26 Dec 2009

What was the point? How RAFA BENITEZ continues to alienate STEVEN GERRARD

After five and a half years at Anfield, Rafa Benitez still has no idea how to man-manage Steven Gerrard effectively, something that was proven once again with his recent public comments about Liverpool's captain.

Can someone please explain to me the benefits of Benitez's supremely irritating recent PUBLIC comments about Gerrard, because I just don't see the positives.

“Steven knows that he has to improve, but that for me is very positive. He realises he is a very important player for us and we were analysing his stats and he was doing much better.

"The last game he wasn’t at the same level but that can happen in one game. He knows he is improving physically and the main thing now is confidence. We have a lot of corridors here and we bump into one another.

“We don’t need to organise a proper meeting. I feel that he wants to give more. I am sure 100% that he wants to give more. He is the captain and he is very important for the team and the club. He is someone who is pushing now and wants to improve.”

Was there any reason to say all of that publicly? Under the guise of encouragement, Benitez has basically publicly criticised Gerrard once again.

What is the point of saying stupid things like 'he realises he is an important player for us'?! What purpose is served by implicitly questioning his desire with comments like 'I am 100% sure he wants to give more"?!

Of course Gerrard wants to give more; of course he realises he is an important player for the club. This is stating the obvious. In my view, the reason Gerrard has been below par is because he - like many fans - is sick of Benitez and his mismanagement of the team this season.

Does Benitez really think that Gerrard will see his comments and suddenly be motivated to do better?! It will arguably have the opposite effect, just like it did in August, when he publicly criticised Gerrard, Torres and Babel.

Benitez may well be right about Gerrard needing to do better but nothing is gained by saying it in public. Why not just keep it behind closed doors? Such comments just place further unneeded pressure on Gerrard, who is already displaying signs of immense dissatisfaction on the field.

Furthermore, the comments have given the press all the ammunition they need to put a negative spin on things, with headlines like 'Benitez holds crisis talks with Gerrard' everywhere.

Benitez compounded the pressure with some further comments on the subject:

“Everyone talks about Gerrard-Torres-Gerrard-Torres. They are very important for us and in any team it would be the same. They have to be good and play well and that means the rest of the team would be better.

“If you have Gerrard and Torres playing well I am sure the players around them will be playing well too. But if everyone can improve a little bit it will be good for the team.”

Great management. Benitez basically piles all the pressure on Gerrard and Torres to rescue the team and the season; he even makes them responsible for the form of other players, suggesting that they can only play better if G+T play better!

The ultimate indictment of Benitez's reign is that he has built a 'team' that is totally reliant on two players performing. This is simply not good enough.

And how much longer do we have to hear him go on about players 'improving'?! Look how many times he uses the word 'improve' in the above comments. It's so irritating! Every single interview...enough already!

The most disappointing thing for me though is that Benitez has *still* not learned that criticism of players in public (no matter how you dress it up) is counter-productive.

And he will never learn, which is yet another reason why he has to go at the end of the season.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. You are an idiot.   

  2. why does he not say the same about kuyt and lucas ..i hate this man .
    will gald if he point his mistakes instead of blaming other people for his short coming.

  3. Nothing wrong in what he said.

  4. This season is a shambles, but that doesn't stop me from being a fan and standing by the manager and the team.  Until they are no longer working for Liverpool, they will still have my support.  Yes, decisions may sometimes seem illogical to us, but have you spent hours pouring over videos and analysis?  Have you combined years of experience condensed into 1 match?  Have you watched and trained the players everyday, taking notes of their performance levels and attitudes?

    If the answer is no, then I don't think we have any right to be questioning Rafa or telling him how it could be done.  Yes, of course he makes mistakes, but he is only human.  I'd suggest you take a chill pill, stop supporting Liverpool for a while and come back when we start winning again.  At this moment of time, our great club does not need people like you who call themselves 'fans'.

  5. Another rubbish article.

  6. He won't say the same about Kuyt and Lucas because they are his favourites.

    Just take a look at Kuyt - has he ever once said he needs to improve?  No.  Why?!  Every season Kuyt has barren spells; this season is no exception.  Gerrard always does the business for Liverpool but he gets criticised?!  It's ridiculous.

  7. So you think Benitez's comments will motivate Gerrard?  If he said all of this to Gerrard's face, what is the point of saying it in public?

  8. You always try to find something to moan about  don't you Jamie, Talk about the pot calling the kettle black, what good do you think you are doing when publishing this drivel.
    I don't see any criticism in what he said, it was more like a confidence boosting pat on the back, which is more than you have done for LFC.... 

    As you know i am one of Benitez defenders but i dont understand why he has said this things about Gerrard. I agree with you Jamie, it does not do any good to moral of the team  and that is one of points i have made on this site when other liverpool fans slag soem of our players. all we want from a palyer to give his 100% and if that s not good enough , we should then have a go at him. I am not a great a fam of Lucas but i think he had given 100 % in most games, unlike Babel who has more in his game.
    back to Benitez comments, do you have the whole text of his interview, because taking a commnet out of context may look at what he had said for instance he could  have been defending Gerrard when he said his lat gamegh was not good but he is improving t a comment that he had been bad for last 10 games or so. i am just giving example however i am not sure.
    are you sure that was a comment out of blue
    i am not having a go at you or defending undefendable, just making a point that coulld be considered

  10. It what possible way is it confidence boosting?! 

    Benitez highlights how Gerrard was below par in the last game; exhorts him to improve, and basically blames him for the rest of the team playing badly.

    Are you so blinded by your faith in Benitez that you can't see how counter-productive and unnecessary these comments are?

    Nothing good has ever come of Benitez criticising players in public, and in Liverpool's most crucial time of the season, he does it again.

    Why was it necessary to make these comments public?  What does it achieve?  Surely speaking one-to-one is what was required here?

    A confidence boost would be something along the lines of 'I have total faith in Gerrard; he has proven time and time again that he can do the business and I have no doubt he will do so again etc etc', not 'he was poor in the last match and I want him to improve and carry the team'.

  11. erm... he came out this week and said kuyt isn't performing to his highest level and is going to get dropped for a couple of games.

    gerrard has been crap since he came back from injury. not the worst crime in the world, as every player has dips in form, but gerrards attitude in the games has been the most dissapointing thing. don't think there's anything wrong with saying this in public. everyone know's he's been underperforming. it needs to be said.

  12. Hi Mo - I haven't left out any comments - everything Benitez said about Gerrard is there.  He did make some other comments about money, being happy at Liverpool, but nothing else about Gerrard:


    I think you're right about the morale thing - I just do not see how these comments can have any positive impact whatsoever.  All they don't is create more pressure for Gerrard, and give the press license to create pressure-inducing headlines like 'Benitez forced into crisis talks with Gerrard'.

  13. God you are so negitive and anti Rafa its unbelivable.

    Gerrard himself has said that he has to do better and Rafa has stated that Kuyt needed a rest as he was not play well.

    A one sided story based on a big bag of nothing

  14. Give it a rest Jamie.... I´m sure you would do much better, maybe you should apply for the job of moral booster what with all your experience with knocking the boss and more or less everything LFC. There is nothing inthere that can be read into unless your looking to make something out of nothing. And in my opinion, yes Gerrard has been below par, but so has the whole team and one of the people you look to at times like these in your captain. Fair comments frrom Rafa and im sure you remember that Gerrard has said him self that Rafa is a perfectionist and has made him a better player. Try looking for some positives instead of shit stirring.

  15. very disappointing coming from a liverpool manager...but then again his a cold hearted bastard...we need someone that can inspire emotion to do your best...not bull shit public comments about everyone but himself...RAFA CAN DO MUCH BETTER!

  16. I think you(Jamie) are the one with a problem with Rafa and not Stevie! Why twist his attempt to show his love for all the players by not leaving out the best with his encouraging remarks. Look at Stevie's last few games and it easy to see he is not at the usual Stevie level. Stevie knows it and so does everybody. Is he still hurting or just in a mental funk? Remember some old payers slamming the average players so now rafa includs some of the stars. I don't think he has done anything wrong with mentioning Stevie in public, after all he is our captain and needs to lead by example! Let's hope his game form improves for the rest of the season.

  17. Please explain how these comments will inspire confidence.  Please explain how heaping all the pressure on Gerrard and Torres to rescue the team (AND make other players play better) is a positive thing?

    Football should be a team game; Benitez has made it all about G+T, thus relinquising the other players of responsibility.

  18. Are you wilfully blind or just in denial?  There are many ways to inspire confidence in your players - do you really believe that Benitez has chosen the most effective method here?  Is this the best he could have done?  Is this what am motivational speech should look like?

    I would argue no.

  19. jamie, hasnt he said that he will rest Kuyt as he hasnt been delivering and a break will do him good?

    get your facts right.

    i see nothing wrong with what rafa has said about stevie, its what people are saying at the match.

    you would know that, if you ever went to a match...

  20. I've hear it all now - Benitez's comments were an attempt to 'show his love for all the players'?

    Right, so showing love equals:

    1. Specifically highlighting that Gerrard was below par in his previous game.

    2. Exhorting him to improve

    3. Piling pressure on him by suggesting that other players will only play better if HE plays better.

    I get it now.  I see the love.

  21. And yes, I do have a problem with Benitez - this is not a secret.  I have problem with his management approach, NOT the man himself.  It is nothing personal at all.  He might well be a lovely guy in real life; I am only interested in his LFC related managerial approach, and I have a major problem with that.

  22. I guess thats your opinion, but its Benitez who makes the choice of method and I have heard from more players praising him then slating and in those few instances when he is criticised from players its from players like Peanut, but the praise comes from players like Torres, Gerrard and Alonso, so Rafa must be doing something right.

  23. Jamie, I saw the comments and i am not going to defend them. all i was saying do we know to what questions he had replied. in press conferences, usaully press asks and manager replies, here we got his replies but we dont know to what question.
    that s all i was saying. however i still think there was no need to give those replies. so foro nce i agree wth you in a sense. lol
    lets hope that inspire Gerrard today.

