8 Dec 2009

The 'BENITEZ EFFECT' strikes again! (and this time it only took 4 months)

With his questionable man-management skills, Rafa Benitez has alienated a whole host of players during his reign, including Peter Crouch, Robbie Keane, Yossi Benayoun, Ryan Babel and Xabi Alonso. The latest person to feel the full force of the 'Benitez Effect' is new signing Alberto Aquilani, who has become 'frustrated' with his manager's cautious approach.

I have argued endlessly on this site that Benitez's ultra-cautious approach to Aquilani is -and has been - been detrimental to the team, and the player.

I and other Liverpool fans have questioned the club's stance over Aquilani for the following reasons:

* The constant moving of goal-posts re his recovery time.

* The contradictions over the level of his fitness.

* The large fee being paid out for the player's services.

* The fact that Aquilani has been out of action for almost 9 months now.

* The fact that almost 4 months into the season he is yet to make a league start.

* The fact that Benitez's decision to sign an injured player left a huge hole in the team, something that has contributed to the club's horrible run of form over the last 3 months.

* The fact that players who are seemingly MORE injured that Aquilani gets time on the pitch.

Well, in the most predictable news of the season so far, the 'Benitez Effect' has struck again.

In a recent interview, Aquilani's father Claudio - who is a Paramedic at Roma - revealed the extent of his son's frustration:

"Alberto is available to play. He has been ready for more than a month. He feels good, the injury has cleared up and he is confident he is at no more risk than any other player of the problem coming back.

"The only way he can get truly fit is to start games. There has been a lot of frustration for him, first at being injured and then at not being chosen to play for so long. He is a player, so of course he does not want to wait to be involved with the team and to start his career in England.

"I don't know of any special motivation for Benitez in not playing him. The only way he will recover is to be given the chance to get back to full fitness by playing some games."

This is a damning indictment of the Aquilani has been handled. Indeed, his father shares the same view as many Liverpool fans, i.e. the only way he can get truly fit is to play games (!), yet Benitez has point-blank refused him the opportunity to do this.

His father states that Aquilani has been ready for 'more than a month'. A month! Just imagine the difference his presence could have made if he'd been played regularly over the last month!

Liverpool might still be in the Champions League; we might not be so far behind Chelsea in the Premiership. This season might not be an utter write-off. Instead - as per usual - Benitez played it safe, and erred on the side of extreme caution.

And once again, Liverpool suffered as a result.

Of course, the Rafa apologists will come up with the same old excuses, and they'll even discredit Claudio's comments by coming out with lame nonsense like 'but we didn't hear it from Aquilani, so it can't be true'.

Do you really think that Aquilani does not talk to his father, a person to whom he is very close?!

Again, I have to ask the question: How many more players is Benitez going to alienate? If not for Benitez, Alonso, Keane, Crouch and (arguably) Sami Hyppia would still be at Liverpool, and players like Ryan Babel would be having more of an impact.

This situation with Aquilani - and its knock on impact on the club's season - is another reason why Benitez needs to do the decent thing when this season is over:


Jaimie Kanwar


  1. There you go again, believing everything you read.

  2. Personally i think benitez was/is trying to protect aquilani because the team hasnt been performing, therefore wanted to protect him because its harder coming to a new league new team when they are struggling and media pressure could turn on aquilani and benitez if he doesnt make an impact from the begining.

    Anyway these comments from his father are natural and unfortunatly has given you jaimie more material to benitez bash!!

    I have heard you say about fans that supposedly they wont accept any critism of benitez but the thing is with you is thats all you do!!

    We get it you dont like benitez!!!  

  3. There *you* go again, coming up with lame excuses in a bid to deflect attention away from Benitez.

    Are you suggesting that his father is lying?  Are implying that the Telegraph and the Independent made up the quotes?!

    It doesn't matter where the info comes from: quotea re quotes.  They are fact.  Uninfluenced by editorial bias.

    Aquilani is frustrated by Benitez after only 4 months at Anfield.  Deal with it.

  4. Don't forget the fewer games he plays the less Liverpool have to pay for him!

  5. he has been training for a month, which we already knew. benitez has come out and explained the reasons why he hasn't got a game so far, which all make sense, if you agree with them or not.

    of course he would be frustrated at not playing. if he wasn't, it wouldn't be normal. any player, especially top ones, want to be out there playing. that doesn't mean benitez was wrong. aquilani will play on weds and start to get more involved. i'm glad he was cautious on a player who hadn't played since march. would have been a daft move to bring him back too early.

  6. No, you don't get it.  It is not personal; it has nothing to do with me liking him.  It is about his managerial approach.  That's it.  You can try and turn it into something else all you like, but it is purely about managment.

    I do not like Benitez's approach to management - that's true.

    Ad for Benitex the man - he is obviously a nice guy.  That has nothing to do with this.

    And you're right - there are some fans who won't accept criticism of Benitez.  And you are another one; instead of looking objectively at the situation, you accuse me of 'not liking' Benitez, and of 'benitez bashing'.

    These things have to be said, even if you don't like it.

    And his father's comments are concerning.  They shed light on Aquilani's state of mind.  Did you not read the comments?  His father states:

    <span><span>He feels good, the injury has cleared up and <span>he is confident he is at no more risk than any other player</span> of the problem coming back.</span></span>

    Use of the HE, clearly suggests that he has spoken to Aquilani about this issue.  And of course he has, he's his dad!

  7. You have some valid points, but it must be said, that Crouch left because he wanted to leave (not because of any alienation issues vis-a-vis Benitez), with the goal of playing more regularly, than he knew he was going to, with Torres understandably ahead of him in the "pecking order" and with Benitez's preference for playing a 4-2-3-1 formation. 

  8. If you bother to read the rest of the article it states that his relationship with benitez is excellent and the frustration in part stems from being injured, plus taking longer than he'd want to start a game! But of course, the guardian, telegraph etc can lift out the word 'frustrated' and use it to beat benitez. As do you..

  9. i couldnt agree wif this article more as a die hard fan in Australia i stay up until all hours 2 wath pool' n its frustrating to watch rafaz tactics the constant shuffle of players and players who r our best such as benayoun gettin subbed off when players like kuyt who has had a poor poor season stay on 4 90min. moreover i was most frustrated on the weekend when at Ewood Park we needed that "killer" pass that Rafa said Alberto has remained on the bench 4 his spot 2 b given 2 NABIL EL ZHAR. i was dumbfounded and knew we would draw the game when that happenend and that was sad 2 say the point where i lost all faith in rafa and hope he does go. COMMON POOL LIFT LIFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. I disagree.  Benitez did the same thing with Crouch that he's done with Babel: constantly subbed him and dropped him after scoring; never gave him a run in the team; dropped him for the CL final etc.  If Crouch had a manager who showed the slightest bit of faith in him, he would've stayed.  His recent comments about the difference between redknapp and benitez prove this.  Crouch doesn't start every game at Spurs wither, but he's happy with that because he has a manager who believes in him.

    And given Torres' regular injuries, Courch would've had more than enough opportunities to play, and how we could've used him.  he would've infinitely improved the squad, as he did when he was here.

  11. You're glaqd he was cautious?  What a surprise.  So you think it's good that one of our most expensive signings is frustrated a mere 4 months into his Anfield career?!  Is this the right way to manage players?

  12. theres a big difference between being frustrated at being injured and not being able to play..... and being "frustrated with his managers approach" as you put it. which is dangerous misquoting to say the least. what player wouldnt be frustrated?? every top manager in this situation would have done the same thing.

    aquilani has been out injured for a long time..... and had recurring injuries because he was rushed back at roma. its hardly surprising that we are being cautious with him now is it?

    if he played him and he got injured rafa would get slated..... he waits, he gets slated.  he just cant win.

    hyppia alienated??? why are you just making shit up? he has said he would be happy to come back as part of rafas coaching staff.

    being critical is one thing..... twisting and manipulating information to suit your agenda is not remotely helpful.

  13. None of that changes the fact he is frustrated at not being played; that he's ben fit for a month; that there's no reason he shouldn't have played over the last month. And of course his father is going to balance what he says by saying he's happy - that way, it doesn't look like an attack on Benitez, which is what it is, only thinly veiled.

    Aquilani's father has used one of Benitez's own tactics against him: the use of piblic pressure to force what you want.

  14. Good point ;)

  15. jamie usually i dont agree with a lot of your articles, but this time you are right, it is infuriating to see him on the bench and come on for 2 minutes, we had a little teaser against aresenal in the carling cup and since then i have been literally salivating in waiting for him to play. although i do disagree with your comment on samii, his time had come to move on, he was undoubtedly a legend and i was sad to see him go as he would have been an excellent back up but he wanted to finish his career playing not watching so i think it was entirely his decision.


  16. God 90% of time Jamie you're an ars*hole, and this time doesn't fall into the 10% category either.....WTF do you know about Acquilani's inury..nothing....look at Rosicky two weeks back and bang out again...is that what you want....Idiot....you think the manager is sitting on his 20mill star and going no don't fancy playing him in this game....it's not like we're coasting games or anything now is it. No...Tight hard fought games...i wouldn't throwing an injury plagued player straight into those conditions, hence why you'll see him against Fiorentina....Numbnuts.

  17. they should just fire benitez. how many wins did he manage in the last 13-15 games? probably the worst record in 50 years. he is a horrible manager with ridiculously poor management skills. someone should just set him on fire.

  18. It is not misquoting at all: What part of the following do you not understand:

    <span><span>Alberto is available to play. <span>He has been ready for more than a month</span>. He feels good, the injury has cleared up and <span>he is confident he is at no more risk than any other player</span> of the problem coming back.

    "The only way he can get truly fit is to start games. <span>There has been a lot of frustration for him</span>, first at being injured and then at not being chosen to play for so long.

    "I don't know of any special motivation for Benitez in not playing him. The only way he will recover is to be given the chance to get back to full fitness by playing some games."</span></span>

    Wake up and read between the lines.  The key line here is 'there has been a lot of frustration for him...at not being chosen to play for so long.

    He is frustrated at not being played, which is a consequence of Benitez's cautious approach.

  19. Once again you don't bother to show a balanced argument. 

    <span>Sources close to the player, who may operate behind Fernando Torres if the Spaniard is also judged ready for a try-out, stress that there is no issue between Aquilani and Benitez and that the midfielder appreciates the Spaniard's quandary. As one source put it: “He knows if he plays too early he may be out for much longer. He's desperate to play, naturally, but he knows he must be careful.”

    <span>Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/premiership/aquilanirsquos-patience-with-benitez-running-thin-14589642.html?#ixzz0Z6ZLkcRk</span></span>

    You use the other quotes to suit your agenda, which is clearly anti-Benitez. 

    Your act is wearing thin Jaimie

  20. Get real Jaimie, do you know for a fact his dad said ANYTHING? No you dont. Do you know how to manage Liverpool? Nope. In fact I suggest the only thing you do know for a fact is your name is Jamie.

  21. aquilani is frustrated at being injured. regardless of his manager

    deal with it

    and stop misquoting

  22. You need stop misreading the quotes and only seeing what you want to see.  it is plainly obvious fro the quotes that he is frustrated with benitez's failure to play him.  His father even says this!  But ignore if it makes your world seem a little bit more secure.

  23. I prefer to use FACTUAL evidence rather that unproveable supposition.  'Sources close to the player'?!  Prove it.  What sources?

    His father's quotes are fact, and he explains that Aquilani is frustrated at not being played.  Why do you ignore this?  If a player is frustrated at not being played, and believes he is fit enough to play, does this not mean he has a problem with how his manager has handled him?

    It doesn't mean there is any lasting rift, but he is still frustrated.

    The lengths people go to perpetuate their denial is amazing.

  24. Jaimie, if you had continued quoting the article you may have found that -

    "Alberto understands perfectly why the manager does not want to risk him, that if her plays too early he may be out for much longer"
    "He's desperate to play, naturally, but he knows he must be careful. His relationship with all of the staff at Liverpool including Benitez, is excellent"

    To me, t<span>his isn’t “</span><span>a damning indictment of the Aquilani has been handled</span><span>”</span><span>and I cannot see why Benitez approach is detrimental to the player. </span>
    <p><span> </span>
    </p><p><span>In terms of your comment of “</span><span>Just imagine the difference his presence could have made if he'd been played regularly over the last month!</span><span>”</span><span>, I find this a ridiculous statement. </span>
    </p><p><span> </span>
    </p><p><span>I can imagine him beating </span><span>Chelsea</span><span> 8-0 single-handed, curing cancer and shagging </span><span>Jordan</span><span>, it does mean it would have happened. I can also imagine him being crocked by Cahill in the derby, not playing for the rest of the season and having to read your comments on how Rafa played him too early – what happened to facts?</span>
    </p><p><span> </span>
    </p><p><span>Your move from analytical reporting to media-hyped comment is the reason why you need to do the decent thing</span>
    </p><p><span> </span>

  25. Just to prove my point: Ryan Babel actually never even spoke to the newspapers according to the man himself from the official LFC source. Yet you chose to do an anti Rafa article highlighting how "unfairly" he has been treated. Looks like youre just as guilty of talking rubbish.

