyone knows that when you are not fully fit they can be difficult to manage so you have to think about what’s best for the player and the best for the team.

“I was talking with Alberto and he understands. He is clever and he knows that he hasn’t played for months so he has to be ready and fully fit if he is to be able to play at the level that he can play in England. He knows that it is a matter of time.”

18 comments on
Aquilani being protected

  1. I’m a romafan since childhood and became a LFC fan since Aquilani signed there.For the guys who think Aquilani isn’t robust enough for the league:watch this;it starts at the 36th second of the video: . I admire Benitez being that patient with him.If Roma had done the same he would not have been injured so many times!

  2. How long has Rafa been with us? does anyone think he has had enough time to develop a good team, he’s falling into the Houlier trap, buying rubbish, selling decent players then along comes injuries to your better players and what’s he left with? the rubbish he bought, he insists on playing those he bought even though we can see they are not good enough for Liverpool, Souness made a statement on television the other day when he said ‘if your 11 best players are fit then play them’ what’s the use in saving them for the end of the season when your season has gone down the drain. I agree with ‘Longtime’.

    • Im sorry but after a long hard think about this ( and i did think the same to start with ) I feel to compare Rafa to Houllier isn’t rite !

      When i think about all that rafa has had to compete with off the field as well as on and the shear unwavering, quite noble defiance and confidence in the face of all this that he has shown i just believe that he has the ability to get us out of this whereas i was never as confident with Houllier.

      Houllier probably had to deal with the same mediocre/ Shabby transfer policy that still dogs Rafa today and he had to realistically start from scratch with the squad and loosing McMannaman early on to madrid would have been something of a disaster but he still had a young platform from which to build in Carra/ Gerrard / Owen .

      Rafa arguably had a more experienced Gerrard / Carra when he came in but having to loose Owen strait away was a massive blow at least domestically. He had to revamp the defense and the back room just like Houllier, had no wonder kids to fall back on but with less talent and the fallout of 2003- 04 summer flops in his squad his tactical intelligence alone instilled in the team meant that he managed the overachievement of a lifetime in wining the champions league, out thinking and out gunning so called better managers and better players in the process.
      Unlike Houllier Rafa has gone tooth and nail at the institution and board of liverpool so that he had the right to manage his way and is still fighting today for that rite.
      He has pushed to get liverpool moving in the direction of the man u’s and Reals of this world and actively works towards a ‘global’ ideology of where Liverpool should be, not content with simply managing the team he has got involved in every facet of the club ( Above and beyond !)

      Whatever his mistakes and whatever his failures, be it over confidence or stubbornness it is clear that he dose not stand still and will not give up for where and what he believes Liverpool should be. He dose not like mistakes and aspires for perfection in everything he dose even when outside forces make that impossible he never gives up and that is the stuff winners are made of !!!

  3. We just need to be a bit more patient. I have a feeling Alberto is gona be first class. I trust that Rafa knows what he is doing. We can still have a good season. None of us have experience of managing a football club now do we. We are not going to win the league this season. Chelsea will. But we could finish with 2 trophies, FA Cup and the Europa league.

  4. Most of the time i don’t understand what Rafa is saying infact he just makes comments for the sake of it!.He admits that “the player is fit” thus Aquilani should be playing because it’s the only way he’s gonna gain match fitness.

  5. Once upon a time there was a tribe whose leader was called RAFA.

    One day in their wanderings, they came to the edge of a huge ravine.

    “Follow me” cried RAFA,” Iknow what I am doing” and walked over the edge.

    “In RAFA we trust” chanted the rerst of the tribe and followed him over..

    And that was the end of the Lemming Tribe. Extinct!

    This is dedicated to all those who think it is good not to question leaders.

    If what a leader says or does seems mad, maybe it is!.

    • So did rafa step to the side and watch all us lemmings drop of the edge ?

      I agree blind unquestionable loyalty is stupid and you should never follow anything without having a healthy cautious approach to situations/ actions which seem wrong.
      But that shouldn’t mean totally giving up, being unrealistically negative and or having a narrow minded view of our current situation like allot of liverpool fans and others have been this season.
      It is important to understand that more than just rafas ability is the reason for our current situation and in my view rafa is last on the reason or blame list !