  24. Its nice to see that Tom Hicks and George Gillet finally have their own Liverpool website! Because thats the only conclusion i can draw from all the biased rubbish that has been written about Rafa Benetiz on this website. Everyone knows that Stevie Gerrard has an excellent relationship with Rafa and in fact he is quoted as saying this many times. He actually (as does Torres) respect the fact that Rafa is constantly pushing him and encouraging him to improve his game not allowing him to rest on his laurels and these are the facts anything else you are writing whilst trying to interpret whats going on now is pure speculation that simply has no foundation. Like all the critics where were you when we were finishing second last season or when we were winning the Champions league? Spending 14 million net a season (and these are also facts!) does not guarantee you winning the premier league so its clear that we have been over achieving under Rafa which has obviously raised peoples expectations. As most fair minded and educated Liverpool fans know the biggest reason for liverpools failure is the lack of funding by the owners who have place enourmous debts upon the club. No other top manager is expected to work within such contstraints and yet still compete for all the top trophies and so why are these expectations placed upon Rafa? Other clubs notably Tottenham (who have out spent the top four recently) and Man City are spending significantly more than Liverpool and so why are we expected to automatically be ahead of them for the race for the champions league places?

  25. You remember Rafa's public criticism from August. Do you remember what kind of results came then?

    Let me remind you: 6 straight wins. Some of them very convincing.

  26. Your comments are always spot-on, Jamie!The main reason why Gerrard feels so low is simply because of the fact that he has to work with average,below-par and simply mediocre players like Lucas,Dossena,Degen,Riera,Voronin,that do not bring anything positive to the team but yet keep getting selected by that muppet of manager!
    Rafa knew exactly what the situation was when he signed his big fat contract of five years.Instead of being cautious and spending the money wisely,he signs an injured player for 20 million quid,and when the guy is fit,Rafa does not want to play him fearing the premiership is too physical for him and he might get injured again.That's what I don't like, Rafa taking us,die-hard liverpool supporters for complete idiots,and turning us into the laughing stock of the football world!The game against Porstmouth was the last straw for me,and at the end of the season I fervently wish for new owners to come in and a new manager with new ideas to take Liverpool Fc forward!I have had enough of Rafa and his endless excuses and the actual mood of Stevie G is a reflection of how all Liverpool supporters feel actually!

  27. Kuyt, Lucas & Carragher are the only players that he ever commends out of the blue (although Aurelio might sneak into that group because of his "excellent delivery").
    As far as Benitez is concerned, if you're actually a talented player, the fans will applaud you so there is no need for him to do so, and he will instead choose to pile applaud onto limited but "hard working" players, while just demanding more from those players with obvious talent (i.e. Reina, Torres, Gerrard and I will include Babel in there even though everybody doesn't rate his talent)

  28. Im not Gerrards biggest fan by a long way but he is still carrying his groin injury so must be taking cortisone to mask the pain.  Seems like Rafas way of getting all eyes on Gerrard...the way he likes it.

  29. Rafa's quotes regarding Kuyt:

    "Dirk has played too many games, we know this... 
    But we know Dirk will get back to his levels, for sure.  He is an amazing player, his work rate is fantastic and we can see that because we are watching all their statistics.  He is always one of the players who runs the most during a match but we want him to have a rest if he can because I think that will help improve his game."

  30. this is his form of criticism when it comes to his favorite son, Dirk Kuyt:

    "Dirk has played too many games, we know this...  
    But we know Dirk will get back to his levels, for sure.  He is an amazing player, his work rate is fantastic and we can see that because we are watching all their statistics.  He is always one of the players who runs the most during a match but we want him to have a rest if he can because I think that will help improve his game."

    Before anybody gets excited, it just means that he may be subbed off with 30mins left during the upcoming FA Cup game - he has a clause in his contract that he starts every game

  31. Dear JAMIE,

    Only one of the following statements can be TRUE: WHICH IS IT?

    1. Rafael BENITEZ is a fantastic motivator who is "REJECTING BIASED MEDIA HYPE" about GERRARD and avoiding "FAWNING BLIND-FAITH" management. His VALID CRITICISMS are the only way to shock a COMFORTABLE SUPERSTAR into getting his head right and playing harder FOR THE FANS.

    2. Jaimie KANWAR "has NO IDEA how to SUPPORT LIVERPOOL" correctly. His constant CRITICISM of the club UNDERMINES the management and players and DAMAGES  our attempts to recover from a poor run of form. In fact his comments CONTRIBUTE to the FAILURES on the pitch this season as they ROB PLAYERS, FANS AND STAFF OF CONFIDENCE, WHICH EVERYONE WOULD AGREE, IS REQUIRED TO PLAY at the highest level. "He will never learn which is another reason why" he may as well be  A MANCHESTER UNITED FAN.

    I'm sure you recognise the hysterical use of caps in these statements! Only one of these statements can be true - the fact is you make a living doing exactly what you have criticised Rafa for doing. Your constant criticism of him and some players must, by your logic, be contributing to our poor season.

    Before you argue that you don't manage the club (thank goodness!), I would remind you of 2 more FACTS:

    1. Rafa Benitez has wone La Liga twice, the Champions League, FA Cup and taken Liverpool to its best finish in the league for 20 years - his criticism come from a place of authority; he has the pedigree, knowledge and experience to know how to deal with players, as well as the results to back up his methods. Gerrard himself has admitted that Benitez has hugely improved him as a player and Stevie enjoyed one of his best ever seasons for use last year which saw him named in the FIFA team of the year: Clearly Benitez knows how to handle him.

    2. You criticise Benitez for being positive and encouraging the team when he says he sees improvements. Now you criticise him for pointing out where improvements can be made - he CANNOT WIN! BEnITEZ MOSTLY PRAISES AND BOOSTS CONFIDENCE. YOU HAVE STARTED UP A WEBSITE DEVOTED TO CRITICISING LFC: SO WHO EXACTLY IS DOING MORE POSITIVE FOR THE CLUB AND WHO IS DAMAGING IT?

    Clearly previous results show that BENITEZ IS A POSITIVE FORCE for Liverpool. Your constant criticisms of him even when we are winning things and doing well (i.e. the previous 5 YEARS OF CONSTANT MOANING) show that JAIMIE KANWAR IS UNDERMINING LFC. Should we start calling you AGENT KANWAR???

  32. I keep expecting our annual run of good form to start again, and then we get a performance like Portsmouth... 

    I expect a convincing win vs Wolves today and other results to go our way to kickstart this race for the CL places.  Apparantly nothing in regards to results is going to get us rid of Benitez, and I fear what may happen to the club if we do not qualify for next years Champions League , so the team needs to get its act together pronto!

  33. And what came after that?  3 wins in 17 games.

  34. I'm not Gerrard's biggest fan either (and there are many who can attest to that fact!) - I hope the comments have a galvanising impact, but I just can't see it.  How would you feel?  If Gerrard is carrying a groin injury then his performance level will obviously not be 100%.  He's probably still trying his best whilst also trying not to exacerbate the injury.  The last thing he needs is Benitez on his back telling him to improve.

  35. honestly guys, after reading this,

    i truely feel that, rafa is not to be blamed at all. seriously. he is giving and also showing clear signs to the owners that he need financial help, not only has he mentioned, even fernando has comed out publicly and informed the press that in order to fight for the title, money is needed. why? simple, to get rid of players such as lucas and all. they are of no quality, okay maybe they do, for clubs such as charlton or newcastle. but what liverpool really need is the financial backing. I am living in singapore, far off from anfield, L4. im as sad as you guys are. its truely a shame that what clubs use to fear of, are now taking advantage of our team to gain 3 points. yes benitez chooses the team players, but look at it, can kuyt play a striking role? i doubt so. he is so used to his right midfield, we use to put him up, wher he ends up? midfield. gerrard cant deliver becaus he has to cover lucas, get the ball which lucas loses, and run up. gerrard maybe the god of liverpool but he too has stamina guys, his aging,. for me, DOSSENA LUCAS BABEL DEGEN. the 4 main players who should be out and are of no quality to belong to Liverpool. rafa has delivered trophies. he had players last time and with his managerial skils, he did wel! but with players like lucas and dossena running like idiots, do you really blame benitez or the owners up there? who are hiding bhind rafa's " SACK RAFA " scheme? it was all tahnks to Moores, if he had sold it to the Dubai owners, we will be where chelsea is, with man united licking our asses.  Stevie G and Nando, the only reason they are below par is because of the team! no body can deliver the type of passes. Aquilani is injureD? i guess for how long more.. benayoun can play. he can give and feed torres, but i dunno why is lucas playing.

  36. Benitez has spent 272m (minus 20m for contract extensions) over the last 5 years.  Is that not enough?!  The squad is not good enough because he has bought poor players.  it is no one else's fault but his own.

  37. this is very true! i agree with this, Jamie. It is a norm for a manger to go public. some players respong that way. Stevie G has coped with pressure when you were growing your pubic hair, and i guess its a normal thing for gerrard, rafa is a father to him and whatever rafa says gerrard is learning. it is absoluetly normal for rafa to go publuic say YES my captain is performing badly. its okay. that is not the main reason why gerrard is not perfoming,. he cant perform because he has useless teamates on the field except torres benayoun and kuyt. the rest are jokes. lucas? dossena? voronin? playing with lucas is such a disgrace. its like a amateur football team. im sure many, and mind you MANY feel that they are better than lucas. change the formation. tkae lucas out.

  38. PLease Jamie.... stop the lies. In what world do you live. Saying Rafa has spent 272m without taking into account what he has sold for. Its just like everything that comes from you, pure propaganda and half truths.

  39. Hey Jaimie - Merry Christmas to you and all your followers.

    Just a general point then a possibility for you to consider. Both of which I write for you (and your readers) to consider, rather than to defend Rafa.