  26. Of course you can't see how Benitez's approach has been detrimental to the team or the player - like so many others, you are in denial, and refuse to accept that Benitez's cautious approach is - and has had - a detrimental impact on the club.

    Worst run in 50 years?  Blame someone else

    Out of the CL?  Blame someone else

    Out of the league race in November? Blame someone else

    Losing Xabi Alonso?  Blame someone else

    And on and on ad infinitum...

  27. agree it was only a couple of weeks ago that he was slating the echo aswel because they sensationalised a babel comment in the dutch press, pot calling the kettle black me thinks.

    Jaimies apparant idea of a good manager is someone who is best friends with all his players, whereas the strongest and best managers have always proved to be more ruthless, look at dare i say fergie, who has sold fan favs like Van Horsehead and Becks and jaap stam because they were out of line for one reason or the other. I think benitez doesnt take any shit and i wouldnt want him any other way!!

    In Rafa we trust, because i truly believe in his approach and his ideas to take the club forward, okay he makes mistakes and i for 1 would have liked to have seen aqui sooner but i still believe in the man.

    I feel like the media and sky especially are trying to oust Benitez not the fans, have you noticed sky keep getting Klinsmann on as a pundit for champs league games. Why i wonder maybe because of the contact between him n the owners a while back!!!

  28. His Dad was a member of the Roma medical team, of course he going to be biased as Rafa and Alberto have been slagging him off since he joined.

  29. Jaimie,  Who do you want as manager then?  What happens if your chosen manager doesn't win anything in 5 years (Let alone the Champions League, FA Cup) or doesn't get closer than 4 points off the league title, BUT his approach is perfect by your standards.

    Would you a) Complain and find as many ways to discredit him or b) support him because he has proven in the past that he is a top manager and if top football clubs are after him he must have some level of ability

    I really don't understand your objective.  If it is to get Benitez out there really isn't any other manager capable of getting Liverpool any closer.  There may be great managers out there who are better than Benitez perhaps, but without the financial spending power of United, Chelsea, City, Tottenham it is almost impossible to compete at an even level.


  30. Do you think that Crouch will still be at Spurs next season if he doesn't get any game time at the World Cup as he hasn't played enough times this season.

    Benitez was ridiculed for signing Crouch, gave him 20+ games at the club to settle and score his first goal and surely it was only effective man management kept the player going through this time.

    Crouch should have showed more loyalty to the club that helped him become an England international and commited to the club.

  31. I think you misunderstood he above post. He is trying to say you are right to express your opinion but the problem is you get so wrapped up in your ideas. One could say you don't like Benitez because the two of you have similar personalities, you don't accept anyone questioning your opinions.

  32. Actually no.  You are guilty of not being accurate.  After Babel's recent quotes appeared, I was the first site to prove that Babel DID NOT give an interview to The Sun, or any newspaper.

    I emailed the editor of the Dutch magazine to whom he DID give the interview, and showed how the Sun had just lifted the quotes:


    I posted the above article on the 25th November - nearly two weeks before Babel himself came out in the press to deny he'd spoke to the sun.

    And my article re Benitez and Babel had absolutely nothing to do with his comments.

    So get your facts straight please 8-)

  33. Yes, I see it now: This is a deliberate attack by Aquilani's father in a bid to get his own back on Benitez.  Thanks for clearing that up :)

  34. As you are quoting his father, the only thing that you can say for certain is that HIS FATHER is frustrated that his son is not playing NOT that the player himself feels this way.

    You need stop misreading the quotes and only seeing what you want to see. 

  35. This is my site - of course I get 'wrapped up in my own ideas'.  This is an opinion site.  What do you expect?

  36. GORDOLFC has got it bang on. Good man.

    Jaimie picks the bits he wants out of article to try and bash Rafa then claims 'its nothing personal'.

    Jaimie is not a journalist, he's a shit stirrer.

  37. Right. Crouch should've shown loyalty to a manager who dropped/subbed him in 83% of games, despite being the club's top scorer.

  38. yeah rafa definitley needs to go and quick, i just sumtimes wonder wat goes thru his head when he takes benayoun off n persists wif LUCAS as a holding midfielder while havin 20mill aquilani on the bench. he was the one that cost us CL qualification n it happened in the fiorentina game away where 4 sum bizarre reason he played AURELIO has a holding midfielder wif lucas when he easily couldve let stevie g play there and let benayoun play attacking midfielder. its these bizarre tactics that hav cost us and will till hes gone

  39. Jaimie. Aquilani isn't match fit. You keep pointing out that he is but you know full well there's a difference between being able to run again (fit) and being able to give it all in a really physcial league (match fit).

    He is fit to play but not at the level of intensity Rafa wants.

    So Rafa decided to not gamble and risk a not match fit Aquilani in important games as he feels they may pass him by.

    Rafa's gamble doesn't pay off (as Liverpool play rubbish anyway and go out of Europe). This adds to Aquilani's frustration. So a decision doesn't pay off. That's all. No big conspiracy. No big Rafa hates Aquilani story.

  40. I completely disagree with you there.  OK i am pro Benitex if you will, but i can still be objective.  and Benitez or any manager cant keep everyone happy.  His relationship with Crouch was fine and he showed him plenty of faith by signing him and keeping him in the team during his 17 game goal drought didn;t he.  he used as best he thought possible and offered Crouch a new contract which he rejected, so he did once again what he thought was best for the club.

    Now i would have loved Crouch to stay and in fact i wanted him to return for £10m this Summer, but you cannot keep blaming Benitez for evey little thing that happens and every player that leaves!  I mean, Hyypia as well?  are you kidding me.  you make very valid points and i enjoy reading your articles, but i fell you undermine a lot of your good points with needless swipes at Rafa.  Clearly me makes mistakes and im certainly far from happy with a number of aspects this season, and you have pointed them out well, but then i read things Crouch, yossi and Hyypia and Alonso to an extent and i get mmore caught up in that than i do in you good points regarding the balcance of Masch/Lucas and the use of Aquilani.


  41. Jaimie, how much of his frustration is down to the fact that he has been available for 1 month of based on his absence from the game for 9. Normaly, if a player is showing such a desire to play, the manager is lauded as a motivational genius not pilloried for his approach 

  42. Just listen to yourself!  Listen to the extent of your denial!  You state:

    there really isn't any other manager capable of getting Liverpool any closer

    It really is mind-boggling that Benitez has pulled the woll over so many peoples' eyes that they actually believe he is the ONLY PERSON ON THE PLANET WHO CAN DO A GOOD JOB AT LIVERPOOL!

    Words cannot express what a ridiculous notion that is.

    My choice is and always has been Martin O'Neill, and I have explained my reasoning here:


  43. Having recently had some personal experience with how media twists things i must wonder about you! Using reports from the media as what you love to call facts is just wrong. How do you know his dad didnt just say that Aquilani would like to play more and cant wait for his chance to help the team! That can easily be twisted into him being frustrated! But I know whatever I say does not really matter as you are already convinced in whatever you say is FACT. You just love to hear yourself speak and almost never accept any of the many valid points that others present to you. So there is really no point! And before you answer with your typicall blabla about people being blind and defending Rafa, just for the record I do think that his ways are questionable at times.

  44. benitez is clearly not a motivational genius, and this situation proves it: Aquilani is frustrated at not being played for the last month.  That is not motivating the player, that is demotivating him.

  45. "reading between the lines" of a translated interview with a players father... is what is the fucking problem. you are stating things as fact when they are your "reading between the lines".

    as someone said..look at rosicky...look at bullard. these players come back from injury and are very high risk of a recurrance. not just of the initial injury, but of any injury due to lack of playtime, etc.

    but hey.... keep "reading between the lines" and finding shit that doesnt exist...as long as it fits your little pathetic agenda

  46. "Crouch doesn't start every game at Spurs wither, but he's happy with that because he has a manager who believes in him.  "

    ....and because his wage packet is significantly fatter

    dont be so fucking naiive

  47. How many times...

    Aquilani cannot get match fit unless he PLAYS GAMES!!

    His father even says this:

    <span><span>"I don't know of any special motivation for Benitez in not playing him. The only way he will recover is to be given the chance to get back to full fitness by playing some games." </span></span>

    This is the same thing that I and thousands of toher fans have been arguing for the last month or more.  There have been plenty of opportunities to give Aquilani game time to IMPROVE HIS MATCH FITNESS, but Benitez has not taken any of them.

    That is clearly what frustrates Aquilani.

  48. Jaimie, I am far from being in denial but cannot agree with your views from the dark side. I would also appreciate it i

  49. Trying to justify criticism by citing a player who did nothing for us while the same Benitez stood by him then mouthing off against Benitez when he was giving other players benefit of the doubt is not exactly a brilliant idea. In short Crouch could not bear to sit on the bench for liverpool but is very happy to do so for Spurs since he hasnt mouthed off the way he did at liverpool. I think he was not loyal to someone who gave him a big break. Babel simply deserves what he gets, he has played plenty of times for liverpool blowing hot and cold but look at Ngog taking his chances in far fewer games and working hard for it too. Babel shows frustration in the press but does not show it on the pitch by living up to his undoubted talent. if you argue about Robbie Keane, just watch the games he played for us and see if you had more confidence when he played. Anyway Keane now interestingly plays second fiddle to Defoe but prior to now it was the other way around and Defoe having to leave to get chances. Every manager has his way of picking a team and I dont hear many Spurs fans complaining at Keane not playing in their drawn or lost matches. He simply got found out. Could not cut it at Inter and liverpool, established top teams and now totenham who are more ambitious than when he was their star.

  50. Hey Jaimie, as you know I am pro Rafa so I am going to stick up for him.

    Aquilani's father is not qualified to make decisions as to a player's fitness and in some respects neither is Aquilani himself. These decisions need to be taken by the professionals who are paid for their opinions on the basis of their experience and qualifications.

    You also need to consider that Rafa has to consider the political implications of playing him too soon. Should he get injured again or be played not fully fit and therefore not have the desired impact what will this do to they players confidence? Never mind the stories which will then be plastered over websites and in the media! We have needed to be patient and hopefully that patience will be rewarded with a fully fit player who has a significant impact from here on in.

    In relation to Rafa's man management you will have to go a long way to find a Manager who hasn't fallen out with players. Look at SAF and the quality players he turfed out when they didn't agree with him. In management you don't always get on with everyone and there are conflicts of personality, this isn't only in football and I speak from experience. However, in football egos, agents and the power a footballer holds are all significant factors when comparing against organisations.

  51. With all due respect, you need to seriously wake up.

    1. I have not used 'reports fro the media'.  I have used factual quotes.  There is a HUGE difference.

    2. I have built my story around the quotes, not around another story.

    3. Aquilani's father's quotes appear in all the respected newspapers in the UK, as well as newspapers in Italy, Spain, German, France and the US.  Are they all making his quotes up?

  52. Jamie I'm as frustrated as the next fan but seriously your agenda is temping me to skip this website.

    Worst run in 50 years - still just off 4th spot having beaten Man U and Everton with some easy games coming up.

    Out of CL - so were Man U not so long ago, LFC have been spoilt with success in the comp at one point being ranked first over a 5 yr period. Crikey, kicked out once and your all over the man like a rash!

    To be fair apart from one season from Evans and last season we havn't been in a race in almost 2 decades! Now you want to sack the only guy who has the credentials and proven ability (4 points last season). LFC will plummet to mid table obscurity if RB leaves.

    Haha... how many times do you mention Alonso? The guy made his dream move to Madrid (his home country) and RB made a profit. Get over it mate. Ronaldo, Tevez etc also left yet you don't see AF getting slated despite the fact that everyone thinks CFC will win the PL. Cudo's to RB for managing to keep Reina, Masch (so far), Torres and Gerrard. In fact it's a miracle he's kept them.

    Fact is we should be worshipping a big bowl of paella everytime we manage to stay in the top 4 with our finances.

  53. And you know this how?  Please provide a link to evidence that proves that Crouch is on more money at Spurs.

  54. And those games were important ones that Rafa felt he couldn't take a passenger on.

    What is the problem?

    You wanted Rafa to let a not match fit player gain his fitness in 'crucial' games? Fine, just say that. You do not have to dress it up as a big conspiracy (that Rafa is deliberately frustrating Aquilani) ending another claim that Rafa needs to do the decent thing and resign.

