Gerard Houllier - RIP :-(

20 Dec 2009

LFC need a MOTIVATOR, and MARTIN'O NEILL is the right man to replace RAFA BENITEZ

On the 30th May 2004 (before Benitez was appointed), I wrote a post on ThisIsAnfield.com arguing that Martin O Neill should get the Manager's job ahead of Benitez and Jose Mourinho. Five and a half years later and my view has not change, and after yesterday's passionless display at Portsmouth, the need for a manager who is able to inspire and motivate is more pressing than ever.

Before the 'Rafa Can Do No Wrong' brigade joins forces with the 'Rafa Benitez Anti-Defamation League' and collectively start foaming at the mouth, I'll just reiterate my position on Benitez's job:

1. I am, and always have been, against sacking Benitez (aor any Liverpool manager) mid-season.

2. When the time comes, I do not believe Benitez should be sacked anyway. Given his affinity with the fans and the success he has achieved in Europe, he deserves better than that.

3. Benitez should be given till the end of the season, irrespective of how things go over the next few months, he should walk away at the end of the season of his volition. If he refuses to resign, then and only then would I be in favour of sacking. This is how the club played it with Gerard Houllier, and I think the same approach is required with Benitez.

After that, there is only one candidate for the job as far as I am concerned, and that is Martin O'Neill.

The key point here about O'Neill is this: wherever he has managed, he has take the team as far as it is realistically possible to go (taking into account players at his disposal, transfer budgets etc).

As a player at Nottingham Forest, O'Neill played under the legendary Brian Clough, who took Forest out of the second division and made them league and double European Cup winners in 5 years. That was a mind-boggling amazing achievement, and hashas never been matched since, and will never be achieved again.

Clough's genius has rubbed off on O'Neill; He has similar qualities to the great man, most crucially the ability to get the absolute maximum out of players. And as O'Neill himself has said on numerous occasions, working with Clough taught him alot, and this shows in his successful management career so far.

Wycombe Wanders

Took them out of non-league football and into Division 2 (via successive promotions) in under 4 years. For a club of Wycombe's size, the best they can ever realistically hope for is Division 2, which is borne out by the fact that since O'Neill left, they have never risen higher than that.

Leicester City


Promoted to the Premier league in his first season, after which they finished ninth in 1997, tenth in 1998 and 1999, and eighth in 2000, outstanding results for a newly promoted team, and the highest that Leicester City could ever hope to climb in the top league. In fact, their league positions were arguably an overachievement.

O'Neill also took Leicester City to the League Cup final 3 times in 4 years, winning twice along the way, a by-product of which was European football in the UEFA Cup.

Liverpool fans may scoff at the league cup, but as I stated earlier, you have to consider the context, quality of the team/players, and the resources available.

Celtic

In O'Neill's first season, Celtic won the domestic treble. He was the first Celtic manager to take the team into the revamped Champions League, something he achieved three times. He also took Celtic to the 2003 UEFA Cup Final in Seville, which was lost in extra time to a Porto side coached by...José Mourinho.

In his five seasons at Celtic Park, O'Neill won three League titles, three Scottish Cups, and a League Cup. He also oversaw a record 7 consecutive victories in Old Firm derbies, and in season 2003-04 Celtic created a British record of 25 consecutive victories.

Very impressive stuff. Yet people will tear this down by saying 'but it's only Scottish football'. Nonsense. As Celtic Managers post-O'Neill have discovered, you can't just turn up and expect everything to click into place - it takes managerial expertise, something O'Neill has in abundance.

Once again, O'Neill took a club to the very maximum of what they were capable of achieving. Is it realistic to expect a club like Celtic to win the Champions League? Arguably, no. It hasn't happened in over 40 years, so there's no shame in Celtic's failure to win or reach the latter stages under O'Neill.

Aston Villa

Villa had the longest unbeaten start of any Premiership side in 2006-07 (9 games), not losing a league game until 28 October. Villa's final points tally was 50, an improvement of 8 over the previous season.

Villa just missed out on a UEFA Cup spot on the final day of the 2007-08 season by finishing 6th. They scored 71 goals, (their best ever tally in the Premier League and best tally since winning the title in 1981), gained 60 points which was Villa's highest points tally since the 1996-97 season, and were the 3rd highest goalscorers.

After 25 games of the 2008-09 season the club were third in the table on 51 points, 2 points above Chelsea on level games and 7 points above Arsenal in 5th place and on course for a place in the Champions League for the first time since 1983. Villa eventually finished 6th for the second season running with 62 points, 2 more points than they finished with the previous season.

This season, O'Neill has continued his great work at the club and established Villa in the top 4. They are currently joint third, 8 points ahead of Liverpool (who Villa beat 3-1 a Anfield on the way to that position).

Given the cash available to the top 4 clubs in England, is it realistic for Villa to establish themselves in the top 4? Arguably, no. So far, O'Neill has taken Aston Villa almost as high as it is possible for them to go in the league.

What I am trying to get at here is this: O'Neill has a knack of taking every team he manages to apex of what they are able to achieve, and he uses the style of football that is inherent in that team to achieve success.

Look at it another way: Given the expectations/resources available, could any other manager have done any better at Leicester, Wycombe, Celtic, or even Aston Villa?

At Liverpool, I have no doubt at all that O'Neill would take the club to the apex of what it is able to achieve. He would bring three magic ingredients to the party that Benitez (IMO) seriously lacks: Effective man-management, motivation skills and the ability to INSPIRE. And if he can bring Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor with him to Liverpool, even better!

Liverpool have not had a motivator in the hotseat since Keny Dalglish. Graeme Souness definitely wasn't a motivator; Roy Evans did his best but was a bit of a pushover; Houllier and Benitez were/are definitely not motivators. There is definitely a correlation between Liverpool's lack of league success and not having a motivator at the helm.

Martin O'Neill + Current squad + Ashley Young + Gabriel Agbonlahor + Motivation/Man-management skills = Premiership title.

If Liverpool miss out on O'Neill this time then he will inevitably be snapped up by Manchester United at some point, and that will signal another period of domestic dominance for them. The club cannot allow this to happen!

I truly believe O'Neill would rather come to Liverpool anyway. At United, he would have the intense pressure to continue their success. If he won the league there, it would be expected, and he probably wouldn't get the credit for it anyway as people would say it was Ferguson's squad/influence etc.

There is (arguably) a greater challenge in *creating* success than simply maintaining it, something that I think O'Neill would find attractive.

At Liverpool, O'Neill would have the chance to really make his mark on a top club. The challenge is greater and arguably more rewarding, especially given the club's failure to win the league for 20 years.

And if you look at O'Neill's career, he tends to gravitate towards clubs that have gone stale and are in need of serious rejuvenation.

That is Liverpool to a tee.

The Liverpool FC revolution began in 1959 with the ultimate motivator at the helm. Fifty years later and the true spirit of Shankly has almost been eradicated. It's time for rejuvenating change; it's time for Liverpool to drop the dry, joyless 'tactical' approach; it's time for the true spirit of Shankly to return.

And that means having a motivator and an inspirer in charge at Anfield.

Jaimie Kanwar


164 comments:

  1. yes it is time RAFA  went  spell his name  backwards  and this is how we should see him   A FAR

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  2. once again totally agree we should of had o'niel a long time ago?

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  3. Fantastic article and one i completely agree with - good arguments and fair for all concerned parties!

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  4. I agree, Rafa does not appear to have any emotion, desire or passion for the club & we are going backwards fast.
    I think MO'N would bring all these & about the only top quality manager who would be interested in us at present.

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  5. Big rumour that tom hicks is ready to take an offer from Chelsea for 60000,000 for Torres and Steve G.

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  6. O how I love watching liverpool fall deeper and deeper into complete and utter crap, its truly a joy to watch. Why in O'Neill's right mind go to liverpool, there new owners have destroyed the  image of the club, no money, huge debt. You have only 2 decent players which have become injury prone without them Liverpool are no better than any decent mid-table club.

    MON has a great owner to work under who lets him do what a manager is suppose to do and not interfere in how a team should be run. He has been given money when ever he has needed it. why would he leave that to go to some spanish team in Anfield. Good things don't last forever and I guess its Liverpool's time to step down while us so called mid-table teams just get better and take your spot.

    If MON was to ever leave it will not be for Liverpool, I like a lot of many fans know Man U is where everyone see's him going. 

    Get over it Liverpool fans your crap but it's truly great to watch it really really is  :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D  

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  7. his motivational skills were there for us all to see in the second half of last season when villa won 2 league games in 15 ????? he's done ok at villa but will he be able to keep it going in the second half of the season which
    villa allways seem to brop of???? 

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  8. mon is not the man for liverpool, vindink would be alot better or sour pus mourino. rafa needs to go if he fails this season, as you have said he should walk himself. even thoe i know he has not been given the money, he wanted  to buy the players he wanted. the ones he has bought are not good enough.