    In management different employees react and respond to different stimuli. I have employees who respond to an arm around the shoulder and others who'll only respond to a kick up the ar*e! Gerrard has not been the same player he was last year. Whether this was down to injuries I don't know, but something is definitely not right. In the same way Rafa is not beyond reproach neither is our captain. You earn £100k a week (at least) and have a fixed contract while consistently being head hunted by others. How do you get someone like that to 'buck up their ideas'?

    I don't actually believe this is the case. I suspect that Rafa and Gerrard (as club captain) have met up and discussed his form but also the whole team confidence issue. Is it not plausible that Rafa and Gerrard (and possibly Torres) have discussed them being the focal point of the team? He is not overly negative of Gerrard but look how the focus has shifted. Is it not plausible that this was an agreed tactic? Taking the pressure off others while appearing to heap it on Gerrard and Torres' shoulders.

    At the end of all this the simple truth is we don't know, do we? Gerrard doesn't seem to be complaining. Be interesting to see how he plays this PM.

  40. So, do we agere that criticising Gerrard brought some good in past or not?

    You stated: <span></span>

    <span>"Does Benitez really think that Gerrard will see his comments and suddenly be motivated to do better?! It will arguably have the opposite effect, just like it did in August, when he <span><span> </span>publicly criticised Gerrard, Torres and Babel</span>."</span>

    And the facts suggest you are wrong: criticism brought 6 straight wins and improved performances from Torres and Gerrard.

    Then they both get injuries, but August criticism was successful.

  41. I agree with you Jaime, there are a lot of Red supporters who are blind in their faith of Benitez. He has spent over a quarter of a billion pounds in over 5 years and most of the players he has bought have been mediocre at best. When they put on their red shirts and cross the whote line they are meant to fight for their lives on the pitch or so it used to be that way. Money was not a factor when Benitez won the title with Valencia against the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid, as he clearly knew that there was no way he could compete financially. Liverpool is a richer club than Valencia and yet he is still using money as an excuse for the team's failings, when this a team put together by himself with money which was not wisely used. In times like this, everyone needs to stick together at the club and criticism in public is not the Liverpool way. Benitez was brought to Liverpool to win the Premier League within financial constraints like he did at Valencia. If he cannot do this and it is looking ever increasingly unlikely, then we need someone who can stand up to the challenge. 5 years without a trophy and any manager at a big club would be looking over their shoulder, for the sack, but as he is all powerful at the club, he has the power to do anything he wants with little fear of retribution. If he was a decent man, he would walk.

  42. I always agree with Jaimie and theres no difference here.. Why on earth would you criticise one of our best players (2 including torres) in public?! Now hes got loads more pressure on him because of fans expecting him to pull of something magnificent which probably wont even come, because of his groin injury which hes still carrying - and to add to this, why is Rafa letting Gerrard play with an injury, while Aquilani is sitting on the bench bored-out-of-his-brains... This is getting really frustrating for all of us, one solution! Get a new manager, all this nonsense " Oh Its The Owners' faults they havent given him enough money." All these big spendings(which I will show you now), havent cost anything have they, and so what selling to buy, he wouldnt need to sell them, if they were decent in the bloody first place, these are the big-money transfers :
    Torres 26m, Aquilani 20m, Johnson 17m(Who knows if they owe money for Crouch, we're not the boss are we), Kuyt 10.5m, Babel 11.5m, Keane 20m, Mascherano 18m, Dossena 8m(not much but could have been spent wiser), Alonso 10m, Lucas 7m!!(Rip off, Ngog is way better than him and he was 1.5m - good buy there), Sissoko 8m, Cisse 14.5m and theres probably more.. And Gerrard is doing badly because hes upfront with Torres, hes getting lazier and lazier because hes upfront, in the midfield hes solid at the back, and good at the top end, running into the box when someone crosses it in, which rarely happens now >:o !! This should be the team against Wolves :
    Johnson Carragher Agger Aurelio
    Babel Aquilani Lucas  Gerrard
              Benayoun Torres

  43. What is the point of this article? You just have to look at the £272 million quote regarding purchases to see how biased this website is when it comes to bashing Rafa. Why don't you listen to people who are in Anfield, someone like Torres who has reiterated once again how LFC are lacking in money to buy players and compete with MCFC, CFC and MUFC.

  44. Oh god. When are you and the other net spend groupies going to realise that net spend is just an excuse?! It does not change the FACT that Benitez has had 272m to spend. He has had that amount in his hands to spend on players. Just because he recouped money does not change things. 272m has been spent I.e. That is what has gone on players.
    Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

  45. reina

    johnson carra agger insua

    yossi aquilani lucas aurelio

    torres  gerard

    kuyt on the bench. aquilani starting. might be worth getting off the couch

  46.  Above is the team for todays game.

  47. Another anit rafa post by Jamie.

    He claims he does not want rafa sacked but wants MON.  He has a pop at the pro rafa fans yet is so far anti rafa.  pot kettle black anyone?

  48. Another anti rafa post by Jamie.

    Jamie i'm not pro or anti rafa - just a supporter of LFC.

    You however are like a cancer.  the type of fan that has claimed 'does not want rafa sacked' - but drools over Martin O'Neil's success up in Scotland and in the League cup.

    Sorry but that does not gurantee he'd be a success mate.  However you appear to have your heart set on him.  Well f**k off and support Villa if he's that good.

    Fact is we're all suffering and have our own opinions about how to change things.  Fans always do.

    But like Jamie, you can try to influence people with regular bias based posts that are clearly aimed at bringing rafa down. 

    Support rafa and you're not welcome here.  Go against him and Jamie perks up like an excited dog (maybe you are one, who can type).

    It's a common patterm. 

    Did we see a post from Jamie everytime we won a game in the 2nd half of last season praising rafa?  Of course not.

    Now every little detail is jumped upon by this 'fan' and posted on here. Although 99% of the s**te on here is purely to create a reaction - hence why 99% if utter garbage.

    Love to meet you for a drink at the game to chat, but I doubt you get to go often, as most arm chair critics are.

    And that's what you are Jamie - just an armchair critic.

    Right I'm off the game to support Liverpool.

  49. Nice one mate but I'm sure JK will delete your post soon.

  50. please reply to this jaimie :)

  51. more comments should be posted here like the one above. too many rants and not enough insight.
    Personnally i dont read much into managers chat its on the field wher it counts.
    both sg and nando are not fully fit end of story.#
    can people get of this pointless bickering and look at what should be done now.
    again i state -


    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.

    come all red men
    cant wait for the game today

  52. James Kanwar PhD Man motivation. Part time blogger. Full time delusion of grandeur sufferer

  53. absoloutely spot on jamie. i was thinking the exact same thing when i read those comments from benitez. he is constantly praising the crap players like aurelio, kuyt and he who must not be named (lucas). we know and gerrard knows how important he is for liverpool we dont need benitez to tell the public such obvious things. his record in the transfer market is woeful e.g dossena, babel, voronin, kuyt, lucas, degen, kronkamp, josemi, gonzalez, nunez, riera, cavalieri and even ngog. he even sold excellent players, such as bellamy, crouch, morientes, finnan, ALONSO, riise, hyypia, kewell. they are all better than the pile of crap we have now. no wonder gerrard isnt playing well. he's playing with shit, shit players who cant cut in the premier league never mind liverpool. a further point. has anyone realised how slow the liverpool team is?? our 'left backs' are slow. benayoun is effective but isnt fast, kuyt is awfully slow, riera is so slow i dont know how he ever made it as a winger. and these are our attacking players! benitez has created a team who are a bunch of misfits. HE MUST GO.    

  54. Another example of Benitez deflecting the attention by blaming someone else.

    He's on the defensive as he knows he's lost the confidence of his players.

  55. Benitez is a very calcuated man. He wants to cash in on him and the focus of attention and blame will be on Gerrard. He can't man manage and that's is life!

  56. Rafa doesn't know management at all.  He purchased so many players to prepare a team with flexibility when other players getting injure.  However, his recent statements are as stupid as it gets since he puts all the blame to the captain and even some on Torres.  What it remains true is if Gerro and Torres are 100%, Liverpool is really hard to play against.  However, they are not machines, they do go down on injuries just like everybody else, and if they are not probably heal, and force to take painkillers to drag themselves on the field at 50% level.  Whats the point of playing them.  Its counterproductive.  Rafa should have pointed the fingers in public to other players instead of Steven.  In my opinion, if their injuries require surgery, they should do it right away instead of putting them in danger, then smack them in the face.  What happen to the rest of the squad that he builts, they just go to sleep when Gerrard and Torres are injured.  My God..  Rafa, how many times you play Steven in other positions besides his preferred Central Midfield slot, why only him, why not anybody else.  To me, you don't know how to manage.  Gerrard recent performance is not his fault, the same goes to Torres.  They have the guts to try to do it at half their usual level, so I think its time for the manager to admit that his management is the biggest problem.  He should take it like a man, instead of having Steven to be his scapegoat.  

  57. well done mate :)  how did u predict it ?

  58. You make absolutely no sense!!! On the one hand you blame the lack of money to reinforce the squad as a culprit to our malaise, but fail to grasp that the players you feel need to go (lucas,dossena, babel) were all bought by Rafa when he had money. If you give him more money, why do you think he will improve the squad? Furthermore, it was endless pursuit of the Barry (the world's side passer, never so a player square a ball like him) that alienated one of most significant players we had in recent history. Finally, perhaps you should think about the money we spent on AA, and what return have we had. You want to give Rafa more money to help build upon the inadequate squad he built originally.

  59. I'm not really a big fan of full backs in midfield, but seeing as the other left midfield options are all apparantly injured I have to be happy with the team put out today.  I won't attack the starting line-up in hindsight as I do agree with Rafa's choices this time and expect that team to be capable of playing some decent football and creating some real chances.  :)

    If not, a striker should be brought on early enough to have a real impact and support Torres, with Gerrard dropping back into midfield

  60. tbh, I do agree with you Longchalk, in that the comments shouldn't really have impact on a player's performances, whether the comments are positive or negative.  Especially considering the fact that I'd assume the manager talks with them extensively in private to make his opinions known.  I just find it amusing the comments that he chooses to release in public, where he finds it obligatory to use the carrot approach with some players and the stick approach with others.