  55. jaimie ur becoming irritating as hell man..ur analysis is becoming more pathetic by the column!!! benetiz knows more than his father no matter how close they are!! yea benetiz please resign!! lets lose torres reina masch and any other loyal player. lets rebuild with money we dont have. lets get a british manager who will revert us back to long ball basics. lets not consider all the injuries and bad luck that weve gone through..Lets not consider that alonso WANTED to leave..lets not consider that gerrard and torres havent played together for more than half of the season and were not even half way through the season yet. lets not consider that weve had NINE different defenders play together this season. lets not consider that Hes signed one of the best right backs in the world. lets not consider His impact on players such as benayoun kuyt Ngog and lucas..

    get real man two champions league finals in 4 years is more than Wenger had in all of his career. weve finish with the highest points total last year than we have in the past 19!! stop writing this BS and be more supportive for once..and STOP TELLING BENETIZ HOW TO PLAY HIS TACTICS!!

  56. Darrell - if you want to skip this website then go ahead.  If everybody who visits this wesite suddenly decided to stop visiting it wouldn't make any difference to me.  I don't do this for approval or validation; I write for myself, and I remain true to what I really think, as opposed to just jumping on whatever bandwagon happens to be passing at the time.

    if people don't like that then they don't have to visit.  And that's fine.

  57. yeah though SAF had falling out did he not win title afta title so u cant use that arguement. n look on the weekend again Man U away at upton park wif no backline, carrick and fletcher fillin in won convincingly where we couldnt with a full team except 4 torres struggled int he 1st half 2 take a chance its sad honestli.

  58. Jaimie, I am far from being in denial but I do take a more balanced view than yourself.

    Wosrt run in 50 years - blaming statistical anomolies

    Out of the CL - blaming both the manager and players for that one

    Out of the League race in November - blaming Rob Price & Eduardo Parra Garcia

    Losing Xabi Alonso - that one would be Alonso

    Jaimie answering all of the points in a mail

  59. 'course he's frustrated at not playing -- show me any footballer who wouldn't feel that way and I'll show you a freeloader. What is amazing is how quickly you jump on any new snippet or quote to have a dig at Rafa - even if the quote is not even from the player himself! I don't see you jumping so quickly onto quotes by Reina, Torres, Gerard, Carragher, Johnson, and others when they positive things about the manager. Your blinkered and biased and anyone who disagrees with you gets slagged-off. The article says he has an excellent relationship with Rafa. He is frustrated like any player would be. Take the broken record off the turntable for once.

  60. And those games were important ones that Rafa felt he couldn't take a passenger on. 
    What is the problem? 
    You wanted Rafa to let a not match fit player gain his fitness in 'crucial' games? Fine, just say that.I bet if Aquilani struggled in those games you'd have said Rafa was a mug for starting someone who isn't match fit.

    You do not have to dress it up as a big conspiracy (that Rafa is deliberately frustrating Aquilani) ending with another claim that Rafa 'needs to do the decent thing and resign'.

  61. I'm a Rafa lover and he is the right man for the job for me! And as for Aquilani's dad he's just like the rest of us! he has an opinion, a very bias one at that!!!!

    However, there is one thing that has bugged me regarding Saturdays Aquilani no show! If Aquilani is not fit enough to play how the hell did El Zar get some time on the pitch? He's been out injured since July and not as talented. please explain???

  62. The lengths people go to in order to express their distaste at the manager is also unbelievable. You don't show any common sense in your articles Jaimie. 

    Of course the player is frustrated he is not playing, but that does not mean he has joined a list of players who feel, 'alienated,' as you put it. It is well too early to say that.

    Of your list of players, Benitez has gotten the best out of Benayoun, Crouch left because he couldnt get into the team ahead of Torres, no shame in that, Babel and Keane have hardly played well enough to merit places at Liverpool, when they have been given the chance, you only have to have been to games to have seen that. It is very early to judge his management of Aquiliani.

    We have seen you pull apart every quote from players, the manager and pundits, drawing assumptions from them in order to illustrate your views. We get it, you don't like the manager. But Jaimie that is not called 'realism' it is called opinion. You ridicule anyone who disagrees with you and do not publish enough balanced arguments.

  63. you can be frustrated when not playing, while injured or recouperating which has nothing to do with how the manager treats you. Im sure Aquilani isnt regretting signing for lfc, im sure hes just desperate to make an impression and make his debut!!!

  64. This situation does not prove that he is not a motivational genius, it only proves that Aquilani's father doesn't think that he isn't.
    Aquilani is frustrated at not being played for 9 months and I would rather have a player chomping at the bit than taking his wages and not caring

  65. oh god u realli r deluded y do u think alonso wanted 2 leave cos rafa wanted 2 bring in gareth barry to replace one of the best passers of the ball in the game and thats y hes at real madrid 4 30mill pounds n gareth barry is at man city. we're seein the implications of rafa who pushed alonso out of liverpool. his impact on lucas wat impact lucas is a poor poor player and shouldnt b at liverpool hes below par hes the player that i look at n then compare 2 a team like chelsea or man united whoz fringe players r far btr than lucas. WE WANT A PREMIER LEAGUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! n RAFA ISNT THE MAN DO TO IT!

  66. Hi Taf - I take your point about the implications of Aquilani playing too soon, but Benitez took the risk in the first place, so if it all goes wrong then he only has himself to blame.

    Take tonight's Fiorentina game: Aquilani is not fully fit now, is he? Benitez is (allegedly) planning to start him though.  What happens if he gets injured tonight?  How will that be any different to if he got injured playing two weeks ago?  Whether it's now, next week, or a month ago, the impact is/will be the same.

    Theere is a huge difference between SAF and Benitez. SAF has nore than one facet to his man-management skills.  He knows how to motivate, and - when necessary - put an arm around a player.  Benitez has a one dimensional approach.  Actually, tell a lie, he has two dimenaions: Favourites and non-favourites.  Those he favours get all the positive press and pitch time; those he doesn't get dumped on the scrap heap.

    And SAF cannot be compared with Rafa for one simple reason: His approach WORKS.  He kicked out Stam and Beckham - did it affect the team?  No.  They still went on to win titles/CL. 

    If Rafa was successful despite his man-management problems, then it wouldn't by as much of an issue because he'd be proved right.

    So far, he has only been proved wrong, and 3 trophlyess seasons (plus this season's debacle) is proof enough that the way Benitez does things leaves a lot to be desired.

  67. Yes but my point is he MAY be better than Benitez, but do you seriously believe his 'Liverpool' using his style of football will be capable of winning the league or European cup?  Remember he has more money to spend in the transfer market than Rafa and half his buys are shockingly poor, his best buys average.
    How long without him winning the league before he is no longer a great manager and you want the next one in?
    If it was O'Neil I would support him even if he didn't win the league until the time came when he was sacked for not achieving.
    Rafa has achieved more than Wenger in the last 5 years.  Wenger is an excellent manager I would happilly see at Liverpool, but he just cannot compete with the money clubs.  Does that make him a poor manager?

  68. Jamie once again you believe using just facts veils over your clear hatred towards Benitez. You are very bias, you can make statistics say anything you like. If you had any footballing knowledge and werent reliant on 'facts' you would see the reason for all of these players leaving or playing badly is not Benitez's fault. Crouch was perfectly happy at the club until we signed Fernando Torres, he spent a season with us and never got a chance because Gerrard and Torres were amazing, Benitez made it clear this was his preffered striking partenership. Crouch knew he was not even on the same planet as these two ability wise and therefore was resigned to the fact that to get first team football he would have to leave. The summer Keane was purchased Benitez expected to have Barry as well meaning he would hve reverted to a 4-4-2, Kuyt on the right, Gerrard and Masch in the centre and Barry on the left, giving more balance and a defensive stabilty to the midfield which would allow Gerrard to push forward more often becasue Barry could drop in alonside Masch when needed. If you wonder how I know Benitez was planning this then conduct some simple research and you will see in the reasons Gareth Barry give for choosing City over Liverpool that he wanted to be deployed in the centre as that was his best position and he played for england there. This clearly illustrates Benitez told him he wanted to play him left mid. When this did not happen suddenly Keane didnt fit into the team any more, Rafa couldnt drop Gerrard back to centre mid to accomodate him in a 4-4-2 because the midfiled would lose Balance with only attacking players like Benayoun and Babel to play on the left. So Benitez rectified this by reverting back to the successful 4-2-3-1 and anybody can see Keane does not fit into this system because once again Gerrard and Torres are much better players, Benitez had no to chouce but to get rid of Keane as soon as possible. As for Benayoun look at him now, he is playing some of the best football of his career and loving life at the club, is that bad management? Hyypia went becuase he felt he had more first team football in him before he retired and knew he wouldnt get it at Liverpool, he had no problem with Benitez. Finally Babel, the only reason he is not succeeding is not because of Benitez, that is a lazy excuse, he has not got the footballing brain to cope with the speed of the premier league, he has no idea how to effectively use his abilities. As well as this tactically he is poor and does not help the team effectively he is immature, in footballing terms. If you want proof of this then here you go: so far in his Liverpool career Ryan Babel has undisputidly had his best impact when coming from the bench near the end of games, the reasons for this are the other team are fatigued and Babel has more time to think, he has more enegy at that stage, the tactics have usually been changed to simply either get a goal or get as many goals as possible, nothing complicated there. If you looked at football like this and not in such an objective way then you would understand more Jamie.

    As for Benitez having bad management skills then you named 5 or 6 examples what about the countless examples showing his exemplarary management skills eh Jamie? Torres consistently praises Benitez for improving his game, Mascherano plucked from obscurity at West Ham and nurtured into the best defensive midfielders in the world, players such as Dirk Kuyt coming out and saying they owe everything to Benitez, Gerrard has even come out in recent time and aknowleged the positive impact Benitez has had on his game and mentality. Carragher being transformed from good to great defender. Alonso having the best season of his career even though he clearly wasn't happy. [...]

  69. I have to say that the opinons are varied on this site and many of them are contradictory. I personally can hold my hand up and say that I've been wrong a many times and that my opinion may have been unrealistic and too optimistic. (i.e. We won't miss Alonso, We'll top our group!!)

    Tell me Jamie can you show me anywhere on your threads where the banter/exchanges has actually changed your mind.

    Saying your wrong is a real quality that I fear you do not possess.

    I, for one would think more of you if you weren't so stubborn.

    Good luck.

  70. yeah well its cos rafa got it wrong how else is aquilani gona learn to cope in the premier league wifout bein thrown in2 it. he has the "killer" pass after all n i think that wouldnt been greatly need against blackburn in the last 20 min when we were pushin 4 the win

  71. There is no point arguing with you Jaimie as I am not going to change your mind. I do share some of your frustrations regarding Aquilani but I think that you have to look over at our recent fixtures to have an understanding as to why Rafa may not have put Aquilani in. Very few players play without some reserve team football before making a start and our game against wigan was called off when it would have provided some good game time for him. I think he should have played against Debrecen but it was boggy and wet and difficult conditions to play in. The games were fast and hectic, Brum (when he did play), Everton, Man City- they were all hard games and fast paced games and remember Aquilani is not a player who has ever played in the English league before, he is not just a player returning from injury. I was at the Brum game and even in the 15 minutes he played he did look like he will have to get used to the pace. We are not out of the Champions League because Aquilani didnt play, we are out because we conceded 2 90th minute goals to Lyon- 1 of which was played when he certainly wasnt fit. In the league we havent actually lost since losing to Fulham, a game played 3 days after Aquilani made his first appearance and was not going to play in anyway- yes we drew with Blackburn at the weekend when he should have played but I do see the case in point for Benitez not playing him albeit I share the frustrations of others including yourself.

    I dont agree with your comments about alienating players though. Crouch wanted to go because he wasnt starting and wanted to retain his England place in a season when Torres showed how much more effective he was when he played up front on his own, you have a case for Keane (but that has been debated before and no conclusion was reached) and Alonso (who had wanted to go to Madrid before) but you cant put Hyypia into that bracket at all. Hyypia wanted a 2 year contract to continue to play, we offered him a 1 year contract and a coaching role which he didnt want because of his playing time, it had nothing to do with Benitez. When Agger, Carra and Skrtel were fit, Hyypia didnt get a look in and it was only when Agger and Skrtel got injured in pre-season that we ended up signing Kyrgiakos who hasnt played that much anyway. Hyypia wanted more time playing and got it in a slower and less frenetic league- there was no alienation there.

    I am not trying to pick an argument, I would hope that you view these as reasonable views and opinions- I share some of your frustrations about Aquilani but would never put the arguments down so strongly but I dont agree on Benitez alienating so many players.

  72. 'Benitez is clearly not a motivational genius'

    Jaimie is it true that before benitez arrived we hadnt won a game when going a goal down in over 3 years, is it not true that benitez has managed to motivate his team to do this on a number of occasisions specifically last season and also probably the greatest ever champs league final, he must have some motivational skill?