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  9. Liverpool needs a motivator, and coming from liverpool fan which had used every opportunity to demotivate the fans and club, is pretty strange.
    ok Jamie, we have discussed the ability of MON in detail and i think he is a good manager and decent person, is he a world class manager is yet to be seen, however  can you answer this questionplease, are you sure if Martin Oneil will come to Liverpool at the end of this season and leave Aston Villa, if you are sure, then that will demostrate that Martin Oneil is pretty disloyal coach leaving Aston Villa as soon as another club comes for him. remember, that Benitez showed alot of loyalty by not going to Real Madrid .
    you have said for a while that you have your own agenda and i guess remove of Benitez is on that agenda, your long article yesterday within few minutes after the game finsihing attacking benitez, either tells me you can write fast or you had already had it ready to publish it at the right time to do most damage to moral of the fans.  
    i hope you dont delete this reply as i have not been abusive to you or anyone 

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  10. I'LL stop supporting LFC if they ever bring in Martin O'Neill!!! As far as his previous goes ? What manager could'n't succeed at Celtic ? And as far as Leicester(3 league cup Finals,joke!) & Wycombe - both lower leagues! NOTTINGHAM FORREST were As'YOU'said,were managed by Clough(what does that do for O'neill???).Other than this year O'neill has done nothing significant! What you do say that is true is the fact that he has good backing from 'Villa's owner.RAFA would leave him standing if he had the same sort of backing!!! Get back in your box for goodness sake! If Benitez has made bad signings it is as a result of trying to 'Rob Peter to pay Paul'.

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  11. I have never been one to jump on the band wagon and scream for Rafa's head but, and this is a big but I as a lot of other fans, I am starting to believe that he is the man for us. Rafa has some great achievements at liverpool and every liverpool fan will have fond memories of him and not just from Istanbul. Last season he had a point to prove the yanks had spoken to a suiter and he had to show he was the man for LFC. Due to this we had our best season in the premiership. But this season it seems like he wants to be sacked, he probably wont get a payout if he walks but if hes sacked well probably a different picture all together. I cant see him being so coniving but............
    I believe MO'N would be a great aquisition for liverpool and other than buyin young and agbonlahor from villa probably wouldnt want much more money. If Aqualini is wot we are made to believe he is then him Gerrard and Masch should be the best midfield in the league to add Ashley young to that mix would be great. Torres and Agbonlahor upfront would be scary for any defence and we all know that the 3 central defenders we have can do a fantastic job and even with the youngsters who are coming through we should have a good future just not under Rafa.
    My biggest problem with Rafa is that he sent a great young striker out on loan in Nemeth and it looks like he may never don the great red shirt again. We have a great young right winger in amoo but he doesnt even make the bench. Yesterday we were 1 then 2-0 down and he still had Ngog and Babel on the bench WTF is that about!!!!

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  12. have to agree with this fully. man u have a motivator. chelsea had a motivator in mourinho. dalglish, our last motivator did it at blackburn.
    the only exception to this was wenger who was able to instill an unbeatable belief into his team, which whilst not your classic motivator, was able to achieve this through astute technical knowledge and ability to spot untapped potential. nobody has won the premiership without being able to motivate
    rafa is not able to do this and it is why we wont win the league. evidence in point is the "fact" rant last year. confidence was high, we were top of the league yet he launches an un-provoked attack on fergy. why? what he should have been doing is keeping the door closed and keeping that positivity within the club.
    im not an advocate of sacking managers, but we will only pay this £20m if rafa doesnt get a job within 4 1/2 years. we need to take action before another load of dud players are traded for our existing ones

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  13. what a crock of shit!. you want to get rid of rafa 1/2 a poor season, not even a full season! man people have short memories.

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  14. surely it will be worth sacrafices the 18 million wasted on rafas new contract before it gets worse.get hiddink in to inject some belive and positivity into our players.the pompey game was the worst ive seen and the man just sits there talking to sammy lee like a melon.

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  15. even if mon is the right person for the job, if liverpool fail to make the top 4 and villa do; why would he come to us? 

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  16. <span>If he refuses to resign, then and only then would I be in favour of sacking. This is how the club played it with Gerard Houllier, and I think the same approach is required with Benitez.</span>

    That's not how we played it with Evans though, is it.  How about we bring in the next manager now to work alongside Rafa, get a good look at the players and the way the clubs run etc. and see how long Rafa decides to put up with it before walking of his own volition!

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  17. Redman, Rafa was given money to spend. The problem is that he spent the funds on sh***. There is no evedince that Rafa was not given the freedom to buy players unless we believe what the media has to say and even worse if you believe the oh so inspiring comments that Rafa has made in his time at Anfield.

    Just look at the following:

    Cavalieri - IMO Not good enoughJohnson - Is he worth +-18mil? I can understand that he is English

                       but a RB worth that much?
    Aquilani - I am not even going to comment on this one. +- 20mil

                      Will leave the excuses to RAFA and all his blind followers.
    Agger - After Carra he is our best CB but is he good enough?Torres - Many other clubs were after him before he, IMO our best. Voronin - What the hell is he doing here????Riera - IMO Yet another flopAurelio - Benitez praises this guy, for what I do not know...Benayoun - One of our most consistant players but Dosenna   

                         gets picked ahead of him...
    Kyrgiakos - No commentKuyt - A Benitez experiment that cost 9m and has gone completely

                 wrong... 
    Babel - If I was this guy I would pack my bags and leave make a success somewhere else. Rafa has treated Babel like SH***. Mascherano - I am almost sure he will be leaving for BARCA soonLucas - No commentInsua - Still young Ngog - Still youngReina   - One of the best around Degen - IMO Not good enoughEl Zhar - Does he still play for us?Skrtel - IMO Not good enoughDossena - Waste of money, another flop


    Now Redman, what is going to happen now is that we are going to have the RAFA LOVERS reply on my post and tell me that I am fickle and also assume that I am a MAN U fan. The above proves that RAFA has made a mess of it when it comes to transfers, and the above excludes all the other flops and and money that has been wasted on players. All down to RAFA...

    Lets just wait for them, enough said...

    Ps. doesnt matter who comes in as replacement for RAFA, I am sure LFC will find a suitable replacement. The thing is something needs to happen rather sooner than later. 4 wins in 17 games, that is a crisis my friend.

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  18. rafa is clearly a one dimensional tactician without the other facets for leading our team anywhere. His highpoint came with tactically organizing houlliers team to the CL in 2005. It was not his team. He has gained more power in the decision makng and in turn has lost the entire picture. He is one part of the managment puzzle, not all of it. Remember Pako.....we have gone to downhill since he left.

    I agree with you completely that Oneill is the ideal manager for this club. 

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  19. true indeed Guest, people definitely do seem to have short memories - fans have actually been convinced that we weren't a Top 4 team before Rafa arrived! (exactly the same as we are now). 
    Nor do they remember that until a season or two before Rafa arrived, UEFA changed the rules regarding the "champions league". to make it a more money spinning compeition, thereby changing the perception of "success".

    Very poor memories indeed...

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  20. Mon what success with Celtic is a great barometer isn't it. Are we to judge the Scottish league as a achievement. look as someone else as pointed, he won 2 inthe las t 15 last season.

    It is alright managing lesser teams with less pressure on them  but we are Liverpool were are goals are much higher.

    I find it funny that we only support people when things are rosy :(  when things are going bad the moaners come out. We were once the famous kopites, no more are that. This newer generation don't know how to support through good times & bad.

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  21. He organized the team to a 3-0 deficit.  The injury to Kewell forced Benitez to make a change, otherwise the "tactical genius" would have stuck to his usual tactic of standing there scribbling little love-notes to Dirk Diggler until the 65th minute.

    Not sure about MO'N being the ideal replacement though...

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  22. Christ you lot are gobshites of the highest order...fcuk off back to Neath or Southampton or Beijing and jump on some other bandwagon.....Less than half a bad season and the hand wringers want rid of Rafa..Go and support Citeh or Aston villa...they are on the up after all...gobshites every one with no idea of how to support the team or the Liverpool way!!

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  23. Ha!  Martin O'Neil, Kanwar, you out did yourself this time.  I've never read such a low quality opinions masqueraded with adequate writing skills.  Apart from Henry Winter of course.

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  24. No not MON , his teams are boring and he has big ego. What about Roy Hodgson. Give him a season and if he's shite we sign A PROVEN winner like Maureen or Goose.

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  25. Unfortunatelly I think that you are right.

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  26. <span>"Martin O'Neill + Current squad + Ashley Young + Gabriel Agbonlahor + Motivation/Man-management skills = Premiership title."</span>

    How much would Young and Agbonlahor cost? What is your estimation? Who would you sell asuming the new manager needs sell to buy?

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  27. Never heard of that Vindink guy you are talking about.

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  28. Come on dude, O'Niell is well overrated.