      Look at David Moores and Rick Parry and how they let the club stand still, even go backwards while clubs like united expanded their commercial impetus and improved their youth systems so that they had talent and finance for the future.

      Look at Gillete and Hicks and their slow negative approach to transfers and input of money for the club ( remember they financed a deal with banks and have handed over non of their own money to my knowledge )

      Look at the fact that Rafa has had no option but to utilize a third rate market for reinforcements due to A, sell before you buy policy B , slow board movement and C up until two years ago no control over youth development/ transfers ( final decisions + timing) / expanding the clubs popularity and name.

      In closing we should all be mindful of as much fact as possible and not look to ‘pigeon-hole’ all the clubs problems under 1 roof or name. I am not blind to rafa’s mistakes and he has cost us games in the past but to blame him for everything is clueless and rash and lets just remember who has made us regulars in the latter stages of the champos league for the last 4 years?, got us as close to the league as we have ever been since we won in 89-90 ? and has constantly over achieved in the last 5 years given the resources !

  6. Since half way through last season we have been playing more offensivley and because we had a fit squad last season it was working in which we were stacking up big scorelines.

    However this season we have had alot of players out , some not match fit for long periods and also the deduction/ inclusion of players. If you include our awful bad luck in that you can see why weve been loosing so much …………….. As a result rafa has gone defensive and low and behold more draws and a reversion to last seasons early form were we grind results out or concede the draw when we could be taking more risks to win … ala bring on Aquilani and put Babel as a striker…

  7. i think we need to play aquilani now! there’ll never be a soft landing for any player in this league, and i dont think aquilani got to where he is by playing only easy games…i believe he can adapt…..we badly need spark in our midfield, with gerro playing so far up….lucas and javier play the same so we need aquilani in now! i love benitez but he isnt the easiest person in the world to figure out!

  8. RAFA says if Liverpool were winning 3 – 0 in the first half of every game he would play Aquilani !! That means never ! We cant do it in the League, we could not do it in Europe! Maybe RAFA should organise some friendlies against a local school team? Failing that, I cannot see the criteria for playing him being met !

    Watching Liverpool this year, it is obvious that the only team RAFA can or does put out is a defensive one. We dont have an attacking midfield to push the ball forward ! Thats the problem, and it is not going to go away until we have an attacking midfield and another striker of Torres quality!

    So, we are in the position that we need Aquilani to do that job as we have no one to do it, but we wont play him until that job is done! Sounds a bit Catch 22 to me.

    RAFA is sounding and acting more and more delusional!

  9. It is now December and Aquilani is still being sidelined, even though RAFA is playing Torres, Gerrard, Benayoun, etc even when they are carrying injuries! Does he not think they are valuable enough to protect? Or does he think they are robust enough to cope with it, but Aquilani is not?

    This says he cannot trust Aquilani to hold up to the rigours of the Premier League. It is an effective admission that he has bought an injury prone crock and dare not risk playing him.

    There is not going to be a non-competitive or easy game in the Premiership in which to play him, so why not just sell him on and buy someone more robust?

  10. Complete rubbish from benitez. The reds were well on top during the champions league on wednesday night and were screaming for some creativity in midfield. what did Benitez do he brings on aquilani in the 92nd minute! He has lost the dressing room and the plot

  11. Who’s fooling who here?Liverpool are in such a deperate situation Aqualiani should have been playing a long time ago.Whats Rafa wrapping him up in cottonwool for?There are no easy teams or easy games…….personally i think Rafa dont want to drop some of his “babies” like Lucas and Kuyt…….they are not good enough….let them go!
    If Aqualani is so good he will adapt quickly so throw him in the deep end today against Everton..he could be the surprise package we need right now.

  12. rafa needs to drop lucas or send him out on loan he has no concisstance and play benayun and bring on alberto for at least 20 min just so we can see what the latest signing has got to offer but being a liverpool f.c fan for over 24 years i still back rafa he is by far the best man for the job its the owners of the club need to go if i had the money i would buy the club out right and give rafa the money to bring in veale and silver with them ther is no club that could match us

  13. Starting him in the derby is one thing…. but against Drebrecen it shouldnt really have been a close game. Leaving him out also builds pressure.

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