  73. JAIMIE WANTS MARTIN O NEILL IN THE HOTSEAT........Yes, Martin o Neill, the man with just a<span> 40% win percentage at Villa</span>

  74. I said tempting. It's like a stuck record but it's entertaining none the less. Also lighten up a bit... I've learned through therapy (mostly complete denial when we lose) that it's just a game. A game with a club that's totally dominated my life but at the end of the day there's a group of players who are competing with the best in the world (excluding 20 in Europe) on limited ability/wages (compared to CFC, MUFC), with a passionate manager who really is giving his soul to try and rectify things, working under two complete moronic vitually uninterested owners in an enviroment when 20 min into a home game the whole stadium starts to strain and stress. If we all stopped moaning and groaning and lightened up so would the team and no doubt the results. Raffa bleeds for people like you mate.. give him a chance. Remember SAF in his first 6 years?

    You clearly love this club as much as anyone else but please try and be supportive instead of calling for the head of a clearly talented manager who is commited. Yes argue against blind faith but also support.

  75. Yes, he has the ability to motivate sometimes, but he is not a moitivational genious.  That's what I disagree with. if he was, we wouldn't be struggline so much at the moment.

  76. I can't believe the amount of excuses some fans use to deflect from the real problem. Is despicable and ridicules.

  77. so wat ur sayin is that keane wouldve flourished more if barry were there oppose 2 alonso i find that hard 2 believe. moreover y buy a player 4 20mill pounds who is a noticeable scorer n then afta he scored goals 2 against hull or stoke at home bench him the next game n then when he scores against arsenal bench him th enext game n then i think he scored goals again n then sell him its a bit odd. i wonder how much rafa wished he had keane right now instead of ngog. i agree with ur babel remark its not entirely rafas fault he is an inconsistent player. with the mone rafa has spent 20mill a year since torres has come preety much its sad that still when a player goes out a mediocore player fills his position. rafas tactics on benayoun has been poor how can he b subbed off but kuyt who has scored one or 2 goals this year stay on 4 90min. y

    yeah ok those players may praise him but has he won a premier league 4 us more to the point apart from last yr hav we even looked like mounting a challenge and the answer is no to that.

  78. Sowellred - this site has been going for three years.  In that time, hundreds of articles have been posted, and with them over 20,000 coments.  I have admitted I was wrong about things many times; I have deferred to the views of others many times.  Just because you don't see it recently or that often doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

    In any event, I think you're looking at it the wrong way.  This is not about changing peoples' views or getting them to admit they're wrong.  That's not my goal, and that shouldn't be the goal of people who post here.  Everyone has their opinion on things, and in many cases that opinion is immovable.

    Why should I be any different.  95% of people who post here have their view and defend it to the hilt.  I do the same. What is the problem with that?  That\'s the nature of opinion, and this site: state your case and defend it.

    Don't just give up after 5 minutes and show your fickleness by changing your mind like the wind.  if you trult believe something, then stand by it.

  79. Jaimie, 90% of the posters here are saying that the quotes are being taken out of context, and you disagree with them, yet prove your point by completely demonstrating exactly how they have been taken out of context!

    You're missing out the line about being injured. That's what we call context pal!

    Example. " People that constantly cut quotes out of interviews to serve their own purpose really annoy me..

    "People.. really annoy me"

  80. Well Said Billium, agree with everything you say, Gerrard has also gone as far as saying hes up their with the very best including the likes of capello. Capello is rather similar to benitez in style

  81. Tell me Jamie can you show me anywhere on your threads where the banter/exchanges has actually changed your mind. 

    This is my mini-beef with Jaimie. None, not one of his 'theories' can be falsified. Therefore they are not theories at all. Just rants with stats/quotes tacked on. I would prefer if he would just have the attitude like you describe: to offer theories but accept when they need refining.

  82. first of all u forgot to argue against all my other points which are far more important like injuries.. and second of all benetiz talked about the barry and keane situation before the Man City game..he wanted barry to play on the left!! but ur not much of a fan to bother to read. and yes alonso wanted to leave. he said it himself that he wanted to leave..it doesnt matter wat happened the previous year benetiz tried to keep him but he couldnt!! rafa just signed a new contract and u better believe hell be here for atleast another two years!! so fuck DEAL WITH IT..all of you!!

  83. jamie in trying to be objective and adding a required balance to many blind and one-sided arguments you seem to have become so obssessed with certain beleifs that you are actually doing the exact opposite of what you claim to have set out to do....

    No longer do your arguments seem balanced now they seem as inbalanced as the views that Benitez is unfallable you are exactley the same as the people you rant about you are just on the opposite end of the scale...

    Your headlines now read as some sort of propoganda driven sensationalist drivel - "Benitez effect strikes again!"  You seem so happy about it... take a step back go on holiday for a while let some of the other writers who fill this blog cover in your absence because it seems as if you are cracking up.

    Aquilani's dad has said something therefore it must be true.... bit of a simple minded view perhaps he's a proud dad who just wants to see his son play and therefore is obviously frustrated at this lack of match time... i have no doubt that it will come the boy has a history of injury its hardly a crime to be 'cautious' with him to begin with in order to get the best out of him in the long run...  He should get a good run out on Wednesday evenging and i have no doubt that he will contintue to feature more and more - as long as his form merits it...

    You're eagerness to snipe everything Benitez does is starting to make you look a little bit like 'critical realism' isnt really your objective.

  84. Wenger has won three league titles.  That's why he a great manager.  He has proved he can do it in the premiership.  Plus, Arsenal play scintillating football, which compensates for the lack of trophies.  Liverpool win nothing and play boring, safety-first football.

  85. Over his whole career, O'Neill has a 55% win percentage; Benitez has 51%.  You don't just look at one club when assessing a manager's effectiveness.

  86. Jaimie, there are questions for you:
    1) Who is your most favorite Liverpool manager that you have seen so far?
    2) Player you like most played for Liverpool since you supported LFC
    3) The best goal you have ever seen scored by LFC player of course for LFC
    4) The reasons you support LFC (It's like the first love question :P)
    5) Compare Rafa to all LFC managers since Premier League era, who has done better? And what is the reason?
    6) What was your feeling when Rafa brought the Big Ears to Anfield in his debut season with LFC?
    7) When LFC played Milan in Athen,  did you want LFC to win the match? What was your feeling that time?
    8) If LFC did win the match, did you still have the same feeling toward Rafa as you have now?

    Thank you if you want to answer =)

  87. I do support - I support many aspects of the club; I just do not support Benitez any longer. I'm not going to be two-faced about it.  I do not support his approach, and I would like a new manager in the summer.

    Was it wrong of fans to want the removal of Graeme Souness?  Evans?  Houllier?  Did that make they non-supportive fans? NO.  I support the club, not Benitez FC.  And in my view, Benitez is bad for the club, thus I want him to leave at the end of the season.

  88. Why should I accept my theories need refining/  Do you accept the same?!  Do all the people who argue against me accept that their counter arguments need to be refined?  No.  This is the nature of opinion.  I am convinced my arguments hold weight.  Those with the opposite view believe their opinion holds equal or greater weight.  Cest la vie.

  89. also about the scintilating football arsenal play, didnt we completly batter them last year, 70% possession at emirates yet drawing 1-1 and then outplaying them at anfield only for asharvin having the best game of his life 4 shots 4 goals, would you rather us go all out and draw games 4-4 like last year, we were scoring for fun, scroing 4 at OT 4 against madrid, a drop of confidence and then you say we play boring anti football

  90. I just want to address this:

    jamie in trying to be objective and adding a required balance to many blind and one-sided arguments you seem to have become so obssessed with certain beleifs that you are actually doing the exact opposite of what you claim to have set out to do....  
    No longer do your arguments seem balanced now they seem as inbalanced as the views that Benitez is unfallable you are exactley the same as the people you rant about you are just on the opposite end of the scale... 

    1. Where have I ever claimed to be objective?  Nowhere. I have no idea where people get this stuff from.

    2. Where have I ever claimed to be balanced?!  I have explicitly stated on many occasions that I am biased.  Every fan is biased.  There is no such thing as objective analysis in football.

    This ia an opinion site.  If you want balance, go to the BBC.  I have my own personal views and I post them.  It's that simple.

  91. hes started as many games as michael owen in the last 4 years, explains the caution, simple as

  92. Credit where Credit's due, that was a fantastic post!

  93. Who cares if we 'battered them'.  Wenger has won three titles.  benitez has not.  Arsenal play much better football than we do.  End of story.

  94. And incidentally, Arsenal beat us 6-3 at Anfield a few seasons ago...

  95. no but you also look at where the managers are- do Celtic and Valencia really compare?

  96. Fair enough. Your entitled to your opinion. You are in a position to influence others though so bare that in mind. I suppose you are correct in what you say about the other managers but one has to wonder how much influence is really down to the manager when competing with Man U and CFC? Just a comment. RB got us to within 4 points and gave us Istanbul and there's something about him that's telling me to hang in there. I wouldn't feel the same joy if a new manager came in and suddenly won it compared to winning it with Stevie and Raffa.

    Successfull sides in most sports come from settled owner/manager structures and settled squads. We have neither.

    Still keep up the writing, open discussion is no doubt healthy.

  97. There's a good article on the guardian site that gives a more balanced view of the situation quoting a 'source close to aquilani'as saying that he is frustrated but happy at liverpool and has a good relationship with Rafa.

    I think it's too easy to paint situations in black and white... Aquilani was injured and had our overall form and games been up to it - he would probably have been eased in earlier.. but that didn't happen.. perhaps through caution there's been a frustarting delay.. but that's part of football. A lack of caution results in injuries.

  98. IF Rafa has such bad man management skills, why have all of our biggest players signed long term deals in the last 12 months, Reina saying how happy he is etc?!?!

    RE Keane, an intereview appeared recently where rafa said he only wanted Keane if he could sign barry first. Parry went and got keane anyway and was told there were not enough funds for Barry. To raise funds he tried to offload Xabi, on the back of - lets not forget - the best part of two seasons of distinctly average performances. Xabi was our most saleable asset in the team for parts rafa wished to improve.

    Crouch, didnt rafa turn him into an england regular? Scoring a shed load of goals, stood by him during that infamous drought?! Crouch chose to leave liverpool for first team football, something he wasnt going to get due to the form of Torres and Gerrard.

    Cant be arsed getting into the babel discussion again, but i think most reds would agree whether he starts a game or is used as a sub, he is usually 9 time out of 10 missing in games.

    Benayoun had to bide his time, again due to the form of others, naemly, reira, kuyt and gerrard but when his chance came he took it. THe same cant be said for young ryan.

  99. Some of the points on these replies, must be written by children... he should be got rid of or set on fire. What a stupid thing to say, and how you can judge him on his last 13-15 games is beyond me when he has a better record than SAF in his first five seasons.

    Jamie, I am taking it that you are a liverpool fan, if this is the case why dont you try showing a little bit of loyalty to the club and respect to the team the manager and the rest of us fans by getting behind the team, the players and the manager instead of stoking up arguments. Im sure that Aquilani is frustrated that he has not featured having been ready for over a month, according to his father. (no reason for this not to be true), and every professional player should be frustrated if they are fit and not playing and in a perfect season that would be a welcome headache for the boss, however this has been far less than perfect and Rafa's decision to protect a player that has come to the club injured at a cost of 20 million should be respected. He is looking at the bigger picture, with the team decimated this season with injuries to all of our important players at some point, putting Aquilain on the pitch without the likes of gerrard or torres to take the limelight and afford the protection of a player who has been through the ordeal that he has would of been ridiculous considering the amount that he cost.. Rafa can not win, if he plays him in an injury hit team after coming back from a horrific injury spell himself could of gone one or two ways. Yes, he could have been the player to make a difference or he could have joined Gerrard, Torres and the other half of the squad on the treatment table. Only leaving question marks then over why Rafa signed an injured player for such a vast sum only to play a couple of games... Try to stop being a hater of Rafa, and get behind him. It wasnt so long ago that he could do no wrong. Considering the bad luck with injuries we are still in a position where we are close enough if good enough to finish in the top 4, and I have no doubts that we will. Of course like everyone else I thought this was going to be our season and the wait was over, but you know what we have been here before and we will be here again. With the big players coming back and getting fitter we will start picking the points up and im sure AA will find his place in the team and we will go on a run, and we will see the best of him and a lot of him. I for sure would prefer to see him come in and see the rest of the season out as opposed to come in and be out for the rest of the season.... Anyway this will most likely be the first and last time I get involved in one of your articles

    As for your point about crouchy, you need to check your stats... he has had more play time than any spurs striker this season... redknapp decides between keane and defoe, who will partner him. His reasons for leaving was playing time and a partnership with Torres was never an option, Keane imo had opportunities both with Torres and wi'sthout, and he never brought the same qualities that he showed at spurs. He wasnt alienated he was an expensive mistake, one which is obviously still in the back of Rafa's head and not one he plans on allowing Aquilani to be.