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  29. I think Jaime has seen the daylight long before the blind-faith-brigade and that is why he can post an article shortly after a match. He seemingly thinks about his beloved Liverpool F.C. all day long.

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  30. Jaimie, I'll keep it brief.

    Is it realistic for MON to win the CL with Celtic, no. Is it realistic for him to get them out of the group stages, yes I think it is. So no he hasn't taken teams as far as they can.

    MON is a good manager but not world class.

    I am neither in the 'Rafa can do no wrong brigade' or a member of the 'anti defemation league'

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  31. If Rafa had the same backing he would buy some more left-backs made of crisps or strikers to turn them into poor wingers or wing-backs to be played at left-back or box-to-box midfielders to be routed in front of the back four. May I go on?

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  32. Benitez would get nothing like the patience from fanbase and employers, or control of affairs he has gotten at Anfield. Don't be fooled into thinking it's purely through loyalty that he stayed.

    As I've said elsewhere too, it's not like Real know a thing or two about hiring coaches - so why would anyone trust their judgement. Look at the amount coaches they've gone through since Vicente Del Bosque alone.

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  33. Was Shankly world class when he came to Liverpool?  Was Paisle a world class manager when he took over?  Fagan?  Dalglish/  When has Liverpool ever had the policy of only appointing alleged 'world class' managers?

    Let's look at managers who have been successful in England. Ferguson - ewas he world class when he went to United?  Wenger was in the Japanese League (!); Mourinho was at Porto before Chelsea; quality but not really considered world class.

    You and many others are not being fair at all.  Looking at O'Neill's career,  can you not see the positive progression? I think you do see it but refuse to acknowledge it for some reason.

    How many other managers have taken Celtic out of the group stages of the CL?

    The argument is a tad hypocritical anyway - one one hand people argue that you shouldn't take O'Neill's recoird at Celtic into account because the league is poor; in the next breath they're berating him for not getting into CL knockout rounds.  If the Scottish league is so poor then Celtic are the last team you'd expect to make it, especially considering they're up against teams from richer, higher quality leagues.

    In any event, O'Neill got Celtic to the UEFA cup final, but I guess that means nothing.

    He is the man for Liverpool, and if we do not snap him up, United will, which will herald another era of dominance.

    I have nevewr heard ONE valid, credible argument against O'Neill; it is always the same, cliched arguments, all of which have no merit at all.

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  34. Don't just say it.  Explain WHY he is overrated.  Do you even have any argument to back up that opinion or are you just saying it for the hell of it?

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  35. Why are you 'assuming' that the new manager would need to sell to buy. Upon what is this assumption based? What evidence is there that Benitez has had to sell to buy? let me guess: he bought Robbie Keane in 2008 but was forced to sell him 6 months later, right?

    Young and Agbonlahor would probably copst 25-30m for both, but who said we'd buy them both at the same time?  Buy Young first, then Agbonlahor. having said that, Young is the priority; Agbonlahor is a good player but Liverpool can find another striker of similar quality elsewhere.

    Who to sell?  Any of the following: Kuyt, Aurelio, Dossena, Skrtel, Lucas, Degen, Mascherano, Babel etc. There is money to be made there.

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  36. Jaimie, we have a manager. As you say you wouldn't want to sack any manager mid-season. So let's see how we get on shall we? There is liitle point arguing over who deserves the hot-seat when it is taken.

    While you use that argument. Did Shankly ever have a bad period at Liverpool? Did Paisley? Did Ferguson at United, or Wenger at Arsenal? They were given patience. Each year we have improved under Rafa and have now had a bad few months. Would patience now maybe give US a period of dominance if we ALL stick by our manager?

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  37. "What manager couldn't succeed at Celtic?"

    Eh...John Barnes, Kenny Dalglish, Tommy Burns, Liam Brady, Lou Macari and Josef Venglos?

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  38. 1/2 a poor season? Well, apart from last season we have been treated with mostly negative anti-football most of the time. This man (Benítez) is so obsessed with controlling everything that he forgets trying to win games.

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  39. I can tell you for a fact that that is untrue and never going to happen.

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  40. Funny idea. I think he would walk after five minutes.

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  41. we had our best year last season without pako??

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  42. http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/dec/12/stephen-warnock-aston-villa
    check out warnocks comments regarding how his was treated by benitez, dropping him for the CL squad and putting his (mate) josemi in instead.

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  43. it doesn't matter how we get on for the rest of the season. If we finish 3rd and win the Europa League, Benitez still needs to go.  He has nothing left to offer this team.  3 wins in 17 games is not a bad patch; it is much more than that. He can no loonger motivate and inspire the players, and that is what makes his position untenable.

    Why is there no point in debating (not arguing) over who should be his replacement?  is it the case that we should just accept who's in charge just because they're in charge?

    As an analogy, I guess people shouldn't have called for Saddam Hussein's head whilst he was still ruling Iraq; No one should call for Robert Mugabe to stand down whilst he's still in power.

    People having unquestioning blind faith in their leaders is the reason history is blighted with genocide and bloodshed.

    My analogy is extreme but the same principle applies: (and I am only comparing the principle - I am NOT comparing Benitez to a dictator!)

    If there is a problem then the positive, progressive thing to do is to fix it. In any sphere of life it is our duty to call for change when change is required, not just blindly following whoever is charge just *because* they're in charge.<span>... </span>

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  44. totally agree jaime regarding o'neill,benitez wassn't exactly a household name before joinig us to extend that arguement.
    While I certainly wouldn't mind seeing o'neill at the helm, I still believe that the removal of rafa would be a miss guided decision at this time. I am of the opinion that despite our galling run of form, Benitez can turn it around. Should there be no sign of revival and should our woeful form continue throughout the entire season, then my discontent will be more voiceferous. However for the moment, I have seen enough from this management staff over the past 5-6 years to hold my full support for the moment.

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  45. Yes, it's just the latest in a long line of players who Benitez has alienated.

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  46. I'm still waiting for your credible reasons why O'Neill is overrrated.

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  47. i think macdonalds point when he says
    "There is liitle point arguing over who deserves the hot-seat when it is taken"
    is based on his opinion that rafas goose isn't cooked yet

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  48. Supporting a team is not equivalent with supporting a man who is the manager of the team you support. Supporting a team means that you want it to do well and when someone undermines the goals of the club, then surely people will sooner or later turn against them. You don't support the owners of the club, do you. Then why don't you 'through goo times & bad'?

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  49. <span style=""> Rafa should go now, not in the summer!</span>

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  50. Gerrard would not have made it at Liverpool either if Benitez had had him as a teenager.  Of that I am absolutely sure - the guy has no idea how to develop players that aren't already of the required level

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  51. Taf - re the point about Paisley, Shankly, Ferguson + Wenger needing patience; they EARNED that patience by priving they could win the league.  Wenger has won the title 3 times and been runner up 6 times.  He built a team that went an entire season without losing a game.  he has regularly prioritised flair in his team.  That is why he has been given patience. 

    Paisley didn't need patience because he won trophies practically every year.  Shankly revolutionised Liverpool and completely transformed the club both on and off the pitch, so of course he was going to get patience.

    Benitez has not earned the right for fans to be patient.  We HAVE been patient anyway.  It's 4 years since the CL win, and the league looks as far away as ever. On top of that, Benitez's poor man-management, constant alienation of players, turgid playing style and preference for a cautious approach do not merit further patience.

    I want to enjoy being a Liverpool fan again.  For the last 10 years we've had managers who prioritise strength and stamine over flair and individual expression.  Houllier and Benitez have choked the joy out of Liverpool FC, and there is no greater symbol of this than Benitez's absolute refusal to *ever* celebrate a goal being scored.

    I'm sick of seeing his staid, miserable, emotioneless presence on the side of the pitch, and I'm sure the players are too. 

    Someone needs to come in and inject some fun back and excitement back into the club.  Happy players produce the goods more consistently. Miserable players = miserable performances.

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  52. Samashire, it's not a good tactics by You, to deny that Rafa Benitez this season spent a huge amount of cash (17 millions of pounds) for only one player Who actually doesn't represent a key player in Benitez's hierarchy: ohhh fantastic, what a great business by manager..
    O'Neill spent less money to sign James Milner..
    It's really completed in my view, thinking that any manager, from King Kenny Dalglish to Martin O'Neill, from Kevin Keegan to Roy Hodgson, can't really do a better job than Benitez, and really losing a game against the team at the bottom of the league.
    Benitez repeats always the same, unuseless words at any post match interview: " We were in control, We created chances" and He denies costantly the current poor situation of his side.
    So, now, the target is the Ref..
    Why Can He Blame the Ref for Masch red card? It was surely an horrific tackle and Masch deserved a red card, and before Masch red card, Liverpool has always lose control of the match.
    I believe seriously that Benitez must earn the great lesson by the great man Gianfranco Zola, who doesn't hide his role a manager and his responsibilities.
    And certainly You cannot deny that Zola is working in EXTREME CONDITIONS, and certainly He didn't spende 40 mls of summer of signing.
    Despite the poor results, the Great Man Gianfranco Zola has gained the respect of his players Who are working hardly on the ground for him.
    Liverpool Fc is actually a good team frustrated by his manager.

