12/19/2009 05:16:00 pm

Forget the red card - RAFA BENITEZ is responsible for the shambolic Portsmouth defeat.

According to Rafa Benitez, Javier Mascherano's red card was the catalyst for Liverpool's ignominious defeat to Portsmouth today. Well of course it was! It's not like Benitez is ever responsible for anything, is it? It's always something/someone else's fault. In reality though, Benitez is - as usual - the person most culpable for the team's capitulation.

After the game, Benitez said:

"If you analyse the first half we were doing well, even with their goal but then came the Mascherano incident. We were a good team in the first half and the sending off changed everything. We had some chances, we should have scored, we were controlling the game and everything changed with Mascherano".

In the words of Jules Winnfield: "Allow me to retort".

Reasons why Benitez is responsible for the defeat:

Overly defensive line-up

Against the bottom team in the league, Benitez's starting 11 contained 8 defensive-minded players!

Agger
Carragher
Johnson
Insua
Mascherano
Lucas
Dossena
Kuyt

5 of those players are defenders; two play defensive-midfield roles, and one is - for all intents and purposes - a defensive right-midfielder

Playing two holding midfielders

Why did Liverpool need to play with two defensive-mids against the POOREST DEFENCE IN THE LEAGUE? Yet more evidence of Benitez's stultifyingly defensive approach. The team should have been set-up to attack; instead, it was set-up not to lose.

Dropping Benayoun

WHY?! Benitez's treatment of the player is unbelievably frustrating. Benayoun is one of the club's best goal threats; he has 6 goals and 4 assists already this season; his superior ball retention skills and direct play are vital to the team, yet Benitez continually benches/subs him off.

Liverpool needed to win the Portsmouth game, so why not play the most attacking line-up available?! Why play it safe and go defensive against a team that should be brushed aside with ease.

Benitez seemingly has a pathological aversion to playing progressive, attacking football and allowing his players to express themselves.

Bringing Aurelio on when we needed to win

So - we're 1-0 down in a must-win game and crying out for creativity, and what does Benitez do? He ignores dedicated ATTACKING players like N'gog and Babel, and brings on a defender. Once again, this is a CAUTIOUS move. Aurelio may (allegedly) provide an attacking threat but his instincts are those of a defender, and funnily enough, that's because HE'S A DEFENDER!

Benitez has used the same tactic several times this season, but has it ever worked?! Has bringing on Aurelio ever propelled the team to victory? NO. If Benitez really wanted to win the game he would have brought on N'gog and Babel. Instead, he (IMO) played for the draw.

Changing a winning team.

Liverpool played 442 against Wigan and won the game. Why change things against Portsmouth?! Why not just stick with a winning team? For about 5 seconds on Wednesday night, I thought Benitez might finally have seen the light, but inside I knew that he would never stick with 442. After all, there's no point in sticking with a formation and line-up that works, is there?

Persisting with Gerrard behind Torres

This tactic no longer works! Anyone can see that. Forget what's happened in the distant past; look at the present and the recent past; it is clear that Gerrard/Torres is no longer a viable option.

Another reason that partnership should be retired is that it makes the team ultra-reliant on just two players. Usually, Gerrard and Torres don't spark in the formation, the team suffers. In a 442, the responsibility is spread around the team a little more, and Torres has another striker with whom to share the burden.

If we are to play Torres up front alone, then as I've argued for months, Benayoun should play in the hole, and Gerrard should play in central midfield.

Building a team that lacks creativity

It was 70 minutes before Liverpool had a shot on target today. That is simply unacceptable. This is what happens when you prioritise defence over attack, and play a creatively bankrupt midfield of Lucas, Masch, Dossena and Kuyt

Anti-football midfield partnership

How many times does this point need to be made? The Lucas/Mascherano partnership is simply not good enough. Playing two defensive-minded holding midfielders in *every game* is suffocating the team and providing no play-making impact whatsoever.

The team needs a playmaker; someone who can start attacks; spray passes about; link midfield to attack; join attacks and chip in with assists/goals. (Hmmm. Remind you of anyone?)

Lucas and Masch provide none of that. Everyone can see that their partnership is not beneficial to the team but Benitez pigheadedly refuses to change or adapt, which is one of his biggest weaknesses.

As I've argued from the start of the season, Gerrard - when fit - should be playing in CM alongside either Lucas or Masch, with Yossi playing in the hole. When Liverpool HAVE played this formation, the team has won and scored lots of goals (Hull, for example).

And consider this: Lucas on the bench v Wigan = Liverpool win. Lucas starts v Portsmouth = Liverpool defeat. Coincidence? I think not.

Persisting with Dirk Kuyt

What did Kuyt contribute to the performance in an attacking sense? Next to nothing. As usual. Still, he continues to start and finish every game while players who contribute (i.e. Yossi), are regularly benched.

Building an unbelievably slow team

Torres aside, is there a slower first XI in the entire league? Watching Liverpool's players struggle to run is really quite painful. And forget about counter-attacks; what is the point when our players are too slow to take advantage?

Spending 17m on a defensively-suspect right back

Once again, Glen Johnson gifted a goal to the opposition. His 'defensive' header in the box went straight to a Belhadj, who hammered in the opening goal. Against Arsenal last week, he was responsible for both goals conceded; the own goal, and then allowing Andrei Arshavin the space to fire off a shot.

Johnson has been excellent at times going forward but there is no denying that fact that he is defensively suspect and prone lapses in concentration/awareness.

It is no coincidence that since Johnson arrived, Liverpool's defensive solidity has plummeted. Yes, there are other reasons for our poor defensive performance, but Johnson's attacking ability should not mask the reality that he is (arguably) not a long-term solution to Liverpool's right back problem.

Benitez inexplicably chose to spend 17m on a defender when there were other areas of the team that needed strengthening more urgently. Did we really *need* Johnson? I would argue no. Liverpool could've bought a good right back for 6-8m, and put the rest towards a back-up striker/left-right attacking midfielder.

Spending 18m on Aquilani


The Aquilani farce continues. He is now injured again (quelle surprise); that is not the problem though; we should expect Aquilani to pick up little knocks here and there. The problem is that Benitez chose to buy a player with a horrendous injury history. This issue has been discussed to death but it was a negligent, indefensible decision. The team has suffered as a result of not having a top-quality FIT player making a contribution from the start of the season.

To add insult to injury, Benitez's handling of Aquilani has been a joke, with player clearly frustrated and (probably) demotivated after only 4 months at Anfield. If Benitez stays at Anfield, Aquilani will not last 5 years. He will be gone/dumped, just like Robbie Keane.

Staggering inability to motivate players/inspire confidence

Benitez is not and never has been a motivator. In my view, he does not inspire confidence in his players and he does not have the ability to get the best out his team. We have seen examples of this before, but this season is s sustained exampled of his inability to properly motivate players.

Do I need to remind anyone that Liverpool were playing the league's WORST TEAM?! If Benitez cannot motivate his players to do the business against Portsmouth (!) then there really is a fundamental problem somewhere.

The red card was inconvenient, but there was still enough quality on the pitch to get something out of the game. If we had a manager who was capable of motivating players, perhaps the game might not have been lost.

This season has been a ceaseless merry-go round of misery; even in our darkest days under Graeme Souness, it was never this bad; and whilst Benitez is at the club it is never going to change. He has been making the same mistakes over and over for the last 5 years, but the CL/FA Cup win, and the latter part of last season papered over the cracks.

Basically, 5 years of overly defensive line-ups; dodgy substitutions; poor transfer performance, and man-management catastrophes have come home to roost, and Liverpool have suffered big time.

I really hate to say this, but I told you so.

I have been arguing for the last 4 years (and more) that Benitez is not right man for the job. I have been highlighting the same mistakes over and over again, trying to illustrate exactly *why* he's not the man for the job. I've been shouted down endlessly by the pro-Benitez brigade, but maybe now people will finally WAKE UP to the fact that he is NOT the right man to lead Liverpool.