  61. 'm not really a big fan of full backs in midfield, but seeing as the other left midfield options are all apparantly injured I have to be happy with the team put out today.  I won't attack the starting line-up with hindsight following the result, as I do agree with Rafa's choices this time and although still lacking much pace, the team should be capable of moving the ball around quickly in the final third and I expect us to play some decent football and creating some real chances for once.  :)  

    If not, a striker should be brought on early enough to have a real impact and support Torres, with Gerrard dropping back into midfield from where he can be more involved with the ball at his feet

  62. GUYS GUYS< LETS LEAVE THIS FAN< who has no idea of what club he is supporting < a rest. STEVEN GERRARD HAS PROVED HIIMSELF!  hey jaimie, i got a sentence for you. JOin the mancs if you want success and not be a gentlemen

  63. <span>first of all, babel should never be included, yes he does have a talent. but it died 2 years ago. he should be loaned out, and then called upon. the team to play is
    johnson carra agger insua</span>
    <span>lucas auilani</span>
    <span>kuyt gerrard benayoun</span>


  65. better peformance from stevie g
    hope it continures on tuesday
    danny pachnco looked good
    an attacking selection at last
    good to see it and i dont care how we got the result

  66. Benitez put out a good side today, although liverpool did not really had their full confidence, they still played well. the red card was a blessing which alonso used to create for us. gerrard responded extremely well to what benitez has said. his second half performance could not be described! his back heels and side passes in the air, and control and long passes. everything was perfect! this is how much rafa has made an impact to  him. i still dun see the 272 million. get your facts right! please! he started out from scratch! so he had to play around. and mind you, that 272 million came with a FA cup, Champions league cup and super cup. if you said 272 million. do you still have any questions??

  67. Ah yes, it was because of Benitez that Gerrard played better.  Nonsense.  We were playing Wolves, remember.  Against 10 men.  Gerrard is always going to play well.  Benitez's comments have nothing to do with it.

  68. Why Jamie do you insist on saying Rafa has had 272m in his hands to buy players. Tell me at what point in his time here was he handed 272m and told to go out and buy players? Back up your statement pal like you insist on everybody else in here. Otherwise your just spouting rubbish like always.

  69. You are one blinded negative person.

  70. talk talk talk ,,,,,,
    better to do it on the pitch
    my jury is still out
    we need more improvement
    this was a posotive in the right way
    rafa rabbits on to much for his own good
    heed the old ways shanks etc...
    villa will be a good test,they all need to step up to it
    we shall see

  71. Scoring against 10 men does not make up for 13 games worth of bad performances

  72. You should be man enough to admit you were wrong. If not, why not follow your usual policy and delete the whole article, then you can pretend it never happened!

  73. WHO WAS VOTED MAN OF THE MATCH? Spot on Jaimie - looking forward to your attempts to wriggle out of this one.

  74. What absolute rubbish. Net spend means everything. If I spend £5million on a player but sell one of my current players for £10 million, where does that leave my squad? Your artices are awful but your reasoning powers are embarrasing. How do expect people to take you seriously when you make statements like that?

  75. Its funny how Rafa never blames himself for making mistakes. Let me remind you of some of the mistakes he has made this season:

    1 - Selling Alonso
    2 - Buying a injured Aqualani
    3 - Spending the whole budget on a right back when we only had 1 proven striker.
    4 - Mistreatment of Babel
    5 - Blind faith on continous underperforming players like Kuyt, Lucas, Insua.
    6 - Playing 2 defensive midfielders game after game even when we need to win a game.
    7 - Mistreatment of Yossi by continious subbing him or dropping him.
    8 - Playing Dossena left wing against Pompey
    9 - Unable to motivate a team low on confidence which led to us being out of the title race by OCTOBER and out of the Champions league.
    10 - Playing Aurelio in centre mid against Fiorentina.
    11 - Not having the GUTS to play 2 strikers.
    12 - Dropping Ngog after he scores in the previous game.

    The list is endless but the Rafa lovers will blame the yanks, players etc but you need to realise that Rafa has lost the dressing room with his bizare behaviour. I cringed when he guranteed that we will finish 4th because it has just given spurs, villa and city an almight incentive.

  76. Wrong again Jamie, Gerrard bullet header, take that! Well done Rafa! Please , please keep having a go at Rafa especially now you have had a go BEFORE a match for a change! Hindsight is a wonderful thing! C'mon you REDS!

  77. I'm not wrong though.  Just because you think Benitez is the reason Gerrard played well against 10 men doesn't make it so. 

    Gerrard SHOULD be playing well against 10 men; it has nothing to do with Benitez.

  78. You Benitez lovers are so fickle...so easily-led!  If Gerrard had made one decent pass in the entire game you'd all be foaming at the mouth at Benitez's alleged genius.

    Gerrard played well in the second half; Wolves had 10 men in the second half.  Of course he's going to play well!  It has nothing to do with Benitez and everything to do with the fact that Wovlves are crap, Liverpool were at home and had a one-mad advantage.

  79. It's not so much the net spending itself that bothers me, we know he's bought some and sold some thereby keeping the NET low.

    What gets to me the most is the waste of time and money the club has to go through buying players for a certain amount and after a few games, realizing the manager doesn't really like them eventually getting benched or  sold for a loss.

    The most recent example is Robbie Keane, he was bought for 18-20 M, give or take, played for half a season, manager realizes he doesn't like him so he gets sold immediately back to Tottenham. So, why was he bought to begin with? It was like giving Tottenham free money as well.

    I'm not sure what this has to do with your main topic Jamie, I just thought of responding when I saw your reply about spending.

  80. The Rafa lovers will now call this the sixth or seventh new start of the season. One win against a poor team down to 10 men and all of a sudden all is forgiven. Had Masch not been suspended we would have played 2 defensive midfielders against Wolves who by the way played with 2 strikers.

  81. Are you just pathologically incapable of accepting the truth?!  Why the hell does it matter if he was given the 272m at one time?  IT DOESN'T MATTER.

    The FACT is he has had 272m to spend! This is the amount of money Benitez has actually spent in the transfer market.

    Example: I buy a house for 300K, and sell it for 400k; someone then asks me 'So - how much did you buy that house for'.  I don't say -100k, do I?!  I say I bought it for 300k but made a 100k profit when selling it.  The 100k profit DOES NOT CHANGE THE FACT THAT I ORIGINALLY SPENT 300K!

    That 300k is REAL MONEY; it is not imaginary.

    And don't tell me to 'back up my statement' - I've backed up my view a thousand times on this issue.  If you can't grasp the difference between gross and net spend that's not my problem.

    At the end of the day, Benitez has spent 272m.  He might have recouped money later but that doesn't change the amount that he has spent.

    Example:  We bought Alonso for 10.5m and sold him for 20m.  5 years elapsed from purchase to sale.  We made a profit on him but that doesn't change the fact that he ORIGINALLY COST 10.5m.  Or are you going to argue that he actually cost -20m?

    There is a fundamental misunderstanding here that people like you are not fair or objective enough to accept:  Gross spend is not negated/superseded by net spend.  The 272m Benitez has spent SHOULD have been spent better; it wasn't, which is why he had to recoup the money.

    Recouping money on a failed signing does not negate the original mistake!  The net spend brigade are basically in the business of condoning mistakes; their view is 'Who cares if we make transfer mistakes and waste money; as long as we make some money back everything is okay!'

    Such an attitude is ridiculous and indicative of the culture of accepting mediocrity that is growing amongst the fans.

    What we should be looking at is HOW Benitez spent the money he originally had.  Instead, the pro-Rafa cult prefer to condone his mistakes by prioritising net spend.

    Basically, how money is originally spent is not important to the pro-Rafa brigade.  They don't see that our squad could have been better now if Benitez hadn't wasted millions on crap players.  They cling onto the net spend fallacy for dear life in the misguided belief that it makes their idol look good.

    It doesn't.  Using net spend to judge effectiveness in the transfer market just highlights the ignorance of people who use that argument.

  82. You're spot on, Poloy. Using the twisted logic of the net-spend brigade, the Robbie Keane deal was actually a good deal for Liverpool!  Why? Because we made money back on him.  Like you highlight, that conpletely ignores the fact that we LOST money in the deal.  According to Liverpool's report for 2008, Spurs only paid 12m to buy Keane back.  That could increase in the future but at the time they bought him back, Liverpool made an 8m loss!

    As you say, free money for Spurs, but the net-spend idiots will still tell us that's more important than gross spend.  It's not.  Liverpool paid 20m for Keane originally.  The reason gross spend is more important is because the money originally spend COULD have been spent better.

    Benitez had 20m in his hands to spend, and he wasted it on Keane.  Imagine if he'd spent that 20m on a different player; someone who DIDN'T get dumped after 6 months; someone who could actually fit into the system and make a telling contribution. 

    Benitez wasted the money.  It doesn't matter if we made money back; the team lost out because Benitez bought the wrong player.

  83. Antoine,

    I don't think it's about giving him more money, it's about making things work out after a player has been bought.

    I totally agree about the AA/ reserves and youth by the way. It's like, get as many as you can before the other team does, at the end of the day we barely have anyone making it to the first team, most recently just Insua and maybe Kelly. The big teams as a whole should think about the careers of these young kids and not just dump them by the wayside when they've found another player who could "potentially" be a star.

  84. so you mean the game started off as 1o man? because for the fact that gerrard played very well in the first 20min , cudnt be the reason that he was playing against 10man? he was certainly playing against 11! so youre trying to say, that, if you do badly, and your father tells his family that my son is doing badly, you wont get any motivation to boost ureself? u'd rather slack and get worst? no right?
    jaimie, i duno where are you from and which club you support. last season we have been winning against 10 man team. where were you then? why on earth were you shutting up at that point of time? because everyone was doing well? and when they arent, big mouths like you rise and criticise more?