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  53. I write fast.  I don't have anything pre-prepared. And damage the morale of the fans?  Please.  When should I publish stuff - two weeks after the event?!

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  54. I agree, Jay.  At least Houllier had the sense to allow Gerrard, Owen and Carragher to blossom.

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  55. So you think Rafa's after match comments are the Liverpool way?

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  56. Ane we've had our biggest success under Rafa with a team assembled mostly by Mr. Houllier.

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  57. Steven Gerrard will never leave Liverpool football club for another British club. Ever. You can take that as gospel :)

    He's loyal to this club not this manager.

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  58. Good article - been reading a few of your features on here and they are better then the RAWK knee-jerk brigade.

    I thinkg Rafa has taken us as far as he can a la Ged and would be over the moon at having someone like MON's calibre in charge. However, given that Villa are where they are in the league, and for arguments sake finish with CL football at the end of the season at the expense of us - do you honestly think he will come down to us - be it in the Europa league or not in Europe at all? At Villa, hes got an excellent chairman, players wishing to run through walls for him and not burdened with the task of instant success from the fans. This is the complete oppoisite of our situation.

    So I was going to ask what you think of other options, in particular Guus Hiddink??? 

    p.s. ignore the bile from the morons that are SOS

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  59. Get a grip pal it's the worst run of form in 50 years. Some of us might actually prefer to ask a few questions about why that's happening. The Liverpool way is certainly not to sneer idiotically at those who ask those questions. And if there's one manager who disrespects the Liverpool way it's Benitez. He's as classless as you and plays football that is alien to the traditions of this club.

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  60. I wouldn't be opposed to MON but i actually think it might be hard to get him from Villa. He's pretty entrenched there and by all accounts has a terrific relationship with Randy Lerner. Would he leave?

    I do think we need someone with experience so Hitzfeld or Capello(if available) and yes Mourinho would be my choice. If we go for a young manager Prandelli or Laurent Blanc are options.

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  61. You said it yourself..."we are Liverpool, where the goals are much higher". This is why a lot of fans are upset. This statement also gives light to your query on your third line regarding the moaners coming out.

    Although it's not a catastrophy just yet, seeing as those on top of the league at the moment are stumbling a little as well.


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  62. Exactly Roy Evans would have been in the Champions league every year under the current rules. We would have qualified every year under Houllier bar 99 and 03 too. Houllier won more domestic trophies than Benitez and 4 trophies in 6 years which compares to Benitez and his 2 in 5 years. Rafa has lived of Istanbul for the last 4 years imo.

    Rafa fans act like we were on the brink of relegation before he came here instead of an established, top 4, cup winning side which we were.

    And Rafa benefited from Uefa abolishing the second group stage of the CL thereby making it a lot easier for the big clubs to make it to the last 16. 

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  63. Not even Sammy, he mostly talks to his acolyte that plank Pellegrino. What he's doing with our defenders needs examining. What are his credentials? Rafa is giving him work-experience here at our expense. Another job for one his boys..

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  64. We even had a promising RW a year or 2 ago - Anderson, I think, and he ended up being sold to a lower division team.



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  65. O'Neil would be crazy to come at the moment. No money,huge debts and money still to be found for a new stadium. Villa have loads of money,no debts and plans to expand  the already impressive Villa Park.
    I have doubts about O'Neil, he had wads of cash at Celtic, buying big name Prem players Sutton,Hartson,Hedman,Thompson and Bellamy(loan). That would not happen anymore. When Sky pulled out of Scotland the money was gone and so was O'Neil, leaving Strachan a huge wage bill to cut. Over the last 3 years at Villa he has also had plenty of money to spend on net transfers and wage bill. My other reservation about O'Neil is his football is very direct. His tactic at Leicester,Celtic and A.Villa is to have huge defenders and big strikers supplemented by good crossers.

    Leicester
    Walsh, Elliott, Prior, Taggart.
    Guppy,Impey
    Heskey,Marshall,Claridge.

    Celtic
    Balde,Valgaren,Varga.
    Thopmson,Agathe
    Sutton,Hartson. 

    A.Vila
    Cuellar,Collins,Dunne,Knight.
    Downing,Young,Milner
    Heskey,Carew.

    Now this may have been alright for those clubs but surely we do not want this type of Houllesque type of football at our club. Remember we have had 5 good seasons under Benitez playing good football and our standing around the world has gone up, do we panic after a bad spell.
      
    2005 - CLge Winners, Carling Cup RU.
    2006 - FA Cup Winners, Super Cup Winners, Lg 3rd
    2007 - CLge RU, CS Winners, Lg 4th
    2008 - Lg 3rd
    2009 - Lg 2nd

    If we keep our best players,sell the weak ones and replace with top quality, we will acheive what we want. The problem is with our debts we will probably once more have to sell to buy. We become weaker the others Villa,Sunderland,Tottenaham and the other three become stronger.

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  66. I would really prefer a British manager if possible given the national biases that managers have, not that there's anything wrong with that. I've been aching to see another Gerrard, Carragher, Owen out of our ranks.

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  67. anteater, can you answer me thisquestion, are you sure MON will take the offer of coming to liverpool?
    ifyou are not sure sacking the manager or actively asking for his head should not be a priority and more so i think it s no good to club.
    i asked a MON fan yesterday who wanted benitez sacked yesterday, who would you bring ot the job, his answer was John Aldridge till end of season and    MON inthe summer, we are becoming like Newcastle fans, we think everyone is quequing to come and play or manage this club we love, the truth is the club we love has over 250 million debt and anyone comes to the job will have limited amount of cash to play, and the truth is like it or not, many players such as Torres and Reina will leave if Benitez left and i know some will leave even with him staying. lets be rational and logical, and then we realize sacking benitez should not be the priority. i know we are all frustrated and want to take our anger on benitez or lucas but that s not going ot solve the problem.
    swtick with our mananger, support the team and we will come out of this otherwise, we will be in worse situation.

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  68. i think O'neill is a fantastic manager, and if Rafa did leave i'd love it if we brought martin in...but give me one good reason why he would want to manage us?

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  69. its not just benetiz, the whole lot of these overpaid , overpamperd " stars" think they just have to turn up and other " non-stars" will just let them win. the spewing at the ref from these "stars" is embarresing, only proofing the point. sure we need a change in management, needed it for 2 years now, but we also need to shake up these ponsey, fall down cry babies and remind them of who theyre playing for and that they are rewarded with a kings ransom for doing it.
    time for a MASSIVE change, new broom and all that.  

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  70. MON win anything of importance?

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  71. I'm not sure I can agree with either of your early statements. What you appear to be saying is that from day one a Manager has to earn patience by winning things (which in fairness Rafa did but obviously the Champions League wasn't enough, something Wenger's magic touch could never manage). Or they have to play in a way that, while maybe not winning the title, is pleasing to the eye.

    Cards on the table I'd rather grind out the results like Chelsea are doing at the moment and have another title to shout about.

    There has, until very recently, been steady progress under Benitez. You dismiss his transfer activity which sees us with a much stronger squad bought on a meagre (by some standards) £20m a season. There have also been mitigating circumstances this season. Who would have thought on game one that we would lose all of our top players during the early part of the season, Gerrard and Carragher would be two of the players out of form at times or that a beach ball would score against us?

    Yet there is this short term view taken, balls to the last 5 years of building a team, get someone new in? I'm sorry but it's wrong and Rafa should have the benefit of having the team's supporters behind him till the end of the season at least. If, by the end of the season, there are not clear indications of improvement then yes steps should be taken to ensure that next season is not like this. That is reasonable. But if the indications of being back on track are there then he should stay and finish what he started with everyone behind him.

    I'm sorry Jaimie I know we see eye to eye on some things and not on others but speculating on a successor at this moment in time is more of a hindrance than a help.

    Let the players worry about Rafa's demeanour. If they don't like it then the indications won't be there at the end of the season will they? You talk about the man like he doesn't know what he's doing, the man who won La Liga twice, with that demeanour! I see players downcast and lacking confidence because we're not winning. If you read my blog post today you'll know that I think there is a need for change, but that doesn't have to mean a change in Manager.

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  72. I can do Rafa's job. All you have to do is spend copius amounts on second rate players and systematically ensure that they struggle against teams in the relegation zone. Giss us a job Purslow, go on giss it

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  73. Because Liverpool are a bigger club?