    My next comment will be posted on your next positive post which leads me to belive that this will be my first and last.

    Have a feeling your just using your position here to get yourself a dream , job with a Manure website... SAF would love you..... Send him your CV do us all a favour..

    Good luck and have a great holiday season.

  100. <span>Excuse me, let it be clear of course I can not say but I doubt appear at the expense of the transfer.</span>
    <span><span>Maybe Rafa did not want this Aquilani sign and who then signed it as Robbie Keane.
    </span><span>Sad that had accumulated a lot of questions and answers are not visible.</span></span>

  101. 1. Kenny Dalglish

    2. John Barnes

    3. Impossible to say as there have been so many: Barnes v QPR (1990);  Fowler v Aston Villa (1996); Rush v Everton (1989); the list goes on.

    4. Being Scottish, I feel an affinity with LFC due to the huge influence Scottish managers and players have had on the club's success.  I admire and respect the Shankly philosophy, and the way this sets Liverpool apart from every other club. 

    5. Who has done better than Benitez?  Ferguson, Wenger, Mourinho, Kendall, Dalglish...why?  They've all won the premiership.

    6. Nonsense question really.  Of course, I was elated.  That doesn't mean that I just stop looking at things critically just because we won the CL. let's all just stop having our own minds and worship Rafa for evermore because he won the CL. 

    7. Again, another nonsense question.  of course I wanted LFC to win.  My feeling at the time though was that we would lose as a result of Benitez's stubbornness.  And we did: Zenden starting ahead of Crouch - our top scorer that season in the league and CL - utterly ridiculous.

    8. if things had deteriorated in the same way, then yes, I would still have the same feelings.  Time just doesn't stand still.  Once of the key things that defined the successful LFC period of the 70s and 80s was lack of sentimentality.  If something wasn't working, it was changed, irrespective of how successful something was before.  Bob Paisely was a big proponent of this approach.  You cannot rest on your laurels and you cannot constantly live in the past.  Continuous improvement is what made Liverpool great, not living off past glories.

  102. Do you not get bored repeating the same old anti Benitez bile over and over again. You continue to mention Crouch, Benayoun and Alonso in these articles? Why? What was Crouch before he came to Liverpool? Was he an England international? No. Did he become an England international after he joined Liverpool? Yes. And why would that be JK? Maybe because he became a better player whilst at Liverpool under the management of Benitez. What year did he score the most goals in one season; 2006-07 whilst he was at Liverpool. And what was the "Benitez effect". The only reason Crouch stopped playing regularly for Liverpol was because of one Fernando Torres. Now even you would not be so ridiculous to state that Crouch should have played instead of Torres. Whilst I have always liked Crouch and he is a very good player; its a no brainer - Torres starts ahead of Crouch. In that season he started 18 games and came on as a sub in 18, so its not as if he was completely snubbed by Rafa once Torres joined. He left because he wanted regular football not because he was mismanaged.

    How was Alonso mismanaged: bought from Spain, pretty much unheard of in England, five years later leaves Liverpool for £30 million(£20 million profit) and regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world. 2007/08 season he had been injured and only managed to play in 23 games. As any manager would, he looked at other options for a very important position, and decided to go for Barry. What happened after that was well documented. But at the end of the day Alonso decided to leave. Lets not forget that Alonso had his best ever season in a Liverpool shirt after the Barry saga. Is that down to the Benitez effect?

    How has Yossi been mismanaged? Bought initially as a squad player to compete with the likes of Babel and Kuyt. Played 25 games (further 19 as sub) in his first season. Played 24 games (further 15 as sub) in second season. In his second season he shows his worth to the team and has pretty much been a regular since. Started 10 games this season (plus 5 appearances as sub) Only Reina, Kuyt, Carragher, Insua, Johnson, Mascherano and Gerrard have started more PL games, and they are pretty much the first names on the team sheet at the moment. So Benayoun has becomes a regular first team player? Yes I can see how the Benitez effect has ruined his career!

    The only players you MAY have a point on is Babel and Keane, but it is also as easy to raise the argument that both had not helped themselves or made the most of their time on the pitch. 

    Your argument is that Claudio is in a good position to know his son's fitness because he is close to Aquilani? That argument is slightly flawed. Who else is close to Aquilani? The manager perhaps? Maybe, just maybe Rafa actually knows better than Alberto on this occasion. After all he is at Melwood every day overseeing players' regimes, fitness etc. whereas Papa Aquilani is in Rome. But you're so blinkered in your anti Rafa view that I would expect nothing less than you having a dig at Rafa. 

    And there's no doubt that Aquilani has been fit for a month. Rafa has admitted that, but as many people have argued in recent weeks there is a difference between fit and match fit but again this is something you don't seem to understand. You'll counter this argument by saying that other player have come back from injuries quicker. There are two reasons why this argument doesn't work. Maybe the injury sustained by the other player wasn't as bad as Aquilani's? Maybe that other player is able to recover quicker than Aquilani? When it comes to Aquilani's physiology nobody knows better than the medical staff at Liverpool. Better than his father and certainly better than you.

    What is becoming very annoying in your [...]

  103. Sam - that is such a predictable response.  Benitez managed in the spanish 2nd division too.  What about Tenerife, Osasuna and Real Valladolid? It all balances out. 

    O'Neill won promotion twice for Wycomboe; once for Leicester.  He won the league twice with Leicester, and took then to their highest premier league positions.  He wrestled away Rangers' domination of the SPL and took Celtic into the CL.  He has taken Villa as high as it is possible to take them with the budget and players available to him, i.e. the players who are willing to go to Villa.

    At this moment in time, Villa are ahead of Liverpool.

    What did Benitez do at Valladolid, Osasuna and Tenerife?

  104. Incorrect Jaimie, Rafa has a 55% WIN  percentage in his Managerial career. infact he has never dropped below 50% at any club he has managed & has a 57% win percentage at Liverpool.
    MON had a 38% win percentage at Leicester, 75% at Celtic (in a horrendous league i might ad) & 40% since he went to villa over 3yrs ago....THIS IS THE MAN YOU WANT TO EVENTUALLY REPLACE RAFA..........WHY?!!

  105. "You're glaqd he was cautious?  What a surprise.  So you think it's good that one of our most expensive signings is frustrated a mere 4 months into his Anfield career?!  Is this the right way to manage players?"

    yes. of course he's frustrated. he's not playing football. ANY player would be frustrated at this. this doesn't mean anything. most players would play when not 100%, if a manager asked them if they are fit, they're gonna say yes. it's up to the manager to judge the right time to bring him back, and although i think he could have done with some more time on the pitch, i completely understand why benitez has played it the way he has.
    he has explained why, and as i've said, these reasons make sense, regardless of if you agree with them or not. you might have different ideas on it, but benitez' reasons are completely valid.

    and remember, these quotes are NOT COMING FROM THE PLAYER. they are coming from someone else, in a different lanquage. there is every possibility he is being misquoted or mistranslated.don't take everything you read as face value.

  106. Darrell - Houllier got us to 2nd place in 2001-02, within 7 points.  He also won the treble.  Should we have hung in there with him too?

    I admire your faith in Benitez and I truly hope it's rewarded.

  107. That's the typical 'out of towner' approach that is! You'd be better off following Newcastle lad!

  108. Com'on Jamie ....

    This is very weak.

    I have read a few articles were Aqua gives alot of credit to RAFA and LFC for the extra medical attention and longer recovery time he is getting.

    He is a footballer and obviously he wants to play but if he is not Match fit Rafa is not going to take a chance.

    We all know RAFA is a very cautious manager but this whole rant of yours is a bit over the top.

    I to share your frustration that Aqua has not featured more than he has, but Rafa has to make these decision's and you know that if he came back and got hurt everybody would be pointing the figure @ him ....

    Rafa is damned either way here ....

    We are maybe a week away from having a fully fit squad for the first time this season ....why not write something about that ? I for one am very exited about the prospect of seeing our best 11 demolish Arsenal on Sunday ....

    And with a new ST coming in Jan + the sale of some dead weight ....We can turn this around , and RAFA can do it !!!

  109. People on this site can argue all they want.

    FACT - Liverpool are in a hole and its all because Rafa's chickens have come home to roost. I could mention a lot but I'll stick to crap pre-season, selling Alonso and selling Keane with no replacement. Benitez gets the blame for all three. 

    And now Aquilani. He has been wasted. How many first team minutes has he played since the Coca Cola Arsenal game?? Rafa is under pressure but as much as I admire him, he's got it wrong ... AGAIN.

  110. I can't remember the exact position we were in when things went pair shaped with GH but the bloke started having heart attacks and he had no where near (from memory) the support Raffa has now.

  111. You can almost sense the way the media are going to go with Aquilani, he has a stormer tomorrow and the press will be like...'benitez mastering his own downfall by not playing him sooner...why didnt he start...his dad was right blah blah'


    God forbid, aqua gets injured ' why has rafa started him, he clearly isnt match fit and in such a menial game'

    damned if he does or doesnt

  112. "Over his whole career, O'Neill has a 55% win percentage; Benitez has 51%.  You don't just look at one club when assessing a manager's effectiveness."

    putting in his results at celtic into your stats is clutching at straws. it's a 2 team league, mate. come on!

  113. You are well weird, all Im saying is maybe thats why he said it, also, maybe his idea of fit isnt different to Rafas, which would explain the poor treatment from the Roma medical team. Doesnt seem that far fetched to me.

  114. In my case, if Aquilani gets injured, I will not be posting an article castigating Benitez.  That's life. If he gets injure dhe gets injured. I've been caling for him to play, so for me to then turn round and give Benitez grief for doing just that would be stupid.  I will only criticise Benitez over Aquilani if he repeateldy drops him/subs him in the same way he did Crouch, Benayoun and Babel.

  115. What is really 'mind-boggling' here is the extent of Jaimie Kanwar's stupidity.  What exactly have you EVER achieved in the game to be able to critisice so incessantly Jaimie? 

    Anything at all?  Come on, let us know.  Give us some details.

    I ask, because what shines through in your constant drivel is a complete lack of knowledge about the first thing about football.

    If we converted your laughable 'criticial analysis' to other teams we would have to sack every single manager from all 92 clubs. 

    Get a life Jaime - or find some other way of making money on the net, because we know that that's what this is all about. 

  116. To say that just because the word 'HE' is used proves that the father must have spoken to him is one of the most stupid excuses i've heard you come up with. I think that HE is going to be frustrated at not playing as any footballer should be - does this mean that i must have spoken to him?

  117. And yet another cliched argument from a Benitez apologist comes to the fore!

    Looking at *every* team a manager has managed is much fairer than just looking at one team.

    Benitez managed Extramedura, Tenerife and Osasuna too.  It all balances out, and the bottom line is O'Neill's win % is higher than Benitez's over his whole career.

  118. Jamie, my academic background is in Science and I would like you to be more open minded in your analyses. The overwhelming impression I get is that the evidence you collect and stats you use are only the ones that will furnish your opinion. It would be far more transparent if you were to offer qualitative analyses that, every so often, doesn't match your view but attempt to explain.

    It's quite hard to think of an example off the cuff but how about; you compare the defensive statistics of the top four since 2004 and factor in the budgets to arrive at a clean sheets per million spent ratio.

    I don't know the results but it is the approach that is important.

    In the scientific community your articles wouldn't carry much weight as you have decided what you want to show before you've written it. This is fine if you're after a job in the tabloid press but I think that you are beyond that. (compliment there!!).

    Give it a go......go on, be brave.

  119. Jaime, why don't you answer the fella's point, in that you left lots out from the article? again, considering how you slagged off the echo the other week for thier sensationalist treatment of babel, this is very hypocritical.

    anyone can lift quotes from an artical to put across a point of view. yours being an anti benitez agenda. wonder what article will appear around 10 o clock tomorrow, after the match? no doubt you'll find something wrong. critical realism? not really.

  120. I think you are talking absolute rubbish as normal Jamie, i think that Rafa made the right choices as would you really want a player who is coming back from a long term injury to be put into a match against Everton or Blackburn where he is going to get kicked all over the pitch?

    He could have played a few minutes against Debrecen but the game was already won so there was no point in bringing him on.

  121. Was that not the Carling Cup ...? against out 2ND team ...?

    And last season i thought we played much , much better football than Arsenal.

    This season we are lacking confidence and pace ...2 things we had in abundance last year .. and that is down to the injuries.

    Rafa has had to change his side for almost every game.

    And i will admit that Kuyt,Aurelio,Reira,Cara,Masch are no where close to their form they showed last season.

    We can do better and RAFA has shown that this side under him can be explosive and dynamic .....we just need to get back in the grove.