  85. maybe a better club for you is MANC?? where they have many plenty strikers? or where they cheat to win??

  86. Actually Jaimie it doesn't have anything to do with those things: Wolves actually played very well - they came for a draw and were very resilient.
    The point isn't whether Gerrard simply had a competent game against 10 men - he was the best player on the pitch, the man of the match over the whole 90 minutes; i.e. the best of the 22 on the pitch for the first 60 and still the best of the 11 LFC players for the last 30.
    His reaction to the goal, his drive to score the goal - making the header over 2 defenders - and his general demeanour today showed far more belief and leadership than over the past few weeks.
    The Anti-Rafa Ranters can try and claim that this is a coincidence, but read the article again: It suggests that Benitez is ALIENATING Stevie, that his words would have a DETRIMENTAL  effect on his performances.
    So don't try and twist the argument by saying he should have played well against 10 men - it's irrelevant because you stated that Rafa WOULD MAKE HIM PLAY WORSE.
    Are you saying he played worse? Anybody? There is far more evidence to suggest that Benitez's words had a positive effect.
    ultimately this is where the Anti-Rafa Ranters get it wrong - when you are so blinkered that you see nothing but mistakes, people will dismiss your arguments on the occasions that you are right because people will just dismiss all your views as being driven by your Anti-Benitez bias. If you could bring yourselves to be fair and impartial, people would have more respect for what you have to say - even the most ardent defenders of Benitez admit that he does get it wrong sometimes.
    Ultimately you are on shaky ground because over the years he has got far more right than wrong and this is why your constant criticisms come across as just hatred without logic. Still, I suppose it generates more traffic for the site, but remember there may well come a point where the views being expressed are so out of tune with reality that people won't even bother to visit: sadly the performances of Gerrard (who we were told would play worse) and Johnson (who we were told last week was a disgrace and wasn't looking after himself) are 2 more nails in that coffin.
    You really need some light to go with the constant shade.

  87. The article said he would make Gerrad play WORSE:

    "Does Benitez really think that Gerrard will see his comments and suddenly be motivated to do better?! <span>It will arguably have the opposite effect"</span>
    <span>"Benitez has *still* not learned that criticism of players in public (no matter how you dress it up) is counter-productive."</span>
    Clearly his words were NOT "counter-productive" and clearly they did NOT "have the opposite effect" than being "motivated to do better".

    Admit you got it wrong.

  88. Not that anybody has ever argued that the Keane deal was a good deal - can you quote a single example? - but it is common knowledge that the Keane deal was done by Parry behind Benitez's back.

    The point of the net spend argument is that an incorrect figure is given to suggest that Benitez has spent far more than he really has. Has he made some bad signings? Absolutely yes. Can you name me a single manager who has never made a bad signing? Not one.

    We have Reina, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Insua, (Alonso), Aquilani, Benayoun and Torres who are all world-class signings. And presumably, since you always want to include the new contract agreements as part of the spend, then we can claim Carra and Gerrard as 'signings' since he spent his transfer money on securing them?

    Name a single player who has left Liverpool during the Benitez era and become a better/more successful player? The only possibility is Alonso, time will tell, but the player wanted to leave and we made great money on him.

    People talk about Crouch and Bellamy - but we had to sell them to get Torres - would we really swap them back? Though not.

  89. Gosh - how much false assumption are you going to include?

    1. Common knowledge that Parry signed Keane?  Aaagh!  This is such nonsense.  Common knowledge according to whom?  Pro-Benitez Liverpool fans?!  This is one of the biggest myths ever, and the most ridiculous.  There is NO EVIDENCE whatsoever to support the contention that Parry signed Keane.  The very idea of it is silly - since when do Chief Executives choose and sign players over a manager's head?!  And Rick Parry?  Do me a favour.  There is plenty of evidence *direct from Benitez himself* that proves he wanted Keane.  I have highlighted all the evidence in one of my posts here: http://www.liverpool-kop.com/2009/07/debunking-liverpool-fc-myths-no-1-rick.html

    Do you realise how ridiculous it sounds to suggest that Parry signed Keane?  benitez wanted him; he got him.  End of story. 

    2. Crouch and Bellamy sold to fund Torres.  Again, this is false.  Please provide one shred of evidence to support that. 

    You also state: The point of the net spend argument is that an incorrect figure is given to suggest that Benitez has spent far more than he really has.

    272m is not an incorrect figure!  Just because Benitez recouped some money does not make it incorrect.  This is the exact amount Benitez has spent; it is the amount he has handed over to other clubs for players.  These clubs received that amount of money, did they not?  Recouping money does NOT change the fact that the original figure is correct.
    Using your logic, if I was to say that Liverpool paid 20m for Robbie Keane, does that make me wrong?  Am I using an incorrect figure? NO!  That's how much he cost, yet according to you, that figure is incorrect.  How can that be?

  90. rasvn - stick to posting about LFC please.  If you clog up threads with stuff like 'You're a Manc' I'll just ban you.  This site is for intelligent debate about football - if you want to engage in that sort of commenting then TIA and RAWK will welcome you with open arms.

  91. Benitez's words had nothing to do with it.  Gerrad is a professional; he wants to play well in every game; law of averages, he was bound to return to form sooner or later.

    And you can't judge the impact of Benitez's comments after one game.  We'll see where we are in 3-4 games.  Wolves is anot a good example anyway; Liverpool should be beating them. We only managed to score when they went down to 10 men anway. 

    I am not wrong.  Benitez's comments were ill advised and served no positive purpose.  He's done the same thing many times in the past and nothing positive ever comes of it.

  92. look, if the team was pushing on up ( or near) the top of the table would anyone give a shit about gross/net spend? i wouldnt. but last time i dared to look we were... well we all know dont we? benetiz is past his used by date, sure hes been an ok manager at some point but when the team is languishing he has to earn the right to be the man in charge. so far it seems he is unable to affect a change in the teams moral/position. an employee unable to do the job they are paid to do gets sacked. ask hughes.

  93. "We'll see where we are in 3-4 games."

    But after last criticism Gerrard and Torres played better for more than 3-4 games - yet in your article we can find this statement:

    <span>"Does Benitez really think that Gerrard will see his comments and suddenly be motivated to do better?! It will arguably have the opposite effect, just like it did in August, when he <span><span> </span>publicly criticised Gerrard, Torres and Babel</span>."</span>

    How exactly the August criticism had the opposite efect? Had Gerrard and Torrest played worse after criticism in August?

    Why it is so hard for you to admit your statement was wrong?

  94. We'll see where we are in 3-4 games." 
    But after last criticism Gerrard and Torres played better for more than 3-4 games - yet in your article we can find this statement: 
    <span>"Does Benitez really think that Gerrard will see his comments and suddenly be motivated to do better?! It will arguably have the opposite effect, just like it did in August, when he <span><span> </span>publicly criticised Gerrard, Torres and Babel</span>."</span> 
    How exactly the August criticism had the opposite efect? Had Gerrard and Torrest played worse after criticism in August? 
    Why is it so hard for you to admit your statement was wrong?

  95. His comments are all to do with deflection, he is simply deflecting the attention from himself onto other high profile players in order to cover up for his own managerial in abilities.
    Commonly known as "a poor workman always blames his tools" in this case poor manager blames his star players. His mangement of some of the players he has brought to Liverpool is highly contentious, Babel, Dossena, Voronin for example these were players whom Benitez targeted whether they are Liverpool quality or not he brought them to Liverpool and has treated them like dogs, he treats the fans with the same contempt, I'll state another example: when certain players are warming up who are known game changers by the fans, the fans chant for the player to be introduced "but Benitez will return them to the bench and introduce another player" He plays players such as Kuyt who is a great guy who'll run all day long but without any end product yet he's never critised. Although i like Benitez as a person he has taken Liverpool as far as he can possibly take them, and like Houllier before him now believes his own hype; which would of, in normal circumstances led to his dismissal, but unfortunately 1 stupid yank believed the hype too and handed him an improvrd contract which they can not afford to cancel, so i fear we are now stuck with Benitez, unless he does the honourable thing and leaves "which i don't think he will", as i said before "this guy believes his own hype".

  96. I think the fact that Rafa played torres and gerrard injured against a team that might get relegated spoke louder than words in terms of admitting how important they are to the team. Mediocre manager, mediocre squad. 

  97. Manager helps makes Gerrard one of the best attacking players in the world and he is a bad motivator. Gerrard finally plays with a little life and it has nothing to do with the manager. Yet you have ppl here calling others blind followers etc. i have no problem if ppl don't like the manager's style of play, team selection etc. Debate that all u want. All i keep saying is that u can't have it both ways. All that is bad with the club can't be because of Benitez and then the good stuff is in spite of Benitez. Ur a blind Rafa basher Jaimie Kanwar, y not just admit it.

    Can't wait for your article on te game itself. I wonder what anti rafa insight ur going to provide cuz God knows with the team selection, inability to score until Wolves had a player sent off and the fact that he waited till the 83rd minute to bring on Pacheco. Lot of fodder there JK.........get after it

  98. Manager helps makes Gerrard one of the best attacking players in the world and he is a bad motivator. Gerrard finally plays with a little life and it has nothing to do with the manager. Yet you have ppl here calling others blind followers etc. i have no problem if ppl don't like the manager's style of play, team selection etc. Debate that all u want. All i keep saying is that u can't have it both ways. All that is bad with the club can't be because of Benitez and then the good stuff is in spite of Benitez. Ur a blind Rafa basher Jaimie Kanwar, y not just admit it.