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  74. Totally agree on many of your views on benitez,jamie. He has done a good job but now that we're out of the CL the air has certainly left the baloon. The tire is flat. And our team is totally without passion and belief. To me it doesn't seem like he really knows how to build a team either. remember that he didn't build the successful valencia team, he just managed what hector cuper had built. He should of course have had more money to spend. But he has spent some,no question about that. Some good additions too. But still. What are we left with now at this moment in time.  Are we anywere near a balanced team? is our squad of the quality we should expect considering how much we've spent? do we really have a plan for our attacking football?? i guess our goalies are ok. Our defence is a joke though. Never ever going for someone with speed leaves us with a midfield too cautious going forward. And understandably so. Carra, agger,insua/aurelio are all soooo slow and johnson really have problems defending, it's simply not good enough in todays football. And what about the speed of our midfield? apart from masch who can really run?? counter attacks? forget it..What about wingers? we have now after all these years ONE natural winger! It's a complete joke. And upfront we have one striker with the expected quality for a club like LFC. N'gog has potential but would he be a starter in ANY other team in the premier league??? i think not. Our central midfield can come good if he just stop playing masch an lucas together.. He clearly got it all wrong this summer.Yes, maybe he was promised more money and then didn't get it. But should he have spent that amount of money on a right back and a player that almost hadn't played football the last year??? arbeloa,hyppia and alonso seem like big losses now, but they shouldn't have needed to be when you've spent 35-40 million, should they? not to the degree we experience now. and the year before? dossena?? 7-8 mill pounds. what a complete joke. we could have had riise, finnan, arbeloa at the club. how much money we get for the three we sold?? less than 10 mill? and we spent 25 mill on dossena and johnson combined..are we much better off? 15 mill quality better off? 3 ok players sold. and one player coming in that can contribute,but only offensively it seems. the other is not good enough even for championship football.. good business??? for that extra money we could have had an offensive player of real quality. and what about the youth prospects like pacheco and kelly. i seriously doubt benitez can turn them into the kind of players they got all written over them. we need someone that can get the fire burning again and that can structure our offensive play.MON or Hiddink, sure. but the only problem would they be up for the job? hate us end up with some muppet like klinsmann, that will be in the owners pockets. we need a change but we need a strong man.. sell the deadwood and bring in a couple of quality players.

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  75. Hey Jaimie, I have enjoyed reading your articles. I'm sure you love Liverpool as much as many of us here. However, for this instance, I do not agree Martin O'Neil is the man to take over Liverpool. For years, there have been famous managers for the big teams moving from clubs to clubs. Liverpool has never had such a manager before. I think it is time for Liverpool to get 1 of them now. How about Marcello Lippi for a change? I'm sure he is a well-recognised manager. His fame and honours are no fluke. I will loved to see him manage Liverpool and guide us to success! What do you think?

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  76. What really annoys me is cliched football analysis...
    What good is a 'motivator'?
    To some fans all a manager does is buy/sell players, tell them what position to play and tell them to win the game.
    If thats all that is required I guess most people reading this would qualify to manage a top-flight football club.
    Rafa Benitez has gone through aa football education through one of the greatest clubs in the world Real Madrid to understand the importance of tactics, player development, technique which seems to escape the vast majority of 'British Managers'...
    If Liverpool are to replace Benitez it will be with some-one of a similar pedigree with experience of managing in Europe.
    Not that Martin O'neill is a bad manager but I think Man City are finding a very similar problem with Mark Hughes.

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  77. Lubambula Abdallah1:21 am, December 21, 2009

    You guys remember when the moores were selling this kind of poor performance took place, The only way out of this is to announce the club has been sold don`t look else way for motivation.

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  78. You never cease to amaze me Kanwaar. When will you just admit you're a United supporter?

    Each every worthless blog you post is further proof of your sharlatan ways.

    You jump at the chance to stir things up for your own attention.

    It's pathetic Kanwaar, and so are you.

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  79. For me the true value of a manager is how he leaves the club.  Rafa, whenever his time comes, will leave the squad, reserves and youth far better than it was.  Look at what has happened to the clubs after O'Niell has left.

    Also there is a difference to managing celtic or rangers (which any monkey could do) and challenging at the top.

    He would never win the title for us because hecannot manage over a season. se  villa in the 2nd half last season.

    Personally, if we are going to change managers in the close season, I  would prefer someone young and driven, like blanc for example who we can look to lead for 15 years.

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  80. Why should Martin O'Neill leave the up-and-coming Aston Villa for a club on decline????

    Klinsmann is unemployed, he would do well

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  81. I wouldn't say far better. A bit better but the reserves were an absolute shambles last year and the youth's he has signed 80% are absolute garbage and no better than what we had before. In fact some of them are worse. Flora, Brouwer, Mendy, Plessis..total rubbish. What's really worrying is he's appointed a lot of his own staff and if he leaves where is their loyalty..to him or to us?

    Youth and reserves need a measure of independence from the manager because the youth set up needs to function and produce players regardless of who the manager is. Benitez seems intent on having it his way or the high way and that worries me when he leaves because i suspect a lot of staff will follow him.

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  82. According to transeferleague.co.uk O'neill has spent over 60 million on players over the last 2 seasons from the owners pocket. And it is after spending that kind of money he has really been successful. Villa had a run at the end of last season that was just as bad or maybe even worse than what liverpool are having now. And O'neill didn't turn it around, lucky for him the season ended. Benitez has spent 7 million over the last 2 years. Thats why O'neill is in front of him right now, not because he such a good motivator.

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  83. Ha ha what the f**k is a sousemouse

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  84. Sousemouse, you say that it is a bad season? Out of the League, Carling Cup, Champions League and we are now in 8th position in the league and trailing 4th spot by 8pts. 4 wins in 17. This is not bad, it is a fu***** crisis. All we hear all the time is "we are improving, we must think of the next game, the ref cost us the game, and and and...
    When will the excuses stop. The answer is for Rafa to walk or for the owners to get some balls and sack Rafa. Rafa lovers act as if they are the only loyal supporters of LFC. Seeing that you can tell all of us that are aginst RAFA to fu** of, why dont you go and support Leeds where success shouldnt be measured by trophies (One of the many idiotic comments that RAFA has made.) Enough said...

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  85. Mcdonaldtaf, we meet again. Please tell me how RAFA is ever going to win us the League and why he should be given more time? You have made comments on Wenger "(which in fairness Rafa did but obviously the Champions League wasn't enough, something Wenger's magic touch could never manage)"

    Here is Arsene Wenger"s record at Arsenal. He became Manager of Arsenal in 1996.

    Winners
    Premier League (3): 1997–98, 2001–02, 2003–04 FA Cup (4): 1997–98, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05

    FA Community Shield (4): 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004
    Runner-up UEFA Champions League (1): 2005–06 Premier League (5): 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2004–05 FA Cup (1): 2000–01 League Cup (1): 2006–07 FA Community Shield (2): 2003, 2005 UEFA Cup (1): 1999–2000

    Wenger's record puts RAFA's to shame and has spent far far less than what RAFA has. Yes Arsene hasnt had any success of late but has built a young and very talented side with very little funds and will now reap the success for years to come unlike what Rafa has achieved which is a team full of donkeys pulling a cart with no wheels.

    I am a Liverpool supporter for Life, one that is calling for RAFA to get out and for LFC to have a new start. Now lets see what you have to say about me now...

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  86. here here. nice one taf.

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  87. I really push for Dalglish - Sammy Lee duo until to the end of the season.
    According to reports Dalglish doesn't want to be a bench warmer but in my view, We could offer a reasonable offer to King Kenny.

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  88. OMG, RAFA has only spent 7mil over the last 2 years. It gets better and better the comments we are getting from Rafa lovers. Aquilani 20mil, Johnson 18mil. If I add that up it comes to 38mil on them alone this season. But of course Rafa lovers are looking at the net spend again and again and again. It will look even better when Masch goes to Barca... LOL. So everyone, lets keep Rafa because he has a great net spend and watch our club rot even further. Out with Rafa!!!

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  89. He's managed Wycombe, Leicester, Celtic and Villa.

    He's won nothing of any stature.

    All he's good at is motivating average teams with average players, and when the going gets tough, eg. Villa after February last year, he hasn't got a clue and bottles it.

    If he was more tactically aware we'd have won the league last year because Utd beating Villa at Old Trafford after being behind twice was the turning point in us not winning the league.

    Why on earth would we want someone with no proven track record or big club experience? (I dont wanna hear Celtic are a big club cos lets face it, me or you could win the league with Celtic.)

    It is completely ridiculous even mentioning his name in the same breath as Liverpool.

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  90. If Rafa isn't sacked now, Liverpool will be lucky to qualify for the Europa League next season. Either get Kenny Dalgish to step in until the end of the season or persuade Guss Hiddink to leave Russia to take over the reins.

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  91. Transferleague is wrong; the site is so inaccurate it is unreal. They use figures compiled from media reports rather than accurate figures. And if you really believe Benitez has only spent 7m in the last 2 years then you are seriously deluded and in denial.  That's laughably inaccurate; what makes it worse is you believe it.