  122. Can you honestly say that based on performances Babel deserves a place in the side?

    I constantly defend Babel to people i know who criticise because i still think that he could be a good player. I would have loved to have seen him get a run of games but the truth is that he just doesn't deserve it.

  123. i've read a few articles from JK and i've just read all of these posts from top to bottom so have the full picture.....Jamie if u read it all back yourself from top to bottom u will see that its actually YOU that has the wool over your eyes!!! And not only that...rather than politely disagree with posters 'posts', u actually seem to be trying to humiliate them and belittle them for having their own views (and not seemingly agree with u as u would like) so for that i think u are actually an ARROGANT BELLEND!! i would never normally say something like this on here but u do my head in with ur constant whining! Does it bother u so much that u can't win over the masses? Can u sleep at night knowing that not everyone has the same P.O.V as you? it must really eat u up! Maybe u should start a cult?!? SOME of your points hold water....but others ie crouch, hypia are complete shit!! I don't know ur agenda but forgetting football, because i really do think ur articles are more 'YOU BETTER FUCKING AGREE WITH ME OR ELSE' than a football debate. Now i know you'll come back as predictably as ever with more whining but save ur breath cus i and others think u, as i've already mentioned, are an arrogant bellend!!

  124. I'm not sure a paramedic from Rome should giving us the low-down on this players fitness. Regardless of Jamies articles on Benitez' conflicting statements on the players fitness, it is widely accepted in LFC circles (I have no sources, only the internet) that Romas medical team were at fault for the players long, recurrying injury problems. 
    No? (LOL).

  125. Greetings from Norway. I know I speak on behalf of many fans here when I say its frustrating to watch Liverpool these days. Everybody can see something is wrong:
     - the mentality of the players. No killer instinct, do they really want to win? Looks like their minds are elsewhere. We all know they can do better. What is stopping them?
    - no midfield support for attack. Lucas and Mascherano are too similuar. Every fan can see this. And Aqualini, our 20M man is fit to go? This doesnt add up.
    - LFC seems to get into these long dark periods a lot more frequent than other top sides. Why?

    Is it Benitez and his man management skills? Well, he did ok in Valencia. Why cant he do it here?

  126. Don't overcomplicate this. The reason is Aquilani is not playing is Benitez is probably reluctant to drop Leiva.  Simple as.

  127. I've already addressed that point, Mark.

    And there is no comparison between what the Echo did and what I have written:

    1. The Echo's comments about Babel were malicious, and designed to put him in the worst possible light.

    2. The Echo used Babel's quotes against him in a negative way, picking out the most irrelevent detail in order to make him appear like an idiot (i.e. the comment about Babel's blue boots).

    3. They made an ENTIRE ARTICLE out of the blue-boot comment (!).  Why? So they could make him appear like an idiot.

    The quotes I have used do not alter their meaning just because I have not used the other quotes. They mean exactly the same: Aquilani is frustrated because he has not been played.

    That - and the reasons behind it - are precisely what I have argued.

    Why don't you explain how I have altered the meaning of what Aquilani's father has said?

  128. Most Arsenal fans I know don't seem to think that the scintillating football compensates for a lack of football.

  129. for a lack of trophies!! ;)

  130. Why it the end of story? Rafa has won the Champions League; something that Arsene hasn't managed to do. Arsene has won no European trophies, whereas Rafa has also won the UEFA Cup. Rafa has won two La Liga's. Is that not on a similar standing to Arsena winning the PL? Personally Rafa has twice been the UEFA Manager of the Year. Has Arsene ever received this accolade of best manager in Europe.

  131. Once again, Jamie talks like a utd fan.  Why run a Liverpool site, if you are always negative!?  I dont want bias to say Liverpool are going to win the league, Cups, europe, world cup and wimbledon next year, but for god sakes stop abusing everything about the club.
    Sky sports just said that Alberto knows nothing of it and that its is press speculation as usual.  
    Maybe the press should contat Jamie as his is the only correct opinion.  Reading all of the replies to peoples comments.  We are all blinkered and wrong.
    Actually, before jamie replies... Rafa made things up on sky to save face.
    I am as bad as I see the headlines and that its on this site... I think "ignore it as it will be another crap article that makes everyone argue!"   but I always take the bait.
    We should boycott this site!!

  132. Point 5: Sorry perhaps I did something wrong there so you misunderstood me ;) I was asking about managers from LFC not from the other team, since the Premier League era. Who was you think better than Rafa. Please give your reason.

    Oh yeah, what is Shankly philosophy that say something like triangle love between manager, fans and players? Where do you put yourself now. If you think Shankly philosophy has made Liverpool apart from every other club, please preserve it :)

    Thank you :)

    PS: I'm not living in the past glory, sometimes, I also can blame Rafa for what I think he's wrong. Like. if I'm not mistaken, when Riise scored the own goal gave Chealse went to their only CL final, Rafa still got last substitute but he was not using it, is it right? The injury time was 4 mins but the own goal was on 95'. CMIIW

  133. what about when you claim you have a 'source' within anfield who provides you with all kinds of financial information. is everyone just supposed to take your word that this is fact.

    also, his fathers quotes are NOT fact. just because they're in a newspaper does not make it fact, and you have also decided to take certain quotes and leave others out, just so you can write an article.

  134. Sorry Jaimie - you take his point about the implications of playing aquilani too early - well you dont because you have been banging on about it for weeks

    secondly you say rafa is the one that took the risk in the first place - well he didnt because your still complaining that he hasnt started yet - so that would suggest that he hasnt taken the risk and before you start, why would it be a risk signing a player of his quality once fit!!!

  135. you have altered the meaning of what aquilani's father has said by taking certain quotes from the article and leaving out other quotes. this is to give you a angle to your article. the full transcript would not make for such an argument about benitez' handling of players.
    OF COURSE the meaning of the article is changed because you don't include the full quote. more sensationalism from this site.

  136. listen to yourself Jaimie...u really crack me up... the scottish league is a dross league. is it a coincidence that celtic have never won an away game in the champions league?? MON being  such the GREAT manager that your portraying him to be is responsible for a large portion of this stat....

  137. So you can have opinions and beliefs but when someone believes in Rafa then we are jumping on a band wagon - you are a tool, Jaimie.

    Can we not seriously just have the belief or opinion that he has what it takes??

  138. I read an article some weeks ago regarding the conditions of Aquilani's transfer to LFC.It told of the amounts of payments the REDS would have to pay his old club according to the amounts of games played/goals scored/how far the club went in various comps/whether or not he was involved etc:over varying periods of time etc: Taking in mind the fact that he was injured when he arrived and the recovery period, I wonder that Rafa benitez could well have been trying to save LFC a lot of money by not playing him until a certain period has run its course,thereby LFC not having to make some of those payments(which are quite substantial!),taking into account whether or not the REDS could have done better with him rather than without his imput ???

  139. not really. and im not a benitez apologist, whatever that may be. stats can be manipulated to say anything, and boasting about his win percentage at celtic is a bit sad, really.

  140. Well lucas with masch completly dominated the utd midfield abit ago

  141. It has been absolutely clear for me for a long time that Rafa's human relationships with his players and his "skills" for motivation are very very bad. Just as wonderful as he is in tactics, he is as bad in this side of team management.

  142. Hi Yogi - the terms of Aquilani's deal are as follows:

    <span>Four cash installments:

    * €5m upfront
    * €3m by 4th January 2010
    * €7m by June 30th 2010
    * €5m by June 30th 2011.

    <span>Base transfer fee = €20m/£18m</span>

    Further Add ons include:

    * €300k for every year Liverpool qualify for the CL from 2010/11 to 2014/15.

    * €250k every time the player reaches 35 appearancs; 70 appearances; 105 appeances and then 140 appearances.

    * €1m the first time Liverpool either wins the Premier League or Champions League by 30 June 2014.

    * 5% of any future transfer fee paid to Roma.</span>

    As you can see, the bulk of the fee (18m becomes payable in a year and a half regardless of the number of games he playes.

    Game-linked payments only become a factor later down the line, and the payments are tiny compared to the main fee.

    With that in mind, it doesn't seem to be the case that Benitez is not using him to save money.

    Read more: http://www.liverpool-kop.com/2009/11/alberto-aquilani-truth-about-his.html#ixzz0Z7CL0Og3

  143. It has been absolutely clear for me for a long time that Rafa's human relationships with his players and his "skills" for motivation are very very bad. Just as wonderful as he is in tactics, he is as bad in this side of team management.

  144. As I've said in the past on my blog (especially blame game part 2) I just think that Rafa is an introvert manager and that's his style. The players certainly seem to respect him but as you know I would acknowledge a question over his motivational prowess. He has dealt with this though within his management team, like any good manager would.

    He also makes up up for any deficiencies in other ways and is IMO one of the top managers in the world and we are lucky to have him.

    In relation to AA I think now he is just not match fit, before now he was a few steps away from his current fitness. I would tend to agree with you more if there were rumblings from existing players or any of his staff, but there aren't.

    Finally this season's 'debacle' has been disappointing for us all. But you have to remember the injuries we have had to deal with. There has been a lot which has been out of Rafa's hands. Patience and some slack cutting is called for I believe.

  145. you blame rafa for everything from the flooding to global warming lets look   at the facts . 1/alonso wanted to leave after rafa wanted to sell him last summer hed just had 2 average years and we made 20/15 mill profit which rafa wasnt alowed to reinfest . crouch wanted to leave and refused a new contract just maybe his girlfriend wanted to be down south for her media work?. he showed no loyalty to rafa /the club/the fans who all stood by him. ive allways stood up for ryan but hes showed only little  of what he could to how long do you give him.now lets look at aquilani hes been fit for four weeks NOT MATCH FITduring them four weeks hes been on the bench not at any time have we been that far in front we coul bring him on to indroduce him gently into a team strugling with injurys and form. you would have been moaning about rafa for playing him if we had lost more games  lets see where we are at the end of the season AND .IN RAFA WE TRUST at least the real fans do

  146. Lol so quotes attributed to Aquilani's dad even if they have probably been translated and journalistic licence taken with the translation are all thats needed to take another pop at Rafa.  It would not surprise me at all if all his dad said was that his son was eager to get on the pitch and play football after a long layoff, what dad wouldn't want their son doing what they love?

    I also like the fact you missed out the quote about his son being  being very happy at the club but then that would not fit in with your anti Rafa agenda. I suppose

  147. Arsenal play scintillating football, which compensates for the lack of trophies. 

    what a stupid stupid comment. ask any arsenal fan this & they will shoot u down.

  148. It's not spot on at all. Explain what you mean by the chickens coming home to roost? Bar Alonso our squad is the same as last year. Are you saying that Alonso was solely the catalyst for everything good that we did last season? According to the media we are only a two man team though - Gerrard and Torres, so when did Alonso become so important? How is it we managed the second half of the season last year without Keane, playing some of the best football in years, scoring for fun, yet now when we're struggling a bit it because we lost Keane? Again its a rubbish argument. Our problems this year aren't that we can't score (we've scored more goals in the PL than last season so far) its that we can't defend. How is that anything to do with Keane going?

    Our players haven't suddenly turned into bad players over the summer break. Our manager hasn't suddenly turned into a bad manager.

    Aquilani played in the Carling Cup because it is a second rate cup competition against Arsenal kids. The recent Arsenal teams have never really been the sort to get stuck in so maybe Rafa thought it was a good idea for him to have a run about. Since then we've had must win competitive games against Lyon and Debrecen. Would it have been sensible to play someone who isn't match fit in those games? And in the PL we've had some must win games: we couldn't afford to lose to Birmingham, Man City, Everton or Blackburn because we're already in a pretty shitty position. Is it a good idea to play someone who has no match fitness in these games which we can't afford to lose. No it isn't. Tomorrow is the first game in a while which means nothing which is why Aquilani is being given a start so that he can regain some match fitness.

    We're having a rubbish season but there are lots of reasons for this; injuries, inconsistent back four, individual errors. Even so, we're a couple of pioints away from Spurs in 4th place so my no means is it a disaster yet. 

  149. No you've got it wrong: I blame Rafa for global warming but NOT flooding. 

  150. the problem here is really match fitness...his injury may have been cleared up for about a month and he's had a few first team run outs (admittitley not enough) but since he's been injured for so long without being able to do anything because of where his injury was, he as to begin training and reach a satisfactory fitness level and be putting in performances in training that are better than other people playing in the same position to justify the decision to play him instead of anyone else.  What's the point of having training sessions if they're not going to be used to get you fit and judge your curent performance level

  151. Gary - you regularly come up with compelling arguments on this site.  If you ever want to post an article espousing any of your views, just let me know.  I may have my own view but I always publish articles from other writers with opposite views to me.  If you're interested, just let me know.  Cheers, JK

  152. Great post and completely nailed it.  Your point about the articles setting up anyone who has differing opinion as being apologists or part of some "brigade" is spot on and is actually becoming very sympomatic of the fans that do not like Rafa. 