    Can't wait for your article on te game itself. I wonder what anti rafa insight ur going to provide cuz God knows with the team selection, inability to score until Wolves had a player sent off and the fact that he waited till the 83rd minute to bring on Pacheco. Lot of fodder there JK.........get after it

  99. Manager helps makes Gerrard one of the best attacking players in the world and he is a bad motivator. Gerrard finally plays with a little life and it has nothing to do with the manager. Yet you have ppl here calling others blind followers etc. i have no problem if ppl don't like the manager's style of play, team selection etc. Debate that all u want. All i keep saying is that u can't have it both ways. All that is bad with the club can't be because of Benitez and then the good stuff is in spite of Benitez. Ur a blind Rafa basher Jaimie Kanwar, y not just admit it.

    Can't wait for your article on te game itself. I wonder what anti rafa insight ur going to provide cuz God knows with the team selection, inability to score until Wolves had a player sent off and the fact that he waited till the 83rd minute to bring on Pacheco. Lot of fodder there JK.........get after it

  100. My statement is not wrong.  Gerrard did play worse after August, or has horrible run over the last 3 months eluded you? After Benitez's criticism, Gerrard managed only 3 goals in the next 18 appearances, which for someone paying second striker, is arguably below par.  Liverpool may have won some games along the way but Gerrard's performances were below par for most of that run.

    Also, the other criticism was at the beginning of the season; a lot has changed since then. The stakes are higher; the need for inspirational management is more critical than ever.

    Liverpool beat Wolves.  That's great, but Liverpool SHOULD be beating Wolves, especially when they're down to 10 men. Anything but a win - and good performances from top players - would have been inexcusable in such circumstances.

  101. Once again your Rafa bashing is getting in the way of your objectiveness. Benitez was replying to questions by the media when he said he bumped into Gerrard in the corridors so there was no need to have specific meeting with him.

    What would you rather him say - no comment? Then you would criticise him over that too. And he didn't basically say G+T needed to pull the whole team up. He said that everyone needs to improve as well as those two.

    And honestly how much would the players read about themselves in newspapers or listen to what's being said in the media? Anything that is said can be distorted to sound the way the so-called 'journalists' want it too.

  102. Apart from Keane, all the other big money signings have/will be successful, apary from maybe Babel. No one can argue that Alonso, Mash and Torres weren't brilliant signings. Johnson will prove a good signing, whether his future lies at right back or right midfield. And from all accounts Aquiliani will be a star.

    So maybe if Rafa had 30 mil upfront to sign 1 or 2 players we would have a star studded team. Yet he can't do this because he has to sell 1 or 2 players to get that extra 10-15 mil. Then of course he has to use some of that money to replace those players that he has sold.

    This is why it's taken so long to build the squad. It's not hard to see how this works.

  103. <span>http://anfieldtalk.blogspot.com/2009/12/benitez-gerrard-is-key.html:</span>

    <span>"He is certainly one of the very best players I have ever worked with. When I was at Real Madrid I worked with people like Raul and many other very good players who did very well in the first team.

    "Like them, Stevie is known as a top-class player all around the world."</span>

    This is straight from Benitez's mouth. Gerrard knows how Benitez feels about him. And he does praise him publicly when needed. But seeing as everyone else does, Benitez probably feels like he needs to praise the lesser knowns, and the ones who get bashed in the blog postings (Lucas, Kuyt ring a bell?).

    You can't pick out a neutral-type comment and turn it into negative propaganda.

  104. "Gerrard did play worse after August, or has horrible run over the last 3 months eluded you?"

    You just said 3-4 games is enough to say. Now you want me to consider last 3 mothns. Make your mind, mate.

    If you analise Gerrard's start of the season youll see: bad game against Spurs, good game against Stoke and very bad game against Villa

    After the criticism youll see: very good Gerrard against Bolton, very good  Gerrard against Burnley and good against next three oponents. His form incereased after criticism. It droped later, but just after it definietly didnt drop.

    You said he will be less motivated after criticism. His goal against Wolves was all about motivation. And dont tell me how rubish Wolves are. Portsmouth are worse than Wolves yet Gerrard played rubish just week before.

    And dont get me wrong: I dont like public criticism of the players. But your criticism to the criticism needed to be criticised as it is over the top.

  105. It is good that Wolves manager doesnt blame the 'red card' and say 'the referee was perferct!?' for the reason why they lose.

    Glad to see LFC got 3 points. Again, it is because Stevie G..Not Lucas, Aurelio or Kuyt.

    To Pro-Benitez, its too early to say Jaimie wrong..Lets see whether we can win against Martin O'Neill sides

  106. The comments that Rafa made about Stevie was live on Skysports Daniel.

    I wish we could hear how Stevie is feeling at the moment. Lets face it, Stevie cant say much cuase then he will be going against Rafa and the blind faith that follows Rafa.

    I am sure Gerrard cant wait for Rafa to get out. 

  107. Gerrard is keeping his mouth shut otherwise he will have all the RAFA supporters on his back. Gerrard is our club captian, our most important player. How is it going to make him look if he had to start complaining? He is Benitez's robot. Rafa switches him on, tells him what to do and then passes the buck because Rafa knows that Gerrard will not talk crap about him. 

    Come on Stevie, tell us all how you really feel about Benitez, I am dying to know.

  108. I totally Agree Jamie.
    I'm not able to comprend what's the real difference.
    Benitez recouped the money (it's his job recouped the money because is the manager) but the crucial question is:
    How Did He spend the money? He wasted money of the Club..apart for Torres, Reina & Xabi.
    I'm interested to know club's profit revenues by selling players as Hamann, Baros, Traore, Biscan, Smicer, Warnock, Murphy, Cissè ( He was more fragile tham Aquilani).....
    I do not Think that Benitez earned an huge mountain of money by selling these players...
    We need to use a bit of common sense..

  109. <span>"Benitez's words had nothing to do with it.  Gerrad is a professional; he wants to play well in every game; law of averages, he was bound to return to form sooner or later."</span>

    THIS IS A HUGE ADMISSION JAIMIE! if you really believe that nothing Rafa says can have a positive effect on Gerrard because he is such a focused professional, then surely logic would dictate that nothing he says can have a NEGATIVE effect because he is such a focused professional?

    Therefore your original article is, by your own admission, completely flawed.  It's another example of what I was referring to in my comment you deleted yesterday - you try so hard to make everything a criticism of LFC that you even undermine your own arguments. I expect you will delete this too as it proves, once and for all, what you do.

  110. It depends on the mentality of the player, some players will be motivated and some won't. Maybe Rafa knows Gerrard a little bit better than you and decided to comment in public knowing it would motivate him. Seeing as he scored yesterday and played better than before maybe proves him right to say what he did.

  111. Aveage net spend of about £16m a season. We have the 6th most expensive squad and the 8th highest wage bill in premiership according to soccernomics.

  112. Hello guest, please tell us what good Benitez has done for the club?

    1. Dont use the excuse that Rafa took us to second place last season as Houllier also took us to second too.

    2. Dont tell us that he has improved the team that he took over from Houllier as he won the CL & FA Cup with Houlliers team 5 seasons ago (the season he joind LFC) but cant even win the Carling cup with the team that he (Rafa) has built.

    3. The only reason why we have got into the CL every season since Rafa took over is because UEFA changed the rules allowing the top four to qualify.

    Take out the following players from the team that he has built: Torres, Reina & Masch and we will probably have a team fighting relegation. We cant include Stevie & Carra as they were already there when Benitez came so this is what we will have:
    Cavalieri Johnson Aquilani Agger Voronin Riera Aurelio Benayoun Kyrgiakos Kuyt Babel Lucas Insua Ngog Degen El Zhar Skrtel Dossena

    Just have a look at the players excluding Reina, Torres & Masch. Is this the best that Benitez has managed to date? Please dont use the excuse that he hasnt had money to spend, had to sell to buy and didnt have the freedom to buy players that he wanted. If so please provide all the proof as we cant go by what Benitez, players, the media and Rafa supporters make up. I want proof released by Liverpool Football Club.

    So guest or any other Rafa supporter, please tell us what Rafa has changed and improved since taking over from Houllier.

    No excuses please.

  113. Every company in the world uses net spend, as does every individual. When you use your bank account you look at your income as well as your outgoings - it's obvious.

    If you have an asset you bought for 10m and you sold it for 40m, you HAVE 30M PROFIT. If you are managing a budget in ANY COMPANY and you turn a profit within that budget, the money is part of that budget to reinvest.

    Thus if I loan you £10 for a month and you work hard and intelligently with that money and turn it into £50, when it is time to pay me back do you give me £50 because you made it all out of the original 10? Of course you don't - you give me 10 back and keep 40 to reinvest how you see fit.

    So in a football club if you pay 10m for a player, develop him, then sell him for 40m - YOU HAVE MADE 30M PROFIT. If you pay 5m for a player then sell him for 1m, YOU HAVE MADE 4M LOSS.

    Buying players is not like shopping in Sainsburys, it is more like trading - what you are buying has a resale value and you are judged by how your INCOME stacks up against OUTGOINGS. Simples.

  114. 1.It is not so much the fact that we finished 2nd - rather that OUR POINTS TOTAL WAS THE BIGGEST IN THE HISTORY OF THE PREMIER LEAGUE FOR LFC. Therefore Benitez can categorically say he is the most successful manager in the last 20 years - there is no debate here, points accrued is a completely level playing field, whereas in some years a different total would have got you to second. I would also add that Houllier was in charge during an era when there was not such mega-money in the Prem - this is shown by Arsenal's decline - they have gone from Invincibles to winning nothing during the Benitez reign, not because they have got worse but because the standard is so much better.

    2. Thank you for making the point for me on the Champions League win. You give 2 managers the same team and enter the same competition. One wins it, the other does not. Which is the better manager? Exactly - using exactly the same resources as Houllier Benitez won the CL, definitively proving he is the better manager.

    The Carling Cup? Pathetic effort - when has he ever played his 1st XI in it and who cares about winning it?

    3. This is irrelevant since the rules have been changed - partly down to our successes in Europe where Liverpool have been top ranked team in Rafa's reign. Besides this, there is only one season where we wouldn't have qualified as he finished 4th, the rest we finished 2nd, 3rd, or won the CL.