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  92. This has to be the most ignorant comment yet.  'He's won nothing of stature'?! You have absolutely no concept of CONTEXT do you?  I guess that anyone who wins anything that is not the Premiere league or CL is worthless, eh?  It is comments like that illustrate just how far standards of fandom have fallen.  You are so in love with Rafa that you cannot even think straight.  Embarrasing.

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  93. Rafa??? Your name says it all...

    Martin O' Niell's Managerial Career:
    Wycombe Wanderers 1990–1995
    Winners Football Conference – 1993 FA Trophy – 1991, 1993 Division 3 Play–Off Winners – 1994

    Leicester City 1995–2000
    Winners Promotion to Premier League – 1995/96 League Cup – (2) 1997, 2000 Runners-up League Cup – 1999

    Celtic 2000–2005
    Winners SPL Championship (3) – 2000/01, 2001/02, 2003/04 Scottish Cup (3) – 2001, 2004, 2005 Scottish League Cup (1) – 2000/01 Runners-up UEFA Cup Runner-Up – 2002/03 Scottish Cup – 2002 Scottish League Cup – 2002/03 SPL Championship (2) – 2002/03 , 2004/05

    Aston Villa 2006–
    Winners The 2009 Peace Cup –


    Martin O' Niell has had more than enough success in his managerial career and IMO will be more than good enough to take over from RAFA. To say that O' Niell has no proven track record or big club experience is bullsh**. Yes his Aston Villa career is nothing to go by, but he has goals and ambitions and his players and the supporters believe in him. He has built a very capable team with plenty of english talent with limited resources. Atleast Aston Villa are improving every season where as we are now going backwards.

    Obviously I will be slated by RAFA lovers now for putting O Niell's career stats on here but it does show that he will be capable of taking over from RAFA.

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  94. Sorry, I haven't read the article because I have no idea who Martin'o Neill is.

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  95. Given the money the top 4 have? Newsflash: since the arrival of Randy Lerner, Martin O'Neill has consistently been among the highest spenders in Europe, not just the EPL. Once again, your 'facts' show just how much knowledge you have. Which is zero.

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  96. Absolute rubbish.  Please post evidence to support that instead of just stating as a fact without evidence.

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  97. The idiots who keep slating O'Neill's trophy record need to start thinking about context. O'Neill does the best he can with the players he has at whatever level he manages. Any fair-minded person unafflicted with terminal Rafaitis can see this.

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  98. Absolute rubbish.  Please post evidence to support that.  Just popping up and stating it does not make it a fact.

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  99. MON hasn't won the Premeirship or anything in Europe. I find him a bit gung hoe with tactics also eg against us at Anfield last year.
    There is only one man for the job - José Mourinho!
    The man is a born winner and will get instant respect from Gerrard and Torres.

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  100. Remind me - which of the following managers had won the League before taking over at their respective clubs:

    Shankly
    Paisely
    Fagan
    Dalglish
    Ferguson
    Wenger

    Wining the league is not a pre-requisite for success in the Liverpool job.  The thing that ties all those managers together is the ability to motivate and get the best out of players.

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  101. I don't know if this has been asked, but would M'ON want to leave Villa to manage Liverpool? He has a lot of freedom and good transfer budgets at Villa, what would he have at Liverpool?

    Would anyone want to manage Liverpool right now - by anyone I mean managers of a certain stature and repute - not Curbishley/Hughes etc.

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  102. Please please please get rid of rafa & lets move in fo mr Mon asap

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  103. O'Neill is the most overrated manager in Britain - even Strachan was able to guide Celtic to successive league titles. Its the equivalent of managing a Sunday League team with a big budget.

    And despite a promising position, he's also done nothing with Villa to date. It would be a sad day if he ever got put in charge at LFC.

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  104. And you think that Rafa could have done any better than what O' Neill has at Aston Villa. You are deluded...

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  105. Yet another cliched response about O'Neill.  Why is he overrated?  PLease explain.  if you can, of course?  or could it be that you're another person jumping on the bandwagon, assimilating the predictable views of others because you don't have an opinion of your own?

    This comment is laughable: "Its the equivalent of managing a Sunday League team with a big budget.".

    Right.  I guess you just have to turn up and trophies will just present themselves without any effort.

    You and all the others coming out with these ridiculous excuses fail to appreciate that the level of football is not the issue; the achievement is.  O'Neill went to Celtic and had a job to do, and he did it.  Same goes for Villa, Wycombe and Leicester.

    You need to consider the context and expectation, and ask yourself the question: what is the best O'Neill could have achieved at every club he has managed?

    Given the money available and the standard of players capable of being attracted,  O"Neill has done the best he could possibly do at every single club he's managed.

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  106. plus banites won the spanish league with hector cooper team not his team. hector did build that team he gets the credit this moran

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  107. O'Neill is an articulate version of Sam Allardyce.

    O'Neill's achievements are comparable to those of Gordon Strachan.

    Villa's game (and every other O'Neill team I can recall) is based upon creating opportunities from dead-ball situations.

    Villa's version of football is boring to watch.

    If the limit of your aspirations is get someone like O'Neill in charge, then you are clearly clueless.

    Villa were shambolic during the last half of last season. Maybe O'Neill's "motivational" skills went absent at that time.

    The obvious criteria for who (if anyone) should replace Benitez is that they should be a better manager than he is.

    The case for O'Neill in that regard is FAR from proven.

    Maybe you could try to be little more realistic when rabble-rousing next time?

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  108. I agree entirely with you Jaime.

    However, I don't think that MON will come unless we have a change of owners and some cash caos at the moment he is at a stable club with an owner who backs him.

    IF LFC waits until end of SEASON what do you think of landing FABIO CAPELLO.

    OR EVEN GUSS HIDDINK

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  109. Jaimie

    I agree that MON is a good manager. However, we need to be realistic. He aint gonna come is he. He is at a stable club and has a good relationship with the owner who gives him a free hand and a little money.

    Don't you think that Guus Hiddink is (a) a more proven option and (b) more realistic as he is currently unattached. Would be good to hear you views on this.

    In fact I would even rather wait until World Cup is over and get Fabio Cappello (again proven and experienced and probably unattached after England fails its campain)

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  110. Jaimie

    I agree that MON is a good manager. However, we need to be realistic. He aint gonna come is he. He is at a stable club and has a good relationship with the owner who gives him a free hand and a little money.

    Don't you think that Guus Hiddink is (a) a more proven option and (b) more realistic as he is currently unattached. Would be good to hear you views on this.

    In fact I would even rather wait until World Cup is over and get Fabio Cappello (again proven and experienced and probably unattached after England fails its campain)

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  111. great shankly quote in the times today:

    "Now I want one thing. I want loyalty. I don’t want anybody to be carrying stories about anybody else. If somebody comes to me with a story — I warn you about this — whoever you’re telling it about won’t be the one who goes. It’ll be you.... You’ll go — out! I don’t care if you’ve been here 15 year [sic]. I want everybody to be loyal to each other. And to do everything you do for Liverpool Football Club. And we’ll all get together. And that will make strength..."

    YNWA

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  112. You are deluded too guest, why did Aston Villa whip our asses 3-1 at Anfield. You say they are playing boring football. 

    Explain the following then 

    2009/2010 English Premiership Table OverallHomeAway <span>RK</span><span>TEAM</span><span>P</span><span>W</span><span>D</span><span>L</span><span>GS</span><span>GA</span><span>W</span><span>D</span><span>L</span><span>GS</span><span>GA</span><span>W</span><span>D</span><span>L</span><span>GS</span><span>GA</span><span>GD</span><span>Pts</span>1<img></img> <span>Chelsea</span>1813234315810255513181028412<img></img> <span>Manchester United</span>181215371771119850418920373<img></img> <span>Arsenal</span>1711244420701257423191324354<img></img> <span>Aston Villa</span>181053291462117643212815355<img></img> <span>Tottenham [...]

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  113. check out Collymores article in Sports.co.uk

    Spot on for once!!!!

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  114.  Team
    GPWDLPtsGFGAGD  Chelsea18132341431528
     Manchester United18121537371720
     Arsenal17112435442024
     Aston Villa18105335291415
     Tottenham18103533402218
     Manchester City177822933276
     Birmingham City188462819181
     Liverpool188372734259
     Fulham177552623176



    You are deluded too guest, Aston Villa are 3rd in the table and you are telling us that the are playing boring football.

    What do you have to say about our football? 8th in the League, is that Birmingham ahead of us and Fulham on our heels.

    It is a fuc**** disgrace...

    ,

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  115. Guest, you are deluded too...

    Aston Villa play boring football, is that why they are 3rd in the league and 8pts ahead of us?

    What have you got to say about or football? 8th in the League, finding this one hard to stomach but we have Birminham ahead of us and Fulham with a game in hand on or heels.

    That is a fuc**** disgrace...

    Good bey Benitez, nice to know you.

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  116. Liverpool are just not that good, it does not matter who you have as manager.