Jaimie Kanwar
----

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288 Comments :

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Nobbs said...

Dear Navofarabia

Winning 1 CL doesn't make Rafa great.
1. Frankly, that amazing CL run was mainly because Steven Gerard bailed out Pool many times with some exceptional goals. I think Steven Gerard really carried the team in that 2005 season, so Rafa's poor tactics were not really exposed.
2. In the 2005 CL final, it took Pool to be down by 3 goals before it forced Rafa to change the line up (threw in Smicer and Hamann etc) and tactics. My question is, why didn't Rafa start off with the correct line-up and tactics in the first place?
3. During that amazing 2005 CL run, Pool's performance in the league was quite poor, we didn't even manage to finish 4th! Performance was very patchy then.
4. Dun compare Rafa with Houllier or Graeme Souness as a yardstick. Just because it seemed like he did better than his predecessor Houllier by winning 1 CL, he becomes so great? If u want to compare greatness, compare him agst Ferguson, Wenger, Dalglish, Paisley, Shankley. Rafa falls short greatly agst these greats. You cannot just compare him with his predecessor. For example, you might say Houllier is better than Roy Evans because he brought in more silverware, giving the impression that he is "great". But looked what happened in the end? Houllier was still condemned because he was not up to the mark.
5.  After Rafa got rid of the "Houllier's" players, he hasn't won anything! In fact, the players now can't even compare with Houllier's players. Rafa has brought this team to a new low. Remember Hyppia, Henchoz, Risse, Hamann, +/- Kewell, they were never quite replaced. At least we still had Owen then.
6. Pool came in 2nd last yr in league. But did u know that Benayoun played a big part in winning some of the games (apart fr Gerrard and Torres' contributions). Yet Benayoun was inexplicably left on the bench for half the games.
7. Pool would hav won the league last season had it not been for... Rafa! He was too negative in many games, resulting in many draws which should hav been won. For example, in the Arse game at Emirates last season, when score was 1-1 and Arse down to 10 men, Rafa opted to take out Robbie Keane and replace him with a defender! He has been too negative. Hence, it was Rafa who lost the league last season for Pool, rather than he "took us to 2nd".    
8.  I think you hav faith and love for Rafa becoz he won 1 CL for Pool. But there is a limit to how much he can endear himself to us all jus for this victory. You said, "Why didnt you want him out when we were whipping Real Madrid and Man Utd..." Ok. Now we are being whipped by Sunderland, Portsmouth (bottom team), Fulham, Lyon, Fiorentina etc.
Also, past glories do not, and should not immune him from being audited for his current performance.  If he is doin a bad job currently and taking the club the wrong direction, he should be removed, regardless of whether he brought us 1 CL or not (which was really quite fluke as I explained earlier).
9. Rafa has to walk alone. If fans like u persist in always walking with him, then I am afraid he is gg to walk with u to Div 1.
We can't even beat the bottom club. We are stuggling agst teams from the bottom half. We may end up 4th....from the bottom that is.....this season. We may be fighting the relegation battle next yr if we can't even beat bottom clubs.

Dear Navofarabia (and all other Benitez supporters), for the love of this club, please stop defending and loving Rafa Benitez.....please....please see our point of view?  

Karim said...

I agree with most of what you are saying, although what pisses me off the most is his continued use of Kuyt...loyal, hard worker, passionate, willing runner, scores the odd tap in here and there - but crap. Absolute crap. If we were to play any half decent right midfielder in his place I think our performances would improve significantly...he brings nothing to our game other than disruption - he may be responsible for disrupting the opposition's play which is a positive, but that is balanced out by his continued disruption of every attacking move of ours that he is involved in...his first touch is abysmal, his passing is pathetic, his shots on goal - if he has any - are usually well wide of the mark...yesterday he misplaced numerous short passes to other players in red which just made me cringe with embarrassment and frustration that this guy is one of our regular starters...he had a chance in the six yard box early on which any decent striker would have chested down and blasted home - instead, his first touch was so poor that the ball ended up being out of reach and he ended up kicking air...Pennant may not have been the most loveable player, and he may not have even been that good, but he provided us with a lot more threat than Kuyt...how about bellamy? Cheaper, faster and proving to be quite useful on the wing for city...i keep hearing that Kuyt works hard for the team, runs around a lot etc...true...but i have had employees who worked hard for me in the past but at the end of the day they were incapable of doing the job right and I got rid of them...thats what we should be doing with kuyt.

As for Rafa - you can bitch about him all you want - but who are you suggesting we replace him with? What decent manager is available? And what decent manager is going to want to come and join us under the current circumstances - no transfer budget, huge expectations, weak squad...we have a proud and illustrious history, but I would think twice about taking on this job. Suggestions?

Also curious - as I have only started reading this blog this season, what were you saying about Rafa when we were so close to the title last season? You keep saying you have been saying these things about Rafa for 4 years - were you saying the same this time last year when we were top of the league? Or later on in the season after we beat scum 4-1 or Real 4-0? Had we converted two draws last season into wins, Rafa would have delivered the title...just curious.

End of the day - if Hiddink or Mourinho were willing to takeover, I would have no problem with replacing Rafa...but I don't think they will join with the restrictions they would have to work under...and until things change, Rafa is probably the best option...not ideal, but thats the reality of our current situation.   

Nobbs said...

<p><span style="">Dear Navofarabia</span>
<p><span style=""></span>
<p><span style="">Winning 1 CL doesn't make Rafa great. </span>
<p><span style="">1. Frankly, that amazing CL run was mainly because Steven Gerard bailed out Pool many times with some exceptional goals. I think Steven Gerard really carried the team in that 2005 season, so Rafa's poor tactics were not really exposed. </span>
<p><span style="">2. In the 2005 CL final, it took Pool to be down by 3 goals before it forced Rafa to change the line up (threw in Smicer and Hamann etc) and tactics. My question is, why didn't Rafa start off with the correct line-up and tactics in the first place? </span>
<p><span style="">3. During that amazing 2005 CL run, Pool's performance in the league was quite poor, we didn't even manage to finish 4th! Performance was very patchy then.</span>
<p><span style="">4. Dun compare Rafa with Houllier or Graeme Souness as a yardstick. Just because it seemed like he did better than his predecessor Houllier by winning 1 CL, he becomes so great? If u want to compare greatness, compare him agst Ferguson, Wenger, Dalglish, Paisley, Shankley. Rafa falls short greatly agst these greats. You cannot just compare him with his predecessor. For example, you might say Houllier is better than Roy Evans because he brought in more silverware, giving the impression that he is "great". But looked what happened in the end? Houllier was still condemned because he was not up to the mark. </span>
<p><span style="">5.  After Rafa got rid of the "Houllier's" players, he hasn't won anything! In fact, the players now can't even compare with Houllier's players. Rafa has brought this team to a new low. Remember Hyppia, Henchoz, Risse, Hamann, +/- Kewell, they were never quite replaced. At least we still had Owen then. (to be continued...)</span>

Nobbs said...