    It's a totally pointless Kanwar-esque argument to say "what if we didn't have this or that player" - we do have them and if we didn't we would have money to invest in other players. And according to people like you we have to include Gerrard and Carra as signings now as their new contracts are part of the transfer budget.

    Reina, Johnson, Carra, Agger/Skrtel, Insua, Mascherano, Aquilani, Torres, Gerrard - all world-class internationals.
    We can quibble about Kuyt, Lucas et al but clearly their international managers rate them.

    If, if, if - the fact is that Benitez IS our most successful manager for 20 years and he is the only manager in the last 20 years who has finally made us a European and domestic force again. Sure this season has been poor so far - time will tell whether this is a blip or symptomatic of a deeper problem but I would rather wait to see which it is before making a decision which could see us throw away our best manager for 20 years and replace him with an inferior one. People talk about the success of O'Neill in Scotland - all I will say is look at \souness' record up there and then what he did to us!

  115. In what way is aurelio crap!! He's injury prone, i'll give you that...but when he plays he's one of the best left backs in the league.

  116. LOL

    Benitez criticises Gerrard....he's obviously going to play rubbish because of what Rafa did!!

    But wait...Gerrard has a good game, scores a fantastic goal made through determination...well its obviously nothing to do with Benitez!!! Gerrard is a professional and nothing Rafa says will affect him...pathetic article

    I'm sorry Jaime but i've lost all respect for you...you cant blame for performances on Rafa but give him no credit for the good ones!!

  117. Mick did blame the red card...idiot

  118. He said he didn't think it was a sending off, that the ref only booked him again because he had shown Berra the yellow and that the sending off changed the game.

    People slate Lucas whatever he does - he actually had a very tidy game yesterday and has played pretty well this season.

  119. It's quite odd that you would "totally agree" with someone when you admit that you "don't really comprehend" the argument - this doesn't show "common sense".

    Benitez got low returns on the players you mentioned because they were poor players in the main and Houllier had payed over the odds for them.

    You mention 3 players who were worth the money - what about:

    2 players it's too early to tell:

    Several players are debatable:
    Ngog - I would say value for 1.5m in today's market.
    Kuyt - a starter for Holland so he must be pretty good.
    Lucas - I would say at 6m he has justified his price, look at what 6m gets you these days when Carrick cost 18!
    Riera - excellent on his day.
    Aurelio - has had some excellent games and came on a Bosman free transfer.

    Of the flops, nearly all are in the 2-10m price bracket where you are not guaranteed a consistent performer and no manager in the world gets these signings right every time.

    Which leaves us with 1 misjudgement: Babel. lots of clubs were after him, he just hasn't developed as expected. None of us really know why this is, some will blame Benitez, some won't. The evidence of otehr players who have improved at the club over the last few years would suggest that Benitez is not to blame.

  120. I should specificate that I do not really comprend irrilevant questions of Pro Rafa Blind Brigade about net spend of Benitez.
    Net spend is net spend: what's the problem? It's only a number and I'm not interested to know if Rafa recouped the money (it's the manager's job to operate on transfers) , but certainly I'm interested to analyse how He spent the huge amount of money.
    My response is direct: except for Xabi, Garcia, Reina, Torres, Rafa bought not a decent player but only poor players, and He collected, during his six years on charge, a string of flops, from Morientes to Nunez.

  121. It's very simple Jaimie:

    If Liverpool pay 20m for a player and sell him for 15m, the player has only cost the club 5m.

    The reason this is important?

    unlike Chelsea and Man City, we have to operate within a tight budget. Therefore if we want to buy big players, we have to sell others to help finance these deals.

    If you run a business which has invested 100m and made sales of 150m, you have made 50m profit. If everybody in the company ignores your sales and just pretends you have spent 100m with no return, they would be doing you a disservice and being very unfair.

    BENITEZ HAS SPENT 80 MILLION OVER 6 YEARS - NET SPEND IS THE <span>ONLY</span> WAY THAT COMPANIES AND INDIVIDUALS JUDGE THEIR SPENDING. Your bank manager doesn't ignore the money you have coming into your account every month and then add up everything you have spent over the years and claim this is your overdraft.

    In the case of Liverpool, Marcotti wrote in The Times:


    "One of the key building blocks of any good PR/spin campaign is to repeat certain talking points endlessly. Never mind what the question is, just repeat your talking point. We've seen politicians do it for years. The neat thing is that, if you repeat something enough times it sort of becomes true, or, at least, actionable (remember the war over evidence of - as one former Prime Minister put it - "Weapons of mass destruction related program activities"?).

    These talking points are useful when discussing Rafa Benitez. Take your pick from the following: Lucas Leiva, the mishandling of Robbie Keane, the sale of Xabi Alonso and, my personal favourite, "spending £240 million" and being "no closer" to winning the Premier League.
    I like the last one best because it's the most idiotic. The latter part of the statement is easy to dispatch.  Liverpool finished closer to winning the title last year than they have in any season since 1989/90, when they actually won it.
    But the former part is truly absurd. Liverpool may have spent £240m since Benitez's arrival (Tony Barrett's figures in The Times yesterday more accurately put the number at £226m, presumably because they don't include Djibril Cisse, who was signed earlier but only arrived when Benitez did). But the key is that this number is a gross spend. 
    Liverpool also SOLD players in that period. A much fairer reflection of Benitez's spending is to look at the net spend, which is around £80m (or £94m if you include Cisse).
    That's a lot isn't it? Yes, until you remember that it's £80m (or £94m) over SIX years. Which is actually between £13.5m and £15.5m a season. A hefty sum, but not an earth-shattering one. Just this past summer, for example, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Manchester City, Sunderland, Stoke and Birmingham City all spent that amount (or a little more, much more in the case of City).
    There are plenty of reasons to be critical of Benitez. It's just that some are valid and some, like this £240m fallacy, are, at best, wrong, at worst, dishonest."

  122. Ok you have simply ignored everything which was posted above - read and respond to it, then we have a debate.

  123. To look at it another way:

    You have 11 players who each cost 1m.  You have spent 11m. [11 x 1m = 11m]

    You sell one of them for 1m. You replace him with a player who costs that 1m. [11m-1m+1m = 11m]

    Have you now spent 12m? In Jaimie's eyes you have because he wants to ignore the 1m you got back.

    So if over a 5 year period you make 20 changes to your team, and each time you sell a player for 1m and buy a player for 1m, there are 2 ways of looking at it:

    I would argue that you have not spent any more than the original 11m you have invested - certainly you have not had to ask the club for any more money. [11m+20m-20m = 11m]

    Jaimie would argue that you have now spent 31m because he wants to ignore the fact that you have recouped 20m in sales. [11m+20m]

    At no point would you have had 31m to spend; your team is still worth 11m, the club has only spent 11m on players over that 5 year period, and if you sold your entire team you would get back that 11m.


  124. I think most comments made by managers and fans in football are not useful.  Too often players come out in an interview and say things which lead to headlines like "Carragher issues warning to Manchester United" etc...  This is just one more example of it.  It's better to speak in platitudes and simply say things like, "We are taking it one match at a time".  It's not conducive to say anything like this in public, not because it's hurtful or untrue, but because, as Jaime said, it give the press ammunition to create sensationalistic headlines (as if they need an excuse for that).  

  125. I've no problem: I can easily reply to your points.Mascherano: No doubt He's a World Class DM, but He's too expensive regard as his role in the team.Are You sure that EPL doesn't offer many players at the same level, Whoes cost less than Masch? Sidwell For example..He can do the same defensive rated work of Masch, for a price lower..Agger: Well done, decent signSkrtel: UnperformedInsua: Totally absence of defensive moves: He costs many goal to LFC.Benayoun: World class Players, especially as a midfield - attack player.Why does He receives a so cruel threatment by Benitez?N'gog: Good Striker, with a good ratio score, but Pacheco & Nemeth are most talented players than him: it's a fact.Kuyt: He's not right wingLucas: Terrible. 6m for Lucas...MY god..O'neill spent 6m to sign Stylian Petrov, HR spent 7m to sign Krajncar.Terrible waste of money.Aurelio: Very slow defender, very Poor left wing, costantly injured.Average player: totally flop.Riise & Warnock are better than him.Johson: Good sign. Ok for the Guy, bit with Carra and Martin Kelly in formation, RB possibily was not the priority of the Club. Benitez spent all transfer budget to secure only one player when it was possible buying two players, a striker & a left wing, with 18 million of pounds.Aquilani: World Class players, but despite his price tag, Benitez objectively does not consider him a key player.Actually Aquaman is playing due to Masch's Ban: it's a fact

  126. Yeh i think we all whinced when we read Kuyt described as "amazing" lol

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Guess the Ballon d'Or and world player of the year nominations were remiss in overlooking the "amazing" Kuyt!

  127. Rubbish. According to published figures we had the 4th highest wage bill in the premiership in the last accounting year. And the squad value is 5th altho that is misleading in that it simply adds up transfer fees. So Gerrard is valued at zero. Daft.

    The most important statistic is that we are the 3rd highest spending club in the premiership, gross and net under Benitez. Yet we have nothing like the 3rd best squad.

  128. Jeez talk about flogging a dead horse..Ok our netspend in 5 years is minus 90M.

    Arsenal's net spend in 5 years. Is +30M.

    So would you say Wenger spent 123M less than Rafa in the last 5 years? Or would you say Rafa has spent 5 times as much as Wenger?

    Either way looking at netspend makes Benitez look even worse transfer wise. Utd, Arsenal both have far lower netspends in the last 5 years and both have much better squads. Maybe their managers are just better at "netspending" eh...they are certainly better at winning premierships.

  129. Kranjcar cost Spurs 3M not 7M. Good deal that.

  130. What have Arsenal won in the last 5 years while we have wone the Champions League, FA Cup, European Supercup and finished 2nd last year?