    You should be praising Rafa for achieving what he has with a very poor group of players,

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  117. Jaimie

    You say

    On the 30th May 2004 (before Benitez was appointed), I wrote a post on ThisIsAnfield.com arguing that <span><span> </span>Martin O Neill should get the Manager's job ahead of Benitez and Jose Mourinho</span>. Five and a half years later and my view has not change

    Did you also feel Rafa was the wrong man at 10.30pm on the evening of 25th May 2005?

    When watching Liverpool games, do you hope we concede goals?
    Do you hope Aquilani fails?
    No matter who we get in as manager we will not be able to compete. We will rightly continue to be run as a business that needs to pay debts etc, Man City and Chelsea will dominate for forseeable future until a spending / salary cap is brought in

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  118. We are surrounded by idiots!

    So tells us, who signed the players?

    None other than Rafael Benitez...

    Next stupid comment please...

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  119. Yes. Villa under O'Neill play boring football.

    Their position in the table has no reflection on the entertainment value or style that O'Neill chooses to employ. Its obvious if you (can) think about it.

    The problem we have is that there are too many sheep like yourself who will eagerly lap-up any nonsense that agitators choose to put out for a bit of excitement.

    We have too many big-girl supporters on board who panic at the first sign of trouble. Too many supporters who don't have the balls to keep their nerve when the going gets tough.

    I usually avoid stooping to this level of debate, but when I saw the headline, I just had to read more.

    I mean, who in their right mind would want O'Neill?

    He's just an articulate version of Sam Allardyce.

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  120. Oh dear, Aston Villa whipped us 3-1 at Anfield and made us look worse then school boys.

    You never answered the question about our footbal though...

    You are absolutely clueless...

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  121. No - I do not hope we concede goals/lose etc.

    Why can't people understand this?  It is perfectly possible to support the team whilst acknowledging the manager's faults.  We won in Istanbul but the bagging doubts within me were still there. Look at our league performance that year. Atrocious. That season typifies Benitez - from the sublime to the ridiculous.

    And I disagree with yout re competing - it is not about money; it is about getting the best out of players.  A motivator could take this team to the title with a couple fo shrewd additions; the proof of that is last season.  if what you say is true, Liverpool would not hae been able to compete last season.

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  122. Just to mention it. Given the resources at Liverpool, winning th Premier League title isn't realistic at all.
    I'm pro Rafa but if he leaves i'd like to see O'Neill at Liverpool next summer.

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  123. The thing that worries me is O'neil is doing well with Villa and suddenly he's a candidate. If Villa slip are we still going to be saying O'neill is the right person? He has the right personal attributes but as yet, has had little league or European success as a manager.
    At this stage of the season Rafa needs help from inside Liverpool. Perhaps the appointment of an assistant Manager (Kenny?) might give him a kick up the backside and be a moral boost for the players.

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  124. Max, I have two things to say:

    1. You still haven't answered my questions from the previous posts. This is about interaction not just ranting on a post!

    2. Congratulations on your intimate knowledge of Wenger's career. You spelt his name right as well. Well done!

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  125. So if MON comes in next season and wins the title that'll be down to Benitez, right?

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  126. Jaimie

    HAVE YOU NO COMMENTS AS TO WHETHER YOU CONSIDER GUUS HIDDINK OR CAPELLO AS BETTER OPTIONS- SURELY THEY ARE BOTH MOTIVATORS AND EXPERIENCED!!!

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  127. 25/30 mill for both agbonlahor and young, your having a laugh. Considering these 2 i think are on long term contracts and he tried getting close to 19mill for barry alone who had at the time 2 years left on his contract. The evidence that Benitez has had to sell to buy is the fact that the outgoing sales = the incoming buys. Probably proven in your figures last week, especially when you take away the 20mill for this seasons contract extentions in last years figures.

    If you dont believe hes had to sell to buy why are you suggesting players who could go for decent money. + how can we build a squad, when we need to sell players who would be ok as squad players.

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  128. 60 million would only get you Torres' left foot

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  129. Mcdonaldtaf, what is the point in answering your questions when you are just goint defend the man Called Rafael Benitez and make stupid remarks about my answers?

    But anyway here are your answers:

    Who would increase the quality and value of our players? Batman!!!Who would keep the trophy cabinet full in a competitive league with other teams who spends tens of millions?
    His very well known sidekick Robin!!!Together they will be unstoppable!Hope I answered them to you approval? If you read through all the comments on this article (those not in support of Benitez), maybe you will find many answers to the questions that you have asked... 8-)   

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  130. <span><span>Rafa already has Sammy Lee as assitant Manager. Enough said...</span></span>
    <span><span>Do you really think that Rafa would want anyone more intelligent than Sammy at his side. What Rafa does is for Rafa. He (Rafa) is not going to listen to somebody who knows way more than him (Kenny) about LFC.</span></span>

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  131. Max it is not about defending anyone. I have a point of view that long term, subject to the wheels not really falling off, Rafa is the right man for the job. He signed a 5 year deal and is putting in place changes which will deliver success. This includes changes at the academy as well as the club. Put in context four bad months opposed to years of gradual improvement, under what have been difficult circumstances.

    The resources of the club dictate that overnight success is not possible. Yet fans are taking a short term view and because we are not riding as high as last season calling for Rafa's head. All the while Rafa could have left for his home town club for more money and hundreds of millions of transfer funds... but instead stayed loyal to our club and to finish the long term job he came here for. A loyalty which is not being repaid in any shape or form at the moment by a section of 'the supporters'!

    Some of my answers were flippant but twice you called yourself a 'life long Liverpool fan' and then went on to spell one of our greatest players and manager's name wrong... it's Dalglish and not Dagliesh!

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  132. This is not really true though, is it JS?  If what you're saying about resources is true then Liverpool would not have come so close to winning the title last season.  Money is the not the problem; management is the problem.  We lost the title last season because of Benitez's management approach.  11 draws in the league; throwing away a 7 point lead at the top of the table; stupid rant against United that derailed our focus; same old defensive formations, weird substitutions etc.  The same things are happening again this season, only this time, Benitez has lost the faith of the players, and it shows.

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  133. Liverboy - I like both Hiddink and Capello but neither manager would be here for the long term. They're both in their 60s, so would be unable to build a dynasty like Wenger/Ferguons.  They'd both be short-term options. Successful, probably, but what happens after 4-5 years when they leave?

    Also, I want a British manager this time; someone who knows Brit football and won't need 2-3 season to adapt.

    The inescapeble fact is that the entirety of Liverpool Football Club's success has come from having British Managers at the helm: Shanks, Paisley, Fagan, Dalglish. Historically, almost all successful British teams have been led by British Managers: Busby, Stein, Shanks, Paisley, Revie, Clough, Ferguson, Kendall, Graham among others. When English teams dominated Europe in the late 70's early 80's it was British Managers who were at the helm.

    On a related note, it's also worth noting that many of the most successful teams across Europe have been led by Managers who manage in their own countries. Recently I'm thinking of Mourinho at Porto, Benitez at Valencia, Capello at Roma, Hitzfeld at Bayern, Ancelotti at AC Milan, Del Bosque at Real Madrid [And currently: Guardiola at Barcelona; Ferguson has re-established United's dominace; Veh at Wolfsburg, Blanc at Bordeaux; Hitzfeld again at bayern in 2007.

    This point cannot be underestimated.

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  134. MON plays boring football? Compared to Benitez no one plays boring football. Benitez is the most negative manager in europe so i don't think you have a leg to stand on if you're saying we can't have MON because of his style of football.

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  135. pipe dreamin ! mons the man arite but he aint comin and rafa aint goin

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  136. He is loyal to his legacy

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  137. ill-informed claptrap from start to finish from yet another attention Liverpool fan.....O'neil isnt worthy of licking Rafa boots. End of story

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  138. Sign Alex Ferguson as manager, then buy back Robbie Keane and bring John Barnes out of retirement. That'll do the trick! muahahahahahahahahahahaha!

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  139. No mo, I am not sure that MON would take the job, but as Man City have shown there is a way to make sure you have a replacement ready before you sack your current manager.

    Anyway, I don't think Rafa is any good for the club anymore, so action has to be taken.

    Unlike you I don't think that Reina or Torres would leave as soon as Rafa left. Torres once stated that he had to leave Athletico Madrid because they had him shoulder most of the responsibility. Unfortunatelly it has now turned out for him to be little different at Liverpool and he may welcome the idea of having a manager who actually may opt to have another senior striker in the team and who may even play with two strikers up front to share the burden of scoring the goals. Poor Nando has to play all of the time under Benítez, even when he is injured. Do you really think he likes that?

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  140. Not to forget "we've had a lot of possession". As if that alone wins you matches.

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  141. How about MON bringing his current owner with him to Anfield.

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  142. "All he's good at is motivating average teams with average players"

    That would make him the right man for us right now.

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  143. Magath has won the league with Wolfsburg, not Veh.

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  144. yes he is very loyal indeed, given the fact the did ACTUALLY DID LEAVE lfc to join chelsea but had a sudden change of heart.

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  145. Personally I don't rate Martin O'Neill - and before you go off on one I Would like to cite his recent record in europe.  For two seasons he has basically 'thrown' the chance away for the squad to get european experience.  With this in mind, what is the point of Villa trying to get into the top 4?  This was something I liked about Houllier - he took the club through the Uefa cup and THEN into the champions league, so they had experience.

    Speaking of Houllier, I think Martin O'Neill favours the same tactics - and only last season Villa fans were complaining about this when they faltered.  To sit back and attack at pace reminds me totally of GH.  So do we really want to go back to that again.

    Also reminds me that despite Villa's problems last year - the club stuck by him.  Hmmm.

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  146. Jaimie

    OK, i accept that you do not want to see us concede goals or lose games, that was a low blow, apologies

    But i still believe that last season was a near perfect storm for us, with lots of late goals, apart from a few glitches when Man U were away at world club cup

    And we still fell short, just about

    There has to be a massive problem regarding resources when you compare us to City and Chelsea.

    Chelsea are way ahead of us in the league and in quality of players. And they are still going to spend big in January

    City will probably allow Mancini to splurge in next 2 windows to add to an already amazing squad

    Both teams have so many match winners it's unbelievable, how many times has Stevie G saved us with world class individual brilliance?

    It makes sense that if we had had a few more match winners we would've beat Stoke etc last year and possibly won the league

    An example is the NFL in America, all franchises owned by elite capitalist billionaires yet they practice socialism at the top level of their sport, by having salary caps etc

    Robert Kraft wants to invest in Liverpool but won't touch us with a bargepole because he will only compete on a level playing field, and does not want "petrodollars" to put him at a disadvantage

    In my opinion, there isn't a manager in the world who could guarantee us sustained success with the kind of spending budgets we have at present. Loan signings only proposed for January etc

    The above comments regarding spending are not being used as a defence for Rafa.

    So, we need a crazy billionaire, or a "Russian or an Arab" to quote Souness last week or a salary cap (the preferred option is a salary cap to legitimise soccer again

    Simon

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  147. <span>

    ok the dust is settling after the latest horror show
    a few points we may wish to hold onto before the new year
    The shankly quote reported in the Times - we really need to heed that.
    Any problems will be dealt with by the club, the board will take action if required
    At the moment its bad however recoverable just about.
    MOTIVATION !? Rubbish as ive said before anyone who needs motivating should be shown the door no exceptions simmply end off and good riddance.
    Its not the manager who gets the results it’s the players - yes rafas tactics are bizarre however witch hunting him is not a solution.
    I belive hes surrounded by yes men now perhaps this is where the issues breed A strong objective character is needed to have a quiet honest stock check - howver who that would be is a mystery is sammy lee capable?
    The internal staff changes made by rafa and the demise of results will not go unnoticed so I expect action if it continues.
    Last year was good yet we must bear in mind the sea changes right throu the league
    I cant see 8 teams fighting for the top positions, I don’t believe the likes of villa,spurs etc,, can maintain it till the end. however we need to put it right asap.
    I pray we get maximum points for xmas period otherwise God knows!
    Important to remember even with alonso last year we couldn’t kill teams off.
    That was a clear requirement latst year and the purchase of AA was to redress this.
    Aqualani will hopefully resolve this, if not loan or buy some one to fulfil the maker role. A player like this will boost the team I believe more important than torres back up
    Surely such a player could play centre dash when required any way?
    So lets hear who we should get for this essential role ?
    This would be more helpful in our current plight surely.
    </span>

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  148. I personally hope it doesn't happen for some time yet but if Rafa were to leave, MON would be my first choice as well. My main reservation is that he has never put a team out that really played good football to my mind. Leicester were tigerish and Villa largely rely on a good counter attacking game. I don't see managing Celtic to be a valid comparison to anything, it's like getting a speeding ticket and thinking that qualifies you to race in F1. 

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  149. ALL I CAN SAY IS RAFA SHOULD GOOOOO...

    I don't know whats wrong with the people who say he has to be given a chance.....

    LISTEN...Liverpoolfc is one of the greatest clubs in the world... The last thing I went to see is some coach who has no clue of whats his going to mess up this club and RAFA is doing just that...

    Including lucas in his lineup all the time shows how agnorant he his and how to puts his person issues in the football pitch.

    I mean lucas must be the worst player to have played for liverpool but he is always included by rafa. He is hardy subtituted while effective players like benny are always subtituted for no reason.

    He let Robbie Keane go for only a reason known to him, he'd rather prefare Ngog as a striker then Robbie. Robbie was scoring some goals for us far better then Ngog. And the time when Robbie was playing for liverpool we were number one the 1/2 season.

    Guys they are countless reasons I can bring out that this guy (Rafa) should go now. This team has good players and if put in the right position they can perform real well, and Rafa doesn't know how to do that. His always putting players out of position which is one big reason we are under performing.

    And lastly how can a manager who wants his term to succeed switch of the volume when people are giving advice about a term that is under performing?

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  150. ALL I CAN IS RAFA SHOULD GOOOOO...


    I don't know whats wrong with the people who say he has to be given a chance.....


    LISTEN...Liverpoolfc is one of the greatest clubs in the world... The last thing I went to see is some coach who has no clue of whats his going to mess up this club and RAFA is doing just that...


    Including lucas in his lineup all the time shows how agnorant he his and how to puts his person issues in the football pitch.


    I mean lucas must be the worst player to have played for liverpool but he is always included by rafa. He is hardy subtituted while effective players like benny are always subtituted for no reason.


    He let Robbie Keane go for only a reason known to him, he'd rather prefare Ngog as a striker then Robbie. Robbie was scoring some goals for us far better then Ngog.


    Guys they are countless reasons I can bring out that this guy (Rafa) should go now. This team has good players and if put in the right position they can perform real well, and Rafa doesn't know how to do that, his always putting players out of position which is one big reason we are under performing.


    And lastly how can a manager who wants his term to succeed switch of the volume when people are giving advice about a term that is under performing?

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  151. Villa looks poised to finish top 4; why would o'neill walk away from that to jump on this sinking ship?

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  152. <span><span>Villa looks poised to finish top 4; why would o'neill jump on this sinking ship?</span></span>

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  153. Liverpool is not a sinking ship.  It is taking on water but it can still stay afloat.  It WILL become a sinking ship if Benitez stays in the long-term.

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  154. Finally someone who recognises we need Martin...
    By Far the best manager in the Premier League...
    Would be a instant succes at Anfield

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  155. Old Mcdonald had a farm...

    You said:  
    "Put in context four bad months opposed to years of gradual improvement, under what have been difficult circumstances."Gradual improvement? Difficult circumstances? Can you elaborate?Please only state facts and not stories that media, players, pro rafa and rafa himself have made up. Oh and your pathetic comment about me spelling Dalglish wrong, pronounce Dagliesh (a surname that does exist) and it will sounds same... Please come up with someting better next time if you want to make me look like a fool... ;)

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  156. Old Mcdonald had a farm... 
     
    You said:    
    "Put in context four bad months opposed to years of gradual improvement, under what have been difficult circumstances."Gradual improvement? Difficult circumstances? Can you elaborate?Please only state facts and not stories that media, players, pro rafa and rafa himself have made up. Oh and your pathetic comment about me spelling Dalglish wrong, pronounce Dagliesh (a surname that does exist) and it will sound the same... So Mcdonaldtaf, please come up with someting better next time if you want to make me look like a fool... ;)

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  157. Shock horror another Rafa bash

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  158. <span><span>Jaimie Kanwar</span><span> this is my first day on this site, and I have to say U REALLY HATE RAFA to bit don't u?....IF O'NIELL is better manager why can't he even make it to the Second European League Semifinal? or Carling and FA Cup Final? he has a descent team to do just that. Portsmouth did it?   </span></span>

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  159. Mmmmm Aston Villa since this article have played six league games and dropped 12 points, Liverpool have played seven and dropped only 4 pts beating Villa in the process, how does this and a similar stall last season when in contention for a CL place fit in with "LFC need a MOTIVATOR"?

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  160. Why do you delete comments that defeat your arguments?

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  161. I don't.  Comments are automatically deleted if they contravene the comment policy (It's on the site - read it).

    If people just spend a whole post being snide and derogatory, their post will be deleted.  This site is only interested in posts from people who discuss the issues; any ad hominem arguments will be deleted.  Anyone who can't hack that can visit another site.  It's simple: make your points in the right way and they will stay on the site.

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  162. And no argument was 'defeated' - a post full 'you're a joke!' type stuff is not a counter argument - it's playground stuff.

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  163. We need a young manager that wants to build for 10 years. Someone like deschamps, rijkaard, or carra as player manager? The next man should have a 10 year plan.

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