    There are many flaws in this article and one of the most blatant is that it discourages any debate by completely dismissing the opinion of anyone with an opposing view.  If this site is to continue then a more balanced and reasonable writing style is going to be needed to avoid the site becoming a bit of a joke

  153. Yet Aquilani's father insists, despite the long wait to feature for his new club and the heartache of leaving Roma, the team he supported as a child, Aquilani could not be happier on Merseyside.
    "He is really happy in Liverpool, he has settled in really well," he said.

    Quoted from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/liverpool/6753678/Liverpools-Alberto-Aquilani-frustrated-by-lack-of-game-time-according-to-father.html

     As has been pointed out numerous times above, any player not playing is going to be frustrated but he also "could not be happier on Merseyside".
    I didnt see this part of his fathers quote anywhere on here so thought i would post it. Just picking out the "bad" part of the quote to make a point is pretty weak.
    You did mention his father saying he was happy but dismissed this saying he didnt want to upset rafa ( or something like that). So you take the bad part of the quote and believe it but say he is lying about being happy? weak again.

  154. Realistically, what is Aquilani's father going to do: Just criticise Benitez alone, or criticise him but counter that with positive comments also?

    It's media strategy 101: There is no way that Aqu's dad is just going to say bad things without balancing it out with good things. 

    In any event, it's a non-issue: the fact that he said Aqua ishappy at Liverpool does not change the meaning of his his other quotes.  it does not change the fact that he is frustrated at not being played over the last month.

    Similarly, the fact that he is frustrated with that does not change the meaning of his father's positive quotes.

    It works both ways.

    it's perfectly possible to be happy at Liverpool but frustrated with how you're being handled at the same time. The two are not mutually exclusive.

  155. "Don't ask me about his father," Benitez told reporters on Tuesday.
    "He was quoted today in the press and I was talking with Alberto. He was surprised and couldn't believe it."
    A quote from rafa about the situation with the father.
    Alberto "surprised and couldn't believe it". really? quotes in the press not being correct?  who would have thought it possible?

  156. Benitez in Managerial Masterstroke:

    Reports from Anfield today have clearly shown Benitez's managerial mastery. Pepe Reina, who by anyone's reckoning has to be amongst the best goal-keepers in the world at the moment and was signed for the miserly sum of £6m has clearly stated that he wants to stay at Anfield for a Very, Very long time, indeed, he claims not to even be able to imagine playing for another club. For one of the world's best keepers to be happy with the current mediocrity at Anfield clearly demonstrates that despite the legions of naysayers, Rafa Benitez has built a changing room atmosphere and team spirit to rival the halcyon boot room days of yore. 

    A further example of Benitez's genius when it comes to eliciting player loyalty and improved performances was picked up by all of Britain's daily newspapers when they reported that Fernando Torres (surely one of the bargains of the century in  hindsight but who many top clubs were reluctant to sign) has emphatically stated his love for the city, the fans and the club and that no amount of money could tempt him to leave his beloved Anfield. He went further to attribute his remarkable transformation from a reputably unreliable Atletico idol into the world's most feared and consistent striker to the close work he has done with Benitez who has unquestionably improved his game since he arrived in the North West.

    One of the Premiership's most promising young strikers, David N'Gog, added to the growing acclaim when he confirmed that he's seen his game come on in leaps and bounds since Rafa brought him to the club for the cut-price of £1.5m. The young Frenchman's career had stalled and a lack of confidence was portrayed by a miserable 1 goal during the entire season prior to his signing - he's gone on to have a better goals per minutes played ratio than any comparable young striker in the league, indeed, it's a ratio that stalwarts such as Michael Owen would kill for in the run up to the World Cup. 

    The elusive Isreali midfield maestro chipped in, as he has so often this season, by demonstrating that he's perceived differently since working with Rafa at Liverpool. "When I joined, I know a lot of people weren't exactly excited and weren't sure I was a Liverpool calibre player - since working with Rafa and working very hard, I now hear fans talk about me as one of the best players at the club and this makes me very proud." 

    Now fair enough - even I don't agree with all that and the quote is obviously completely made up but hopefully it might make Jaimie appreciate that there are

    a) two sides to every story
    b) FACTS are very hard to determine sat behind a keyboard rather than working on a training pitch
    c) no-one has 100% of the right answers or attributes
    d) Rafa has done an incredible amount of good work, admittedly interspersed with bad
    e) To have any semblance of credibility when claiming "critical realism" or whatever Jaimies favourite trite phrase is - you do actually have to have the realism as well as the criticism.

    On a completely unrelated note: 

    Martin O'Neil has never tested his ability at the highest level and consistently adopts a counter-attacking style of play which clubs like Liverpool can't get away with. To assume he's capable of getting more out of Liverpool is a big stretch. However, he's always been my personal choice as well, since before Houllier & Rafa in fairness. Do I think he'd have done more with what Rafa's had to play with though...? Nope. 

  157. Once again the Pro Rafa brigade are missing the point. Aqualani was fit when we were only a handful of points behind Chelsea and still in the Champions league game before the Lyon game. The problem is our stubborn gutless manager is so obsessed with his 2 defensive midfielders the he does not have the balls to put a attacking midfielder.

    Aqualani was only given 8 minutes again Bham when we were camped in the bham half and then when Man City were dominating in the 2nd half a good manager would have noticed that we need to keep the ball so our 20 mil playmaker would have been the man to come but again he bottled it and relied on the useless Lucas and masch who could not put 2 passes together.

    Aqua should have been given 15 then 20 and then 30 mins in the last few games to build his match fitness and not to even play him in the Blackburn game was a joke and u Rafa lovers are deluded to think we have a manager that knows what he is doing. The guy is a joke, speak to our ex players and managers who know he has lost the plot.


  158. With all due respect, that's very naive.

    What else is benitez going to say?  Just because he says something it means it must be true? 

    I've had an italian friend of mine translate the quotes from Italian, and they are, in fact, far more damning that what we got!

    And what is Aquilani going to do - come out and contradict Benitez and say 'Actually, I was not surprised at all.  That is exactly what my dad said'.  of course not.

    Benitez is very adept at manipulating the media (and the fans); he wil say whatever he wants re this situation.

    The  bottom line is the quotes are fact; they were not mistranslated; they were not made up.

    On the other hand, it's entirely possible that Benitez is telling the truth about Aquilani's reaction.  After all Aquilani is not going to turn round and tell Benitez his dad is right, is he?!

    Better to feign ignorance than cause a ruckus.

  159. Wasnt that the game when Arsenal were down to 10 men and looked like they still have 12 players playing??? Oh and it took until the 83rd minute for Rafa to bring a striker on to play 2 upfront. This is how negative Rafa is. Other managers would have sensed an opportunity to win at the Emirates and put on some attack minded players.

  160. A player with a istory of injuries is out for an extended period of time and the manager is being castigated for erring on the side of caution? Are u serious? And to support ur point u use his father?

    a simple question for u JK - in terms of assessing the right fitness levels for playing in the EPL who is better equipped Benitez, Aquilani or Aquilani's father?

    Also, I see that ur conveniently staying away from ppl's posts regarding Crouch, Benayoun and Alonso. Fact of the matter is this. All 3 players came to LFC, under Benitez and are now better for it. TYoo many times u lump failure at the manager's feet and refuse to give him credit for the success. If he's completely responsible for the failures of Babel and Keane then BY RULE he is responsible for Crouch becoming an England international while @ LFC, Alonso becoming one of the best mids in the world and Benayoun becoming the much improved player he is today.

    Its amazing that most ppl that comment here in support of the manager are labeled as supporting blindly yet u figure ur anti Benitez stance is an enlightened one. Time and again ppl have come with very valid counter-opinions to urs but its just blind faith for them. I submit to u that its blind "hatred" of the manager that guides ur opinion.

    Just answer the 2 questions:

    In terms of assessing the right fitness levels for playing in the EPL who is better equipped Benitez, Aquilani or Aquilani's father?

    If he's completely responsible for the failures of Babel and Keane then BY RULE is he not responsible for Crouch becoming an England international while @ LFC, Alonso becoming one of the best mids in the world and Benayoun becoming the much improved player he is today?

    And by the way I support the manager - not all the time and not blindly but his record and the way he has done his work while at LFC has earned it

  161. Haha spot on.  It seems that JK is taking quotes from his father as being quotes from the man himself. 

  162. what?

    Surely if he is happy then he doesnt feel he is being mistreated as you insist he is ( as proved, you say, by his fathers quotes)

  163. why is it naive?
    you obviously believe everything that is written in newspapers ( as long as it goes along with your agenda) unless rafa says it then he is lying to cover his own ass.

  164. You may not write an article on it but I can guarantee that if Aquilani has a stormer you will make a point about Rafa not playing him sooner.  This article only goes to prove that you need very little encouragement to have a go.

  165. How do I beieve everything that is written in the papers?  I used quotes, that is all.  Quotes are fact.  The source has nothing to do with it.  The same quotes have been carried in newspapers in the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, The US, Japan, and countless other countries.

    Quotes do not make a story; what you write to go along with the quotes makes the story.

    What I have written is my opinion of what the quotes mean; it has nothing to do with anything else wirtten anywhere else.

  166. And if I was to make that point, would it not be valid?

    In any event, I've already made that a hundred times; after he's played, there's no more need to make the point.  If Aquilani has a stormer, I will be glad, and I will be hoping he retains his place for the Arsenal game, which he should do if he has a great game, no?

  167. So I guess that when benitez says Aquilani was 'surprised' by the comments, we can't take it seriously because Aquilani didn't say it to the press himself?

    Do you see the double standard here?

  168. So we are to naieve to belive Benitez when he said that Aquilani couldn't believe the quotes from his dad but we are to take it for granted that Aquilani spilled his guts to his dad who then for some reason, and at possible risk of causing more trouble for his son, his dad went to the press? 

    Could it just not be a father who wants the best for his son making an error of judement in expressing his concerns for his son not playing to the media?  If Aquilani sees Rafa as the hitler figure that you potray do you not think that he would have told his dad not to risk angering him?

  169. Dumbest article yet Jamie. I thought for a second that you might do this and then I reconsidered and imagined that you'd see sense. Quotes from the man's father, translated from Italian and taken out of context ... you're smart enough to see the holes in that. But to actually go ahead and claim that Benitez somehow mistreating another player ... this is a joke. Aquilani is about to make a full starting debut. He'll more than likely get minutes again in the Premier League in the next match and will be starting regularly by the time the holiday period comes around.
    It would seem as if this "Benitez effect" is simply to leave players frustrated that they don't play enough. Is that it? That's the problem? If so then Steven Gerrard also suffered the Benitez effect. So too Lucas, Agger, Aurelio, Riera. Every single player on the squad is frustrated at a lack of playing time, if it wasn't that way then you'd be worried about them. The should want to play and they should be made to fight and stretch for their places.
    The only time this becomes a problem is when it effects their form. For all the players you mentioned this only ever happened, maybe, with Keane and Babel, both temperamental players with attitudes that simply don't suit Benitez and his style of management. As I've pointed out to you time and time again, Crouch become a better player under this system and we then sold him for a profit. Yossi has also improved and no other players have showed even the slightest dip in ability or performance. All we actually have are newspaper quotes which you seem to think are vitally important.
    Seriously, who cares? A player is frustrated. Wow. What a tragedy. How is that even remotely important? What does it have to do with us winning games and playing well? Absolutely nothing, and you know it.
    Honestly, this is the most idiotic thing that you've written yet. Pull you head in and get real. Face the FACTS that you so adore and see that Liverpool players do not need to be played every match or feel like they are loved by their manage to produce great football. Two of your example, Crouch and Alonso are perfect examples of the exact opposite.

  170. And here we are, quote from Rafa himself:

    Benitez told the press: “Don't ask me about his father.”

    “He was quoted today in the press and I was talking with Alberto. He was surprised and couldn't believe it.”

    So unless Rafa is flat out lying, which you'll suggest because you can't admit that you're just plain wrong, there is nothing behind this. It's the mans father SPECULATING about how his son feels, not based on anything except what he thinks. He's guessing.

    Again, most idiotic article yet. Based on nothing speculative quotes from a second hand source which are now refuted by the player via his manager.

    Care to actually address this glaring hole in your argument?

  171. Good. He's frustrated at not being able to play, that's a positive sign. That's what you want to see in a player. Ultimately, the man who has the most input from physios etc is the manager. Let him make the decision. I'd rather see a player not rushed back to injury, we've already seen that under Benitez with Kewell. 

  172. its crazy to suggest that there is frustration between manager and Albert, but it is crazy to think people will always be happy with our manager. 
    I would think that Albert has up most respect for his manager and believes in him, just like Torres, SG, Reina etc... 