    Oh. Nothing. Oh yeah and we finished above them in the league.

  131. @Max

    "Take out the following players from the team that he has built: Torres, Reina & Masch and we will probably have a team fighting relegation."

    Very funny. You remove 120 mil worth players and ask what else Rafa did.

    Its a question like: what have the Romans ever done for us? Apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health of course.

    "We cant include Stevie & Carra as they were already there when Benitez came "

    Surely when you analyse Mourinho's Chelsea you remove Lampart, Terry, and Joe Cole cos they were there already... Then you remove 120 mil worth other players and then analyse Chelsea team strenghts...

    We have to include Stevie and Carra because:

    1. Rafa built the theam around them.
    2. Both improved under Rafa. Improved very much.

  132. You can help me my point: 3M for a lethal offensive player.
    Sometimes it's a question of spending money in a correct or appropriate way..

  133. Keane?

    I'd like to know what day Riera was "excellent" on.

    It's not too early to tell that Johnson cannot defend so we can add him to your list this time next year when we'll be after yet another full back or he'll be a right-winger cos i'm telling you now he will not last as the first choice right-back at this club.

  134. He didnt have a good game though. He was playing like a dog until that header. And he was very lucky not to get booked or worse for lunging  in like a loon a couple of times.

    But one headed goal means he had a good game? That's simply not true. Goal or not he was, as he has been this year, well below par.

    Mind you the nerve of Benitez staggers me. He criticises Gerrard yet repeatedly plays him through injury and then has the gall to say he's not at his best. Well then don't play him when he's injured!!

    He does the same with Torres, playing him when he's not fully fit, and as a lone striker to boot!! Then he claims they need to improve to help the team. The man's hypocrisy is nauseating.

    The fact is Benitez has been kept in a job by Gerrard and Torres and he'll continue to hide behind them as long as he can. The man is gutless.

  135. As Rafa has done repeatedly when we've had men sent off... Idiot.

  136. European supercup? Haha! Charity shield..i guess you're another of the Houllier won 5 trophies band of nutters.

    They have won 1 domestic trophy. Same as us.

    They've been in 1 Champions league final to our 2. We've been above them in the league 3 times and after this season they will have been above us 3 times.

    And according to the netspend idiots as we've massively outspent them we should be doing far better than them shouldn't we?

    Oh forgot about that eh..Numpty.

    Their squad pisses on ours and was assembled at a fraction of the "netspend"

  137. More than what Rafa has spent it's the TYPE of player he signs that is the issue. The guy above mentions Kranjcar but i don't think Rafa would go for him. He doesn't do anything much defensively and he's not a particularly hard worker so i don't think he'd go for him. Benitez will always pick the player that fits into his "controlling" mindset.

    It's like in 2006 Berbatov was available for 10M and yet we spent 10M on Kuyt. That sums up Rafa.

    Now if we had 30M to spend on a striker i guarantee Benitez would never sign Berbatov and if he came here how do you think he'd get on? He covers about half the ground that Kuyt does in a typical game so Benitez with his computer read-outs will say "oh Kuyt is running much more and bench him." He's got no idea how to integrate a player like that.

    Imagine us signing someone like Drogba..Can you imagine his reaction to being subbed after an hour each week, or benched when he's scored 2 goals? Or asked to play on the wing? He'd just stop trying as he did under Scolar..it would be a disaster. Imagine the young Ronaldo, with his step-overs and non-existent defensive discipline. Benitez can't bring himself to trust Ryan Babel as if he'd give a show-boater like Ronaldo the time to develop into the player he became. I don't think Ronaldo or Ronaldhino would have lasted 5 minutes in a Rafa side and he was a world player of the year!!

    This piece was about his idiotic comments about our injured and still trying to play through pain skipper. You don't criticise someone publicly who's going through the pain barrier for this club, especially when he's bailed you out time and time again.

    Top managers build a bond between them and their players..it's more than reading charts and looking at computer read-outs and Benitez doesn't have it. You don't criticise your own players publicly, that's almost a rule of management. Watch Fergie or Wenger, their players would have to kidnap a bus full of school kids to get a negative comment about them from their managers. Yet our tool of a manager bleats about the form of our 2 star players when they are both playing through injury to try and save his skin.

    The man's arrogance is beyond belief. It's no wonder that he's easily the least liked manager in the premiership amongst his peers. They know a bitter, vindictive chancer when they see one.

  138. <p><span><span>Jaimie,</span><span></span></span>
    </p><p><span> </span>
    </p><p><span><span>granted, you'll probably read over this<span>  </span>comment and be too busy or simply unmoved, but I SINCERELY HOPE that you do another piece detailing exactly how gerrard's effort in the wolves game was undermined by rafa's midweek "alienation" of him.</span><span></span></span>
    </p><p><span> </span>
    </p><p><span><span>i (and i would bet my house that many others who cross this website) WOULD LOVE NOTHING MORE THAN TO HEAR YOU ATTEMPT TO VINDICATE YOUR OPINION WITH ACTUAL GAME STATISTICS.</span><span></span></span>
    </p><p><span> </span>
    </p><p><span><span>i think you would at the very least garner some respect for not slinking into the shadows when the reality of the situation differs so greatly from what you've suggested. </span><span></span></span>
    </p><p><span><span> </span></span>
    </p><p><span><span>as i recall it, that is TWICE that rafa has come out and specifically referred to gerrard's performances and highlighted areas of improvement.....it is also twice that rafa got an IMMEDIATE RESPONSE from gerrard to the credit of the player and the benefit of the club.</span><span></span></span>
    </p><p><span> </span>
    </p><p><span><span>maybe he knows a bit more about the lad than certain factions give him credit for?</span><span></span></span>
    </p><p><span> </span>
    </p><p><span><span>maybe he knows a bit more about management of the game and its stars at the highest level than certain factions give him credit for?</span><span></span></span>
    </p><p><span> </span>
    </p><p><span><span>of course he does, and most sensible people would be in no doubt of either being the case by simply looking at his CV and what he has won, despite the incessant proselytizing by an increasingly venemous anti-rafa cabal....i only wonder whether you - as an individual who has openly and passionately criticized many aspects of rafa's management - have the conviction in your opinions to come back onto your own site and defend them in the face of the truth, or at least admit that you may have gotten it wrong....</span></span><span></span>

  139. I agree with Jamie that the Gerrard comments are at best ill-advised. But I guess my real question is are his comments taken out of context. To wit, did someone/a reporter actually ask him the questions that provoked the answers? If so, then it's a little bit more understandable. If not, then there is no reason for Rafa to bring up any of those issues.

  140. Bad man-management? What a performance from Gerrard! This is the sort of thing you need. A kick at the backside and this is exactly what Rafa did and look at the result. Jaimie, where's your post after the win. Seems like this blog will be closed if we continue to win. All the best to you.

  141. Gee, it couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that it's christmasa time, could it? Posts are reduced due to that. This is obvious.
    Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

  142. granted, aurelio isnt that bad. but compare him to chelsea's ashley cole, arsenal's clichy and man u's evra. aurelio is no comparison and isnt good enough to play for liverpool. also, someone has got to injure kuyt and lucas really quickly, those two never get injured!!

  143. I think Jamie Kanwar is a Manc in disguise
    He always seems to be writing crap in order to get a response.
    Unfortunately his plan works time and time again !

  144. Haha nice try, using data from last season - according to your data Newcastle are 5th lol!

    Man City and Spurs have certainly overtaken us since them.

    You still haven't provided a source for your made up stat that we are th 3rd highest net and gross spenders in the Premier League. Could you provide a time-frame and some figures for that please? The only relevant stat would be net transfers since Benitez arrived at the club - happy to agree with you if you can provide this but I suspect you won't because it's not true.

  145. Ummm you're agreeing with me - I was stating what LFC have won - try and actually read the posts before you start getting excited. Nobody mentioned the Charity Shield except you. The point stands that Arsenal have won nothing since Benitez has been at Liverpool where as we (Liverpool just to clarify for those who don't read well) have done remarkably well.
    Benitez has had 5 bad months at the club after 5 successful years and people want to get tid - ridiculous.

  146. Ok let's cut through this wilful obtuseness and since you feel it's relevant to mention Arsenal being runners-up in the CL, we will include runners-up stats too:

    2005 Runners Up Premier League
    2005 WIN FA Cup
    2006 Runners Up Champions League

    2005 Runners Up League Cup
    2005 WIN Champions League
    2006 WIN Supercup
    2006 Runners Up World Club Trophy
    2006 WIN FA Cup
    2007 WIN Charity Shield
    2007 Runners Up Champions League
    2009 Runners Up Premier League

    As you can see we have won 2 domestic and 2 European trophies to their 1 domestic trophy. They have reached one final to our three.

    It is also relevant that all of their achievements took place between 2005-6, whereas ours stretch right up to the end of last season.

    I'm afraid I can't accept what your crystal ball tells us the League will end up like this year, so the facts remain that we have finished above them 3 times and they have finished above us twice (both years we went to the Champions League final).

    Finally, if you had bothered to read any of the points on spending, you would understand the following:

    1. WAGE BILLS equate with success, not transfer spending.
    2. The "net spend" issue is a question of accurately reflecting how much the club has invested in players. If you look at the net spend figures for each club you will see that they do broadly equate to league placing, except in the case of Liverpool last season who overcame their low net spend to come 2nd. I think you need to read up on all this a little more, you seem quite confused about it.


    When you go and do your weekly shopping at Sainsburys, you use a pound to get a trolley (cart if you are American!).

    When you finish your shopping you put your trolley back and it returns your pound.

    Jaimie wants you to believe that over a year you have spent £52 on shopping trolley hire. That's right, £52 with nothing to show for it, you have had £52 to spend and produced nothing.

    Sane people would admit that, even though I might have used a different pound coin each week to get my trolley, the fact that I have recouped my pound coin at the end of each shopping trip means I have spent NOTHING on shopping trolleys.

    