<p><span style="">(....continued)</span>
<p><span style="">6. Pool came in 2nd last yr in league. But did u know that Benayoun played a big part in winning some of the games (apart fr Gerrard and Torres' contributions). Yet Benayoun was inexplicably left on the bench for half the games.</span>
<p><span style="">7. Pool would hav won the league last season had it not been for... Rafa! He was too negative in many games, resulting in many draws which should hav been won. For example, in the Arse game at Emirates last season, when score was 1-1 and Arse down to 10 men, Rafa opted to take out Robbie Keane and replace him with a defender! He has been too negative. Hence, it was Rafa who lost the league last season for Pool, rather than he "took us to 2nd".    </span>
<p><span style="">8.  I think you hav faith and love for Rafa becoz he won 1 CL for Pool. But there is a limit to how much he can endear himself to us all jus for this victory. You said, "Why didnt you want him out when we were whipping Real Madrid and Man Utd..." Ok. Now we are being whipped by Sunderland, Portsmouth (bottom team), Fulham, Lyon, Fiorentina etc. </span>
<p><span style="">Also, past glories do not, and should not immune him from being audited for his current performance.  If he is doin a bad job currently and taking the club the wrong direction, he should be removed, regardless of whether he brought us 1 CL or not (which was really quite fluke as I explained earlier).</span>
<p><span style="">9. Rafa has to walk alone. If fans like u persist in always walking with him, then I am afraid he is gg to walk with u to Div 1. </span>
<p><span style="">We can't even beat the bottom club. We are stuggling agst teams from the bottom half. We may end up 4th....from the bottom that is.....this season. We may be fighting the relegation battle next yr if we can't even beat bottom clubs. </span>
<p><span style=""> </span>
<span style="">Dear Navofarabia (and all other Benitez supporters), for the love of this club, please stop defending and loving Rafa Benitez.....please....please stop supporting him so that he will leave for the sake of this club?  </span>

Guest said...

RAFA! If you're fair enough, please let someone manage the team instead of you!!! You make me mad everytime I see your pre-game players. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE GO.

mikey said...

Time for all Liverpool fans to wake up. We all like Rafa and we all wanted him to succeed but its not going to happen. Put the poor man out of his and our misery. Time for a change.

LFC Forever said...

To say all the blame lies at Rafa's door is just scapegoat journalism at it's best. On paper he picked a side which should have won that game easily. Name one liverpool player that had a good game yesterday,,,,urm,,,urm,,urm yep not one. The Mascherano sending off DID alter the whole game and to say otherwise is ridiculous. What I found most worrying was the way in which we just keeled over, gave up and died. 
I'm not happy either the way things are, but I support the club not any one individual. Jamie all you are doing is feeding the negativity that surrounds our wonderful club.  We aint gonna win the league, it will be a trophy-less season and we will be lucky to snatch 4th spot but does that mean we too just give up,,no it doesn't. Exactly what qualifies you to write such drivel...With the club having so called fans like you lot who needs enemies. We should all stand as one, but it appears ever since Rafa arrived you have done your best to get him out, trying to incite the fans with your hatred...
Good day to you
LFC Forever

mikey said...

Your right, not one player had a good game. The most important job of a manager is to get the best from his players. Rafa fails.

LFC Aussie said...

If Rafa was to go is there any chance of King Kenny taking over? For me he would be my first choice.

Who The Hell Is Jaimie Kanwar said...

Its another pointless <span>Jaimie Kanwar</span> rant ....  well thought out between the end of the game and the kettle boiling.<span></span>

Jay said...

so you weren't expecting us to challenge for the title under Evans or Houllier??  Stop the nonsense, Benitez is just over-rated because of the watered down Champions League he has been afforded the prvilege of competing in.  Our average league positions before Benitez came were just the same as they have been under him.  He's just been great in convincing a lot of fans that this is actually success

Jay said...

and they didn't want him because of the dross that he delivers on the pitch. 

It's all good when you're playing uninspired football and picking up results still, but as soon as the results start to falter, what have you got really??  A pile of sh*t on a stick! lol

Jay said...

Jamie - Madrid may have wanted Benitez due to his CL form and Real Madrid history, but ultimately they didn't want him because of the dross that he delivers on the pitch.  (which is why he unleahed Liverpool's potential against them to appease his ego,before reverting back to the usual controlled approach after)
 
It's all good when you're playing uninspired football and picking up results still, but as soon as the results start to falter, what have you got really??  A pile of sh*t on a stick! lol

Jay said...

Do an article on it Jamie - the nonsense needs to stop!

Even comparing the CL winning side (which everybody says was still Houllier's team) to yesterday's side (which is clearly Rafa's), and I think that the 2009 version doesn't fare too favorably!

Guest said...

for far to long (ten years now) at anfield  or the road i'm sick and tired of watching negative football. all the top teams in europe united,chelsea,milan,inter,barca and madrid play a brand of attacking football and stick with it!Why for as long as gh to rb have we gone against our own way of playing football?  

Jay said...

If what you say is to be believed, the squad is all over the place NOW!  Mascherano, Torres, Gerrard, Reina all supposedly looking at exit opportunity's - so what's the difference between now and 2004??

The manager left then and the club supposedly moved forwards - if the manager left now, we'd be fine too (as long as we bring in a competent replacement)

Jay said...

navofarabia - Houllier didn't win because he took off Hamann against Leverkeusen and the team capitulated.  Benitez didn't start Hamann against Milan and the team capitulated, but fortunately for him the team pick picked up an injury which forced him to make an early change.
Evans didn't win it because the Premiership wasn't the richest league in the world back then, and you weren't rewarded with entry into the most money-spinning competition in the world for finishing fourth in your league

grouse said...

Rafa Benitez is the worst manager in the history of liverpool, never have i seen such a bad run for such a prestigious club.  The only reason he is still manager of liverpool is because the owners dont have enough money to sack him because if sacked they will have to pay rafa the remainder of his contract around 20 million (5 mil a year for 4 years) plus pay the new manager.  Unbelievable how mark hughes gets sacked after only losing 2 games while Rafa the " great" loses 7 and is still maanger.  Face the facts we have a shit team and gerrard torres know that, thats why they are so frustrated because they know if they dont score  who will? Lucas?(reina has a better chance) mascherano? agger ( the past 4 games he has had so many chances of scoring) carragher? insua (apart from that stunner in carling cup) the only one who could score regularly is benayoun but u all know that "rafa the great" allways benches him.  Xabi alonso, we all know he would still be here if rafa never tried to sell him to juve, this shows what a shit manager he is, he couldnt even see the potential in him that he tried to sell him to juve.  I didnt blame xabi for leaving he did the right thing and i wouldnt blame anybody else for leaving in that case.  

My last point is that benitez last year was in his last year or had a year remaing, and the owners wanted to part with him, but everybody hated the owners so supported benitez (i never did) and we even made a banner saying " with rafa everything is possible" haha what a joke, so we only have ourselves to blame for rafa knew 5 year contract.  and we are stuck with him for a long time!!! so get used to loosing and no champions league football next year again! YNWA 

rick said...

After the total collapse against the worst team of the EPL, with awful defensive football, no great chances to score, a DESERVED RED CARD due to a terrible tackle, Can Anyone explain me if the Boards needs other evidences to make the right choice and so sacking immediately Benitez?
Insua, Johnson are useless? And Who picked up the team? The King Arthur? The Heart of Lion King RIchard? Winston Churchill? Or possibily Rafa Benitez?
Is there anything of more terrible than losing at Portsmouth?
Oh my God if there's something more terrible than losing at Fratton Park, I start feeling really worried...
Kenny Dalglish on charge from tomorrow please, because our dressing room desperately need a great man on helm to restore confidence, courage and fight spirit.
Can Anyone really believe that King Kenny really can do a worst job?
We get 7 point from fourh place..
Please sack Benitez until is too late...

navofarabia said...

More perspective from a loyal fan who does not believe the press!

http://www.thisisanfield.com/2009/12/18/an-open-letter-to-the-anti-rafa-brigade/

Guest said...

Couldn't get past the bizarre claim that Benitez fielded 8 (COUNT 'EM people 8!) 'defensive minded' players.

Let's be clear, 4 of the 8 are actual defenders! Got him bang to rights there. Two more are certaibly defensively minded, no question there, Mascherano and Lucas. But to call Kuyt, with a straight face, a 'defensive minded' player is patently ridiculous, this, an out and out stirke who has been converted to a deep lying attacking midfielder and then to a right sided flanking midfielder.

Let's not let the truth get in the way of a good ole witchhunt. Forget the fact also that two of the four defenders cited above can certainly be called attacking minded defenders.

This site began the Benitez out campaign some time back so I understand the investment in fanning the now hysteric call given recent results.

I have no doubt you will get your man, wherever the final finish (and I think we are going to be some way off fourth) Benitez is history.

However playing Dossena at all ahead of any player on the bench yesterday summed up all that has been wrong with Benitez's judgement when it mattered most.

The big fear is not when it happens or who replaces him but how we keep the only three players we worth fighting for  - Reina, Torres and Gerrard.

Jay said...

Madrid may have been interested in Benitez due to his CL form and Real Madrid history, but ultimately they didn't want him because of the dross that he delivers on the pitch.  (which is why he unleahed Liverpool's potential against them to appease his ego,before reverting back to the usual controlled approach after) 
  
It's acceptable (to some) when you're playing uninspired football and picking up results still, but as soon as the results start to falter, what have you got really??  A pile of sh*t on a stick! lol

Jake said...

<span style="">Rafa did not put out his best team yesterday it was poor judgement by him. I understand why he likes playing Stevie behind Nando but whilst we like that creative spark in midfield this has to stop. Lucas and Masch will never spray a long range pass to split the defence like Alonso use to do so the other option we have is to drop Stevie back in the middle. Yes he might not score as many goals and might not be able to roam as further forward as he would like but it would be best for the team! Why not revert back to 4-4-2 and play a striker up front with Nando. Ngog is looking good or why not try Kuyt (he is a striker after all!) or even Babel. Surely a great striker of Torres class can work with anyone and it would also benefit the other striker as Nando would open up space for them. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"> </span>The formation we are playing at the moment is simply not working with the players we have and has to change. Rafa if he is going to stay needs to stop being stubborn and change his formations and tactics. We have some very good players and overall a good team but we need to play the right formation with the right players. No more Kuyt on the right wing or both Lucas and Masch in the middle. It seems so obvious to everyone else why cant the man in charge see this!</span>

Jake said...

<span style="">Rafa did not put out his best team yesterday it was poor judgement by him. I understand why he likes playing Stevie behind Nando but whilst we lack that creative spark in midfield this has to stop. Lucas and Masch will never spray a long range pass to split the defence like Alonso use to do so the other option we have is to drop Stevie back in the middle. Yes he might not score as many goals and might not be able to roam as further forward as he would like but it would be best for the team! Why not revert back to 4-4-2 and play a striker up front with Nando. Ngog is looking good or why not try Kuyt (he is a striker after all!) or even Babel. Surely a great striker of Torres class can work with anyone and it would also benefit the other striker as Nando would open up space for them. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"> </span>The formation we are playing at the moment is simply not working with the players we have and has to change. Rafa if he is going to stay needs to stop being stubborn and change his formations and tactics. We have some very good players and overall a good team but we need to play the right formation with the right players. No more Kuyt on the right wing or both Lucas and Masch in the middle. It seems so obvious to everyone else why cant the man in charge see this!</span>

J LAM said...

Great article jamie. i really want to get behind the manager but its hard to when he plays such a poor and defensive squad in games where we should be winning.

He has terrible man management and i dont think he gets the best out of his players ie: Babel. a great talent clearly but not been managed properly or played in the correct decsion. if he had shown the same faith in Babel as in Kuyt we would be lookibg at a different player. also Ngog he is on a high playing well and scoring goals but lets sub him??? how is that supposed to motivate and help players grow.

Rafa is stubborn and has his favorites who will always play he clearly does not pick the squad on performance or else kuyt, Lucas and Insua would not play so much. babel is better than kuyt spearing and plesis are better than lucas and Aurelio is better than Insua.

PS Pacheco with a little more experience could be a key player for us i was very impressed with his performance in the CL but Knowing Rafa this could be am=nother talent gone to waste. 

LFC Aussie said...

What about the more serious long term problem of money? Finally we get rid of Rick Parry and are fortunate to have Purslow come in. He provides us with commercial contracts that are reliant on us finishing in the top four. This must surely be adding a great deal of pressure to the club overall.
I don't like to talk about changing managers but every manager only gets his job by replacing another.
I don't always agree with what RB does, especially when he effectively lost Alonso 18 months ago, but unless you have a better solution you must stick with what you have. RB has a lot of strong points and shouldn't be discarded out of hand. If someone could tell me KENNY was ready to take over I would accept that. RB just as Houllier once was manager need to have our support while they are in the job because it is not our decision or responsibility to sake them. Better to leave these discussions to them behind closed doors. (I only mention Kenny because I've dreamed of his return for many many years but I still support Rafa because he is the manager of LFC)

Drezperado said...

hhm capello might be a good shout. i didnt watch the game but heard it was poor and it was said gerrard and torres weren't really interested?? anybody else agree?

things have just gone really stale, really stale. the squad is capable, imo, to finish in the top 4 and play well, but the spark has gone.

a new manager is needed indeed.

Guest said...

Well said Jaimie, totally agree with you especially with gerrard to play in midfield. Liverpool were a mess when rafa joined as manager but he has put them back to the same situation. We are way behind in getting into europe let alone a champs league place. Changes need to be made and if its not the manager then the owners need to invest heavily so we can get some decent players in. Even Villa and Spurs are ahead of us....Rafa needs to sort this mess out asap and realise its his fault for the team not performing. Couldnt even beat Blackburn or Birmingham.

Kash said...

Just watching his "Perfect" press conference showed me that the guy is cracking up. The better team was Pompey even before the goal. We have possession with Agger and Masch and Lucas passing it to each other but with only 2 attacking players we could not create anything.

We were playing the team bottom of the league and we treated them like they were Barcelona with our lineup. Ngog scores and is then on the bench. A failure of a signing in Dossena gets to play left wing FFS.

Somebody please sack Rafa. If Hughes get the sack for being ahead of us with a game in hand and a cup semi then why the fuk is the fat Spanish waiter still in the job. I HATE HIM...

Guest said...

i completely agree with everythig said please sack fafa

m15hun said...

More undermining nonsense in my view. You constantly go on about Benitez and complain, moan and pick apart his tactics and motives but, and here's the clincher, who the hell are you? You're the same as the rest of us, except you think you know better than a former professional player and a manager sought after around the world by the biggest clubs!

Forget your puppetry with statistics - the crux of the matter is: Benitez isn't making the players perform like a bunch of lazy, prima-donna's is he? He wasn't the one making them pull out of 50/50's at Fratton Park on Saturday afternoon (not that I assume you were there), he wasn't the one who made them turn in a bad performance! He gives them the tactical tools and if they fail to do anything with it, it's on them!

This isn't Champ Manager, Jamie - this is top-flight football, which is about tactics, man-management and politics. You only pay attention to statistics, it's like someone pointing at the moon and you staring at the tip of their finger - missing the big picture.

Sacking managers mid-season isn't the Liverpool way. Nor is knee-jerk criticism, abuse and nay-saying. I know you'll likely delete this if I question your loyalties as a fan, because you suppress dissent, but you ought to take a good, long look at the club you profess to support and ask yourself a few searching questions, first among them should be; 'If this is my attitude, am I really a Liverpool supporter'?

m15hun said...

What a babbling lot of absolute nonsense.

m15hun said...

Have a look at this article - <span><span></span></span>http://bit.ly/6OodrY

You really don't seem to be seeing the big picture, just the same as a lot of fickle, fair-weather 'fans'. Sacking a Manager half-way through the season could be even more damaging that some bad performances, surely if you'd been a football fan for '38 years' you'd realise that though?

The man has had to make-do since he began his tenure at the club and it looks like he'll have to continue to do so. I almost want him to go somewhere like Real Madrid, get given a good kitty and assemble a truly unbeatable squad just to make the likes of you realise how stupid you are.

If you are among the so-called 'fans' that want our club to sack a world-class manager half-way through a pivotal season you are clueless, pure and simple.

Max said...

M15Hun, who picks the team, sets the formation, the tactics and who tells the players what to do? So you are blaming the team for the bad run wait let me correct myself, the crisis that we are in when it is Benitez who gives all the instructions. Thats right a fuc**** crisis!!! 4 wins in 17 matches. RAFA out is the only thing that is left to do and if he is sought after around the world please somebody do LFC a favour and come take Benitez away from our club. It is funny how Zola manager of Westham can put his hand up and say that he (Zola) is at fault for the position they are in not his players.

little plum. said...

So he is playing defencive midfielders, because he can't trust the fullbacks.
So why is he playing the said fullbacks in the first place.
After yesterdays performance, I wouldn't pay them in cross-eyed goldfish.
8 defensively minded players. 1 striker playing wide right, 1 midfielder playing 2ND striker. And Torres isolated with no support.
Get your coat Rafa, the party is over.

m15hun said...

Utter bollocks, Max.

Benitez has shown time and again that he is tactically among the best managers in the world. The man engineered our wins over United, Chelsea, Real Madrid etc. are you seriously arguing that he isn't tactically sound as a manager?

You seem to think that Benitez is solely responsible for our crises of late but he isn't! There's been no confidence from the players, little invention, little to no determination..the list goes on. These boys are paid £100,000 a week to play the game and they aren't delivering. Instead of criticising the man who works 18-hour days try criticising the boys who won't go in for tackles, who pass the ball like a league 2 side, who pull out of 50/50's!

stev said...

DearMr Kanwar,
Whilst I agree with some of your points raised- mainly our defensive set up when we should be moreattack orientated, Ido feel that you tend to lay everything at Rafa's door.
Surely the team must take some of the blame for their performances. Aare they really playing as well as they were last season when surely they should haveimproved as a a team and be  playing better.
As seasoned professionls, just playing for the club and pulling on the red shirt should be sufficient motivation to win against Portsmouth. I think some members of the team have let the fans down more than Rafa

Jaimie Kanwar said...

I've edited out your derogatory comment, M1shun.  This is your final warning: debate without the snide comments or I will permanently ban you from commenting.

You state: Benitez has shown time and again that he is tactically among the best managers in the world.

Please provide concrete examples of HOW he has shown the above.

Jay said...

Would you really expect a midfield 4 of Dossena, Lucas, MAsch & Kuyt to create anything?  They can try as hard as they want, but the simple truth is that there was no creativity or quality in that midfield.  The manager picks that team and must take responsibility if it doesn't get the lucky breaks that such a team would depend on, to eke out a result

azman said...

the bottom line is that probably a lot of fans writing on various message boards today would have been rafa supporters (like myself) want rafa out now but now over the last few games or even all the games this season we have played like we have just been promoted from a lower league and the players do not look like they are playing for eachother there is a lot in common between rafa and houllier , the arrogance and stubborness to prove he is right playing lucas and kuyt evry single game and what the hell was dossena playing from the start instead of benayoun you really have to question his ideas and tactics, babel would have been young player of the season had he moved to Arsenal last year.Rafa has to go now and we need to bring in Hiddink while he is still available as Russia did not qualify for WC or any other manager who plays attacking football and can use of wingers like benayuon, babel, riera and El Zahr and play with only one defensive midfielder and play more attacking when we are at home. Last thing as much as i hate to see it it might be a blessing in disguise to bring the ex manc old horse face to play alongside torres and let gerrard drop back to CM and paly with wingers to supply ammunition for the strikers we have.
I THINK THE TIME HAS COME TO STOP BLAMING THE YANKEE OWNERS AND BLAME THE MANAGER FOR HIS TAME TACTICS AND VERY BAD MAN MANAGEMENT.
maybe souness was right we could be in meltdown

Oscar said...

I think I've finally had enough of Benitez. There are obviously things he does well and he appears to have some sort of personality away from football, but he seems to be losing his grip on reality. Instead of admitting that we played awfully yesterday, he blamed the referee. Instead of talking about what needs to be done, he parrots out his "think about the next game" response.

We have no plan B at the moment. He managed to finally get Alonso and Gerrard playing brilliantly and effectively in the same midfield last season but the damage to Alonso had already been done so he went to Madrid. This surely necessitated a re-think of the 4-2-3-1 formation, or at least the moving of Gerrard back into midfield, but instead, Benitez has stuck rigidly to his guns, like a silent movie star failing to embrace "talkies".

Like most Liverpool fans, I have always been proud of the tradition of passing football at the club. We looked like Wimbledon yesterday. A less effective Wimbledon. This has too often been the case under Benitez. If you can't pass, you need pace- and that is something we don't have either. Bellamy, Keane, Murphy, Alonso etc.- players with technique and or pace who have been sold. Benitez's obsession with fitting players into tight systems, of not letting them play their natural game- this has caused problems. It's a sad thing when words spoken by Jermaine Pennant end up sounding like the musings of a sage philosopher, but when he talked about how Benitez used to make him play like a robot, it all rang worryingly true.

I could go on, but I won't. I hope Rafa turns it around, I still have some affection for the man, but I think it may be too late. It makes me so angry. But what can you do?  

Guest said...

Well it clear you have agenda. Which is why your words hold no merit.

Kuyt, in no way is a defensive minded player. PFC DO NOT have the poorest defence in the Premiership, every team plays 4 defenders, Johnson is very attacking and options forced Rafa's hand into play mascherano and Lucas. 

I do think Rafa is at fault, but your reasoning is poor.

redmal said...

These old Liverpool players were all involved with Top 6 teams yesterday:-
Friedel, ,Warnock, Heskey(A.Villa); Bellamy(Man city); Crouch& Keane(Spurs);Owen(Man Utd).
Tha IS Benitze transfer dealings at its best.  More comment is superfluous.

Ivor Notion said...

Totally agree with you JK.  Although i was not a fan of Arbeloa he could at least defend far better than the £18m man.  That was money wasted when another decent forward and centre back was required. Benitez knew Alonso was off last April and Barry was the obvious replacement but yet again Liverpool moved too slowly to acquire him.  Aquilani now looks like being another "sicknote" and not the ideal replacement for Alonso.  The defence is now in tatters unable to defend free kicks and corners. The midfield has lost all creativity and Macherano should have been allowed to leave and it is obvious that both his desire to play for us and his discipline are gone.  Lucas brings nothing and its beyond comprehension that anyone can think otherwise. Benitez will never win the PL, has no man management skills, his tactics and selection of players borders on farsical and has now totally lost the plot.  We wont get 4th spot, i said that after the Villa home game  and the best i can see is 6th.  As a club we are going backwards, no money, no stadium, no direction and no Paisley or Shankly to bring it back on track.  No reserves able to step up now, no money to get a goal scoring forward, a commanding centre back, a creative midfilelder, or a winger that goes past defenders.  I cannot remember a more bleak time for Liverpool FC.              

Guest said...

Jesus, for the first time this season i agree with Jamie.  Shit line up Rafa FFS.

Jake said...

Does anyone think he should try GJ on the right of midfield instead of RB? His defending of late has been a little suspect but he has pace, can get past defenders and whip in a good cross. Cant see him being any worse than Kuyt. Also spoke to a Pompey supporter and he said he played very well there when they used him in that position. Just a thought?

m15hun said...

So permanently ban me then you fucking little fascist.

Football debate shouldn't be sanitised! If you're discussing the game down the pub with your mates you don't watch your language, do you?

Jay said...

I was on here talkig about expecting 19points from the Christmas period, and how pleased I was with the lineup against Wigan (Gerrard shifted back into midfield in place of Lucas/Masch, Kuyt being removed from midfield where he has no impact and moved up front with another striker), but instead Rafa decides to revert back to the rubbish that has served us so poorly all season, and replace one left back with another in midfield. 
The guy is too busy writing his useless little notes to be aware of what is actualy going on on the pitch. Walk on

Daniel said...

You anti-rafa fans are just as bad. What will sacking a manager mid season accomplish? When has it ever been beneficial? And it's not the Liverpool way, they have never sacked a manager mid season. So get over that idea.

And how is creating mass hysteria putting the club 1st? How fickle can people be when Benitez has guided Liverpool to its 2nd best season ever in terms of % of points won (75% last year)?

Why not focus on the positives instead of the negatives? It's just as easy to fathom that we will rise to the occasion at Villa and against Tottenham and be back in top 4 contention.

You claim to be anti-Benitez but while he is in charge it becomes anti-Liverpool.He can do no right in your eyes. Past history under Benitez tells us that Liverpool will be playing in the CL next season, does it not?

Guest said...

completely agree about kuyt. hes got no pace, poor control,poor dribbling and he seems to start every game. Fair enough he works hard and scores a few goals from 1 yard out but he is awful and is only playing because of the money benitez spent on him but for some reason liverpool fans seem to love him.The problem here is not lucas, watch him closley  in  a game he makes plenty of tackles and does he job well. The problem is what the problem was when rafa first arrived,  its the wingers. Till this day liverpool havent had 2 world class wingers for all the money rafa spent. Dirk kut passes the ball to glen johnson more than any other player.now that tells a story. FACT

Daniel said...

Why would he be better? He has had no experience as manager in any English League. Everything he has accomplished Rafa has too ie: won league title, Coppa Italia. Oh, and Benitez won a CL trophy too. But Mancini would still be preferable because of the anti-Rafa brigade.

Antoine said...

On the one hand, I agree with you. Benitez knows more about the game than anyone who is commenting on this site; however, please explain to all of us how starting Dossena over Babel or Yossi was to our advantage? We clearly needed a win, to help build our "confidence" and yet he starts a team more suited to not giving up points rather than gaining points.

navofarabia said...

Dear Nobbs...I am feeling your pain too...all I ask is LFC fans be that bit more patient and give us the maximum chance of getting into the top 4...like it or not that IS with RAFA! If he fails then it maybe time for that change...not until then pls!
http://www.thisisanfield.com/2009/12/18/an-open-letter-to-the-anti-rafa-brigade/

Guest said...

m15hun

I do see the big picture, and I have been a Liverpool supporter for 38 years. I would test my knowledge of the club over that period against yours any time.

I never said I wanted the manager sacked during the season but would ask you to ponder this. Isn't keeping a manager who can no longer motivate a team, and who stubbornly uses team selections, tactics and formations that no longer work, be equally as damaging.

As Benitez would say "These are the FACTS"

True we may have a better squad than when he took over, but, when he did take over we relied on 2 players. 6 years later we still rely on 2 players. Even though he states we are not a 2 man team, it seems strange that whenever those 2 are not playing, or, not playing at their best, we look an average mid table team, who can only raise their game to play the "big boys". We no longer look to beat teams by using, skill or talent. We merely beat them (occasionally) by "out efforting" them! Thank God we have a "world class manager". It takes class to buy an injured player, who is not fit until we are out of both the Premiership and the Champions League, and then refuse to play him.

There are too may players at the club, we are not good enough, not just for Liverpool, but for the majority of the other Premiership teams. (Don't ask me to name them, because deep down we all know who they are). To say he has had to make do since he has been at the club is an over simplification. I'm sure there are may other managers who would have loved to have had half the money to spend that he has had.

If he does end up at Real Madrid, a team renowned for their attacking flair, I wonder how they will respond to a change in philosophy to a controlling, bore you into submission style. With that good kitty, I'm sure that the fans at Madrid can't wait to see a team consisiting of the world's 10 best defenders!

Benitez has had his time. As much as I would thank him for what he has done, it is time for a change.

As for the article - I would ask you to look at the comments made beneath it!

Zach82 said...

is there by any chance, rafa will read this? or someone who know him, please pass it to him & let him read. not only this article, but also all the articles in here.

Daniel said...

Have you ever thought that if Rafa put his hand up and said he would take all the blame (of which some can be laid on him, but not all) then the media and hysterical anti-Rafa fans would be on him like a rash?

I can see it already: 'that's right it's all your fault, now get out'; 'Benitez admits fault, needs to be sacked'. Zola isn't under the pressure Benitez is because everyone know West Ham are in turmoil as a club. But facing similar problems at LFC ie: players leaving, budget constraints, owner issues it is still all Benitez's fault.

Zach82 said...

is there by any chance rafa will read this?

Jay said...

You keep saying you have been saying these things about Rafa for 4 years - were you saying the same this time last year when we were top of the league? Or later on in the season after we beat scum 4-1 or Real 4-0? Had we converted two draws last season into wins, Rafa would have delivered the title...just curious.  

I've only came across this blog this season also, but have long been a disbeliever in Benitez.  I do know however that he was coming under pressure last season and I was getting close to finally seeing the back of him, just before the results over Man U and Real, and resulting over-reaction as if that's how we always perform, and him receiving an extra five year contract at the end of his original "5 year plan"...

night owl 21 said...

again same knee jerk reaction to a bad result rafas not the first one to play a fullback in midfield keny played 4 against everton in one game and i can remember sir bob playing full backs in midfield. are we to asume you would have wanted to sack them to.yes its been a bad season so far but to say theres been no improvement under rafa is blatently wrong.every top manager makes misstakes and every manager is stupon just look at fergie and wenger to say rafas not bought any good players just look at agger/mash/johnson/kuyt/torres/rainer /insua[who is young ]/arileo [when fit]/ngog[who has improved]/skirtle/and all the young players coming through.i thought our song said youll never walk alone NOTyoull never walk alone ass long as your playing well and wining.

Guest said...

Just curious.

What is your take on this, Jamie ?

 http://www.thisisanfield.com/2009/12/18/an-open-letter-to-the-anti-rafa-brigade/

Jay said...

does not believe the press?? What do the press have to do with anything? 

Have they been fooling us all thistime, and in reality Rafa has won three Premier League Titles, to go along with his two European cups and two FA cups, all while using reserve players extensively due to the fact that we've had no money to bring in outside players.  Or is this just an alternate reality that Rafa-apologists have bought into?

Zach82 said...

is there by any chance rafa will read this? or someone please pass this to him. he should read not only this article, but all the articles in here. because it's pointless if he didn't.

i cant's stand him anymore. going into every games, i dont put much hopes. even if we win the game, i'm still not happy, because the next game he will disappoint us again. that what he did, that's what he's been doing & that's what he will do again & again.

i lost trust in rafa. wait, i never trust him.

TalkRed22 said...

There is not much in defense of Benitez.  Unfortunatel, in all sports, the manager, coach, front office takes the hit when there is poor performance by the tean.

However, much like a quarterback, you need to look at your leaders, in our case Gerrard and Carragher.  Just for a brief moment, I would like to analyse the performances of the two.

Carragher was an animal in the back.  He had some mishit balls, and usually lacks quality of distribution, but his rugged heart kept that team from imploding.  Tenacious defending is his badge of honor, and the team should have taken that cue, but did not.  Which leads me to Steven, our Captain.

When Torres is a shoelace short of poking home the leveler, I saw his head drop as in a desperate emotion of failure.  HE ALONE needs to step up and motivate these players.  Where has our Captain been this season?  I just don't think he has kept it between his ears this campaign, and we have suffered for it. 

For comparison's sake, I look at John Terry.  Ashley Cole, a few weeks back, took a dive to win his side a free kick.  Obvious dive.  Terry immediately was grabbing Cole's shirt to pull him back to his feet to get on with it.  I'm not personally saying that Terry has better captaincy, but it shouldn't go unnoticed that Gerrard is relatively nowhere to be found.

What do you do, as a captain, when your team is struggling?  I say demand to play central, right the ship, and make Benitez see the way.  Who really isn't (as a player or supporter), going to dispute an executive decision that Gerrard makes to get it back on track, salvage the season and focus on wining. 

I don't think sacking Benitez mid-season will do anything other than create excuses from then on out.  Let's give him his space, let him finish it out, and when the summer is approaching, we can then ask "what have you done for me lately!"

Teddy said...

Kuyt is an out and out striker?
Has anyone told him this?

He seems to have a hard enough time finding the goal unless it's laid out on a silver platter with a red carpet leading to it.

If Kuyt is a striker, I'm the Sultan of Brunei

Guest said...

It's well known that Stevie and Carra hate Rafa (as Rafa does them) - Until either faction leaves we will continue on our downward spiral.

Personally I'd get rid of them all and start afresh - Arsenal sold Henry as he was a detriment to the team United sold Van Nistelrooy and Keane as they were a negative influence. Get  a manager in and players who want to play for the shirt and get some pride back into LFC

Jaimie Kanwar said...

My take on that is typical blinkered apologist excuses.  Opinions like that = neverending acceptance of mediocrity.  Part of the reason the club is in siuch a state is the blind-faith of the fans.  The CLUB comes first, not the INDIVIDUAL.  Too many people have an allegiance to Benitez rather than the club.

The club comes first. End of story. Romanticising about Benitez will only send us deeper into the mire.

Zach82 said...

if rafa did went to real madrid, i'm sure madrid will regret & rafa will be sack before christmas.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

The run at the end of the season last year was the exception, not the rule. The league was over before we even went on that run at the end of last season.  We were already playing cath-up as a result of 11 draws in the league and Benitez's mistakes.  I did not believe for a second that Liverpool would win the title.

It is entirely possible to look at situations and see the reality of how things might progress in the future.  if you examine the tactics employed, treatment of players and a hundred other things that go on in football, you can gain a clear picture what direction things are going.

The difference between me and many other fans is that I am willing to look ahead right from day one.  I won't just ignore shortcomings and put blind-faith in the manager. The alarm bells have been ringing since benitez's first season; we finished 5th in the league, and the same nonsenical decisions he made then he's STILL making now.

For me, it's better just to be honest.  If you see that things are not going well, just say so.  I've felt for years that Benitez was the wrong man for the job - I can't help it if that's the way I see things.

In 2002, Liverpool finished 2nd in the league. At the end of the season, I told one of my LFC supporting friends that we would finish 5th the next season and not qualify for the CL.  My reasoning was based on the turgid style of football and defensive tactics employed by Houllier, and I argued that the team would suffer as a result next season.

Of course, my friend thought I was nuts, as did lots of other Liverpool fans.  But what happened? We finished 5th and did not qualify for the CL!

Contrary to what some people like to tell us, football is not difficult; understanding tactics etc is not difficult. Looking at things and applying logic, rational thought and common sense is the key to seeing how things might progress in the future.  You have to leave emotion and personal allegiance out of it, and that is exactly what this site is all about.

I was right with my predictions about Houllier, and I have been right with my predictions about Benitez.  It has nothing to do with higher intelligence or anything like that; it is simply about having an open mind and being *willing* to see the reality of how things might progress, and not blocking that out and living in denial.

Liverpool will never win the league under Benitez.  it's time for a change.

Zach82 said...

if he did went to madrid, madrid will regret it & rafa will be sack before christmas.

Guest said...

 And a take well put :). I'm not pro-Rafa or anti-Rafa. I'm just pro-LFC. Now, the point i would like to make. We bought Torres for 26.5 mil. Man Utd.(the scum :D) bought someone like Anderson for 27 mil. Look at the comparison between our players and the those of the other top BPL teams. We've never even been anywhere within the financial outreach of those teams. Nor in terms of performance. True we have Torres, Gerrard, Reina, etc. All of them, world class in their own ways. But, the point is that, we've never had the resources or players to be compared to such top teams just because of 'past glory'. They were always better in terms of first team and reserve strength. But we had fortune and a lot of it along the way and lion-hearted performances from our players, though sporadically. And this led to comparisons by the media and from fans who were simply put, demanding too much. 

 Look at it this way. The teams of this year and last year's aren't that much different albeit for a few changes. And look at the difference in the tables of last and this year's.  We seem to have run out of good fortune. To make matters worse for himself and the club we've grown to love so much, our manager just poured fuel into the fire with some bewildering decisions, but, if you would just stop for a single moment and think for yourself, "Isnt this all our(fans) fault?" By demanding too much from a team, that really is, largely mediocre.

 Hell, as much as I would like to say, "Just walk off Rafa before you do any more damage" (and i really do :>), this was just a nagging thought in my head.

-
"Liverpool FC, The People's Club."

Zach82 said...

he will be sack before christmas.

Zach82 said...

if he ever go to madrid next summer, he will be sack before christmas.

Zach82 said...

i dont know if rafa should be sack now. but if he ever get sacked now, i'll vote for King Kenny.

Matty K said...

Who the hell can blame the players instead of the manager- does he not pick the players-notably Lucas, Kuyt & Insua. Did he not spend $20 million on the Loch Ness Aquilani- who he doesn't play because he is injured when a butterfly lands on him. Does he pick the formation -& is too stubborn to change it when it falters for seasons on end. How about the defensive mentality- designed for those who play negative football & shows the opposition you are happy to lead 1-0 then play the game in the defensive zone inviting a draw- -what happens next 1-1 & the opposition playing positive attacking football have the momentum & press foward to win a game they should have lost 3-0!! Players like Gerrard ,Cara & Johnson who started well when he looked interested are in poor form- because they are bad players -NO - they have a dwindling faith in the MANAGER!! Am i an ex Australian rep player  -NO- just a man who fell in love with LFC as a kid when they played exciting football & played with true heart for this legendary club -to 15hun - you dont have to be an ex superstar to have a say on these forums otherwise you would not be allowed near a computer - but understand- Benitez makes ALL the calls that count & although he is not on the pitch his influence on even our key players is POOR. I wish it was different & i'm not saying i hate him or the sub standard players HE chooses because like everyone else here i keep preying the next game will be a different result but the awful truth is same shit different day. I am saying loud & clear to those fans thinking they are loyal by sweeping the crap under the carpet its not the FANS fault-or the REFS- or the way the wind is blowing. Its poor player selection, poor strategies, negatine defensive style, the worn out excuse book  &  stubborn formations that don't work. Amazing- i did not play for Australia & i can see this as clear as a sunny day- & yes -i still wear my Liverpool jersey with pride!!!

Dean said...

I am a Liverpool supproter from Australia and I am becoming sick of all Rafas excuses.I wonder if he has ever heard the saying a good tradesmen never blames his tools?constantly changing formation and persisting with players that run around like headless chooks on the field eg Lucas,Kuyt is what is damaging our team.Why wouldnt Gerrard and Nando look miserable when they are relied upon to score the goals and lift the team week in week out.This is a TEAM game not down to 1 or 2 individuals.Rafa proved his incompetence in the 2nd CL final against Milan when he had Pennant delivering crosses into the box yet had only Kuyt playing up front when he had Crouch on the bench who would have caused huge problems with his height we should have won that and our 6th CL Trophy but for Rafas negative tactics.2 trophys in 5 seasons when he has supposedly been improving the squad with each new transfer yeah right.He had the perfect opportunity to bring in a proven premiership striker for free this year yet chose to let him go to Man U and stick with the pony tailed ponce who couldnt hit a cows ass with a banjo.
Jamie thank you for stating the obvious RAFA YOU ARE THE WEAKEST LINK GOOD BYE.

WalkAlone said...

All the Pro-RAFA fans - you guys keep saying who will be taking over him if he leaves now? Kenny Dalglish is more than capable of doing so. Should we wait til the end of season to find us lingering in mid table? No $, No Europe, No trophies and the worst of all - no players! Clearly Rafa has lost the plot, it is useless to stick with him as we are still losing games. He is stubborn and refuses to change his mentality for the team. On recent performance, how many of you think that Kuyt deserves to start? This applies to alot more pro-RAFA players. If he cannot put the team as his top priority and continues playing his stubborn tactics resulting in losses, why should we still blindly support him? We support LIVERPOOL FC, not RAFA...

jon said...

Call yourselves Liverpool fans....... have you not heard the song? " You'll Never Walk Alone" At a time when the club needs all the support it can get some of the remarks are disgusting! True Rafa may not be the right man and if he plays Dirk Kuyt again I will scream but the atmosphere at Anfield is not helping the team.
We need to act as the 12th man to rally the team to better things not criticise every part of our club.
Oh and by the way "has anyone seen our owners while this bad spell has taken over? a few quid in january might help the manager but then you have'nt given him any money for 3 transfer windows anyway so i am not holding my breath!! Rafa deserves a lot of criticism for recent results but he also deserves some respect as he is the only manager in twenty years to win a major trophy for us and the only person who has raised expectations amongst Liverpool fans that we should be winning the league.
WHEN THE TRUTH IS THAT WE DONT SPEND ENOUGH MONEY TO EXPECT A EUROPA LEAGUE PLACE!!!  THANKYOU RICK PARRY AND THE MOORES FAMILY FOR DESTROYING WHAT SHANKLY BUILT. HANG YOUR HEADS IN SHAME!!

Jaimie Kanwar said...

I've heard it all now.  Guess what - THERE WAS LIOFE BEFORE BENITEZ.

I am absolutely flabbergasted by the ignorance of some fans.  You state: "he is the only manager in twenty years to win a major trophy for us".  So the UEFA Cup and FA Cup won by Houlliern were not 'major trophies'?!  What are you talking about?

Matty K said...

Att: Jon- What article have you been reading. Every supporter seems more concerned than critical. Do you honestly think Liverpool would not have won a single trophy if not for Benitez- i mean we would have taken out the EPL last season if we played to win instead of defensive draws. We will never know the answer -it could have been 3-4 trophies with another manager or 0- the point is most supporters seem to enjoy a more attacking positive approach as a apectacle & who crisises- you wern't exactly patting Kuyt on the back in your above article. The way i see it excuses are not winning us games & a true supporter -LIKE EVERYONE who has taken time out to have an honest opinion supports Liverpool with more passion than those who pretend there is no problem & accepts our Legendary team sliding downhill. Its time to take a stand- i for 1 appreciate constructive critisism so if anyone has ideas of how we can improve & what we need to again reign supreme don't be scared to speak your mind. Cheerz to all the true & HONEST Liverpool supporters!!!!

Guest said...

RAFA must shape up or ship out, the question is who will replace him?
there are not many coaches who will take the job and i supposed daglish would be the best replacement.
RAFA,sorry but your time at ANFIELD is up
LFC Fan

Stavros said...

i really cant remember what Liverpool was before Rafa arrived..it was a historical and prestigious club but we were out of the Champions league,fighting for cups(meaning uefa cup,...etc)...the last 5 years under Rafa we have been enjoying a great run in europe..in 2005 we won it,in 2007 final,in 2008 semi final...dont think only the bad things rafa's done but also think the good ones..and lets not talk about his great transfers like Torres,Reina,Benayoun,Mascherano,...etc.people tell that Aquilani is a loss of money..WHY??the guy hasnt played yet..how can you already judge him flop..why do you fans call Lucas a flop..??maybe the fans are worse than Rafa..IN RAFA WE LOVE

Matty K said...

Lucas is a flop because he lacks vision, is slow, cannot provide 1/2 decent service to the worlds greatest striker, gives away dumb penalties & would be lucky to get a run at any other EPL club. Aquilani is no flop- just as rare to find as bigfoot- would love to see him as there are signs of quality in his limited game time but at this point unfortunately a loss of money. Rafa....well everyone has a right to an opinion but next time people list 2 or 3 good buys please highlight the 15 poor ones & lets talk about 2009/2010-Istanbul are great memories but its time to move on & build new ones- starting with making the top 4- THIS YEAR!!! 

KBill76 said...

The short termism of the majority of people on here is shocking. Year on year we have made progress since Rafa joined. It's been a very poor season so far and some of this has to be down to Rafa but to call for his head at this stage makes absolutely no sense to me, it's a knee-jerk response which would, in my view, make it much less likely that we'll finish in the top 4 than it is at the moment. We can't lure a top manager with lots of money for them to spend so they will have to work with what's in place.. and who's better placed than Rafa for that? The one name I agree with is Hodgson, the guy deserves a crack at a big club considering his consistent overachievement and his ability to get the best out of limited resources. 

However, there's no-one better placed than Rafa and we have undoubtedly improved as a squad since he took over, without the salaries or transfer funds of the clubs around us. 

A number of players have been sub-par this season and naturally the defensive injuries have cost us. 

As for Saturday, a shockingly soft Red card and a clearly off-side goal in the first half are going to have a pretty major impact on any game/side. Chelsea struggled against Pompy at home and in fairness to them they played some good football. Chelsea should have lost at West Ham yesterday as well.. they just got a lot more luck from the officials than we did. 

Anyone wanting Rafa out, good luck but please don't call yourself supporters. To have the gall to shout Rafa out and then use YNWA at the end of the post is frankly insulting to people who do actually support and believe YNWA is more than a handy acronym to sign-off with. 

Wickid said...

Completely agree with the article. I was a pro-Rafa supporter but now I want RAFA OUT!

The American owners should dig deep in their pockets after the sale of their baseball and ice hockey teams and bring in Guus Hiddink.

olivetti said...

we have somebody working for us called KENNY DAGLISH , dunno if yol heard of him , his won the league before I think , and could be a good coach in rafa'a absence

gaveire123 said...

Every single comment made here is the opposite of what you doubters will have made this time last year, actually scratch that two months ago.

You ask why he plays kuyt -because Johnson runs on the overlap and before we signed Johnson you people will have said "Why have we no attacking Full Backs its typical Rafa bla bla bla...." The two as a pair , as we seen earlyer this year can work, and work well.

Why play Gerrard and Torres it dosent work? Less then half a season ago these two guys played for just over 20 games and scored more goals than Chelsea, United and Arsenal. THATS WHY!!!!!

If you watched the games over the last few days you would see Lucas is the only player NOT giving the ball away and running his socks off!!

Yossi is nursing that injury - Placenta isnt a be all and end all cure.

<span>I have been arguing for the last 4 years (and more) that Benitez is not right man for the job.</span>

"Ive been arguing for 4 years and more Rafa isnt the right man for the job"- Good lad yourself was this after 120 minutes in Istanbul yeah? Get real.

Guys all your moaning does nothing only increase the negativity and depression engulfing our club and team. This is the time to be a Liverpool Fan. If you dont like it - stop watching them. Go join the band wagon at Chelsea or united for that matter.

Its obvious things are not right and liverpool the results speak volumes. But this is the the same crop of players who dazzled us last year.

Come on you REDS, and RAFA for as long as you are our manager youve got my support 100%!

Jaimie Kanwar said...

if you look at the recent Martin O'Neill article, there is a link to a post I wrote BEFORE Benitez was appointed, arguing the MON should get the job ahead of Mourinho and Benitez.

I've never been a fan of Benitez, and I've always had reservations.  We won a coupld of trophies along the way but that doesn't change the fact that he is on the right man for the job in the long term.

Matty K said...

Some people on here are missing the point. If its not working we need to look for answers. This does not mean because some HONEST supporters have an opinion they are not diehard supporters. Perhaps sacking midseason is not the ideal situation but riddle me this- can we play any worse- oh thats right-its because the ref  sent Mash off or someone scored a goal who was offside. Of course thats why we lost -YA KIDDIN ME. It couldn't be an unmotivated sluggish performance with certain players involved not worthy of representing Liverpool & a poor game plan that every team in the EPL has little trouble containing. We must applaud this losing mentality because this makes us honourable supporters- what a crock of shit. Theres no honour in living in denial- nothing positive in these forums saying its all good. Get real - I love this club - & as i quoted earlier the spirit in this team is unLiverpool like & some of us find that harder to deal with than losing.

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