  173. http://fourfourtwo.com/news/championsleague/44093/default.aspx?

    Read this Jamie. This should explain adequately why he hasn't played much. 

    So what, the injury took longer to correct itself that they thought it would. GET OVER IT. 

    If you had ever even played football manger you would know that throwing a player who has come back from a long injury lay off straight into tight games is a complete disaster especially when someone comes from an entirely different footballing culture.

    If Benitez had played AA from a month ago and we had been crap(er), he had been crap and he became injured again then you would have pilloried Benitez for that as well. 

    The man cant do right from doing wrong in your eyes. You just have to accept the FACT that liverpools medical team know more about AA's match readiness than YOU or anyone else does.

    Your articles are opinion provoking, I give you that, but the majority (not all) of what you publish its utter drivel and makes you come across as bitter and twisted as if you were Benitez's love child but he pushed you to the kerb..


  174. Jk, I agree with you most times; however, I want to point out a flaw in your thinking. Above you state that with Aquilani we would be in better position than we currently are, how can you be so sure? It is possible that Aquilani doesn't pan out as most imports. I have a sneaking feeling that Aquilani is NOT adjusting well to English style, hence the delay. The fact that he is being introduced into a Italian opponent, a style he is comfortable against, only reinforces my limited opinion.

  175. Read this Kash before you make a tit out of yourself again please.

    Its embarrassing. 


  176. What do you expect players to say? How horrible it is???  Keane was quoted about his boyhood dream coming true, where is he now? Xabi was quoted recently about his love for the fans and the city; he is now in Madrid. The fact that players state their love for the team and fans has nothing to do with what they believe is the best for their careers or the fact that they are not happy with their managers.

  177. Fraggs:  You state:

    I thought for a second that you might do this and then I reconsidered and imagined that you'd see sense. Quotes from the man's father, translated from Italian and taken out of context ... you're smart enough to see the holes in that. But to actually go ahead and claim that Benitez somehow mistreating another player ... this is a joke.

    1. How have the quotes been taken out of context?  Context does not matter here - the quotes have the same meaning in any context. 

    Please explain how the following quotes have been taken out of context:

    <span><span><span>He has been ready for more than a month</span>. He feels good, the injury has cleared up and <span>he is confident he is at no more risk than any other player</span> of the problem coming back.

    "The only way he can get truly fit is to start games. <span>There has been a lot of frustration for him</span>, first at being injured and then at not being chosen to play for so long. He is a player, so of course he does not want to wait to be involved with the team and to start his career in England.

    "I don't know of any special motivation for Benitez in not playing him. The only way he will recover is to be given the chance to get back to full fitness by playing some games."</span></span>

    As I said, it does not matter about context here.  If a player is frustrated at not playing over the last month, then he is frustrated.

    2. Re translated from Italian.  So what?  You automatically assume that the translation is somehow incorrect.  Reputable sources such as The Independent, Gazetto Della Sporta and countless others all carry the same quotes. Furthermore, I got an Italian friend of mine to translate the quotes from the original Italian, and they are  not exaggerated/mistranslated at all. Google search the quotes on Google.it and get them stranslated and you'll see what I mean.

    3.  And I love this: 'mistreating the player'?!  Where did I say or suggest that?  I said 'alienate' not 'mistreat.  There is huge difference, both in meaning and connotation/

  178. then dont ever bloody play him... or even buy him.. he shouldnt be this injury prone so what "history of injuries" OK I agree lets never play him and waste 20 flipping million

  179. Ah - Benitez has spoken, and what he says is LAW and cannot be disputed.

    Benitez would never manipulate the press would he?  Oh no, he's never done that before!

    What else is he going to say?!

    More to the poiint, what is Aquilani going to say?  Benitez says that Aquilani is surprised.  Is Aquilani then going to come out in the press and say 'actually, no.  I'm not surprised.  I did have that conversation with my father?!  NO.

    Furthermore, even if Aquilani's response is true, what else is he going to say if Benitez confronts him about it?!  He's not going to stand there and admit saying those things, is he?!

    And second hand source?  This is his father we're taling about.  But familial ties mean nothing where Saint Benitez is concerned.

    If Aquilani had come out in the press and made these comments himself, you would probaly be saying that it wasn't actually him; it was a clone created by Sir Alex Ferguson, with the specific intent of disrupting the club.

    I don't care how many pro-Rafa fans try and detract from this situation: Aquilani is close to his father; they were both at Roma together, and in case I forgot to mention, THEY ARE FATHER AND SON.

    I know my theory that fathers and sons having conversations - even when they're in different countires - is really outlandish and improbable, but I'll take his father's quotes over Benitez's press manipulation any day.

  180. And Fraggs - please cut out the personal insults.  Just make your points (which are always compelling) without the insults please.

  181. Aquliani has come out and confirmed that this is gutter-press nonsense. So has Benitez. Jamie, why is it you seem to be prepared to believe anything you read which defames our team and our Manager? It seems you *want* to believe it. Whatever happened to loyalty? I understand you want to put across a totally honest opinion but if you truly are a Liverpool supporter you should at least have the want to give them the benefit of the doubt before printing regurgitations of other peoples' made up nonsense.

  182. Aquilani has come out and rubbished this as press meddling. So has Benitez. What more do you need?

    Do try and show some loyalty to the club by at least giving them the benefit of the doubt before you re-print nonsense from other sites.

  183. Aquilani has not rubbished the comments.  Benitez has said that Aquilani was 'surprised' but the comments.

    But according to the majority of people on this thread, that means nothing. Well, how can it?  They've been telling me that Aquilani did not make the original quotes so they mean nothing.  Well, Aquilani did not say directly that he was 'surprised' either, so how can we take that at face value?

    But no - ironically, the same people who have been arguing that we can't take his father's comments seriously will display total belief in what Benitez (allegedly) conveys from Aquilani.  The irony is hilarious.

    I AM loyal to the club: Liverpool FC, not Benitez FC.

    Also, I have not 'reprinted' stuff from other sites at all; I have used the quotes and formed my own story, which is completely different to any other story on the net.

  184. FAO of R-U-N-S

    Just to let your know: Your comments are automatically deleted before they even make the site, so no one gets to read your delightfully imaginative insults ;)

  185. not really.

    i would interpret that as benitez offering his opinion on aquilani being surprised

    likewise, i have no idea what relationship he has with his dad and can only assume, as the previous poster said, that it is his dad is frustrated.

    the same is true with the mascherano brother quote.

    one other thing, family tend not to be coached in dealing with the media so it is 'easier' for them to get 'quotes' that fit a story/angle they may have.

  186. Jaimie - the only way to do this 'properly' is to work off a transcript of the interview so you can understand the context of a statement and work it from there.

  187. aw... i'm crying my eyes out!

  188. So you want to have your cake and eat it?  If I say that you are taking the words of Aquilani's father but dismissing Rafa's quotes then you say Rafa is lying or trying to manipulate the press and fans and If I point out that you are taking Aquilani's fathers quotes as if from the man  himself then its double standards.  

    Clearly you trust the word of a father who you would assume wants the best for his son over a man who you (well mabye not you)would assume wants the best for the club

  189. same boring inaccurate rubbish written just to get a reaction pathetic from Kanwar the Manc again! 

  190. players have to much power in todays game. that is why i support benitez, he is letting players know that regardless of your price tag or the amount of wages you are getting, you do what i say, and you do it the way i want it done. he is not going to be your friend he is not going to slap you on the back and tell you how great you are. he is letting every body know that they are expendable.

    like the england manager, benitez lets the players know what is needed to get picked. it not just ability its also attitude. and also the managers prefrence.

    sick of people pandering to over paid, self absorbed players. 

  191. Hi there :-)  I share your concerns, especiall re the winning mentality.  It seems to be completely absent from our players at the moment.

    Against Blackburn, for example.  They ha d atouch matc v Chelsea a few days before our game, wherease we had a whole week off. Blackburn looked like they  more energy and will to win.  That has to be worrying.

  192. <span>i <span>totally</span></span><span> agree with you jamie!</span>

    some fans thinks that players are objects that can be treated with no human attention!
    lets not forget  that aquilani is only another simptom!

    the short list that was mention is just part of must skills that a manager need and benitez doesnt has it!

    most of players that left us are just kids who need a friend, father, shoulder and lots of support which is the manager job to give them with a lot of human warm.  they on the other hand will give everything back to him and the team.

    a manager that wants to <span>analys</span> every part of the game and bring the game into an excell file is missing that skiil. for example when did you see benites smile/happy when we score a gool???

    his wishes to controll and not lose it for a minute is defentlly not the way to play football (and that how our tean is playing, like <span> machine </span>with specific orders!)

    the <span>psychological </span>/motivational issua is even more important that other skiils that a manager need. top class ones need in order to success and the long list of players that left us without any real success in the club point the fact that benitez doesnt have those skilles and he is not one of them.

    looks like the players will never play for him and will never give an extra effort like they do with morinio/fergoson or other top managhers.

    arguing over the aquilani facts is not important as  for looking the wider picture - benitez doesnt have what it take to be a top manager!

    his thinking/attitude/philosophy is belonging to a small manager/person that affraid of what the big ones will do.
    <span>a small manager that work in a giant club</span> which is exactly what liverpool do not need right now!
    we become underdog mind thinking because of his ways!

    we need now a person like shanks that will rebuilt the mind and the spirit by sending a clear nessege to the players/fans/rivels that we are liverpool and we are going to win!

  193. This is hypocritical in the extreme.  You on a comment in this very article have said that Aquilani's dad is manipulating the press just like Rafa does but of course this is ok because it gives you ammunation against Rafa.   The fact that he is his father is more likely than he is just trying to put press pressure on to get his son to play.  So I ask you this is it fine for Aquilani's dad to do it to try and help his sons career by manipulating the press?

  194. Its very clear this is your site and that was not in question. What I may need clarification is whether you state your opinion and expect debate or your aim is to shoot down any opinion that questions yours?

  195. So you're willing to sacrifice Liverpool's success for Benitez's way of doing things?  There's a reason we're trophyless for 3 seasons.

    If his way got results (like Ferguson) it would be a different story.

    Benitez's way of doiung things = continual failure.

    Yes, we finished 2nd last season.

    So did Houllier in 2002.

    There are no prizes for second place.

  196. <span>In a <span><span> </span><span>recent interview</span></span>, Aquilani's father Claudio - who is a Paramedic at Roma - revealed the extent of his son's frustration:

    <span>"Alberto is available to play. <span>He has been ready for more than a month</span>. He feels good, the injury has cleared up and <span>he is confident he is at no more risk than any other player</span> of the problem coming back" </span></span>
    <span><span>- He's available to play</span></span>
    <span><span>- He has been ready for more than a month</span></span>
    <span><span>- He feels good</span></span>
    <span><span>- The injury has clared up</span></span>
    <span><span>- He is confident </span></span>
    <span><span>How long We have to worry for the health of our doll - player Alberto Aquilani.</span></span>
    <span><span>I can't wait to know if Lord Of Rings Rafa Benitez is going to plan a new way to justify another caps for his son Lucas Leiva against Arsenal...</span></span>
    <span><span>The man is really a joke..</span></span>

  197. Jaime please respond to my post earlier.

    You haven't as of 19.31. cheers

  198. <span>i <span>totally</span></span><span> agree with you jamie!</span>

    some fans thinks that players are objects that can be treated with no human attention!
    lets not forget  that aquilani is only another simptom!

    the short list that was mention is just part of must skills that a manager need and benitez doesnt has it!

    most of players that left us are just kids who need a friend, father, shoulder and lots of support which is the manager job to give them with a lot of human warm.  they on the other hand will give everything back to him and the team.

    a manager that wants to <span>analys</span> every part of the game and bring the game into an excell file is missing that skiil. for example when did you see benites smile/happy when we score a gool???

    his wishes to controll and not lose it for a minute is defentlly not the way to play football (and that how our tean is playing, like <span> machine </span>with specific orders!)

    the <span>psychological </span>/motivational issua is even more important that other skiils that a manager need. top class ones need in order to success and the long list of players that left us without any real success in the club point the fact that benitez doesnt have those skilles and he is not one of them.

    looks like the players will never play for him and will never give an extra effort like they do with morinio/fergoson or other top managhers.

    arguing over the aquilani facts is not important as  for looking the wider picture - benitez doesnt have what it take to be a top manager!

    his thinking/attitude/philosophy is belonging to a small manager/person that affraid of what the big ones will do.
    <span>a small manager that work in a giant club</span> which is exactly what liverpool do not need right now!
    we become underdog mind thinking because of his ways!

    we need now a person like shanks that will rebuilt the mind and the spirit by sending a clear nessege to the players/fans/rivels that we are liverpool and we are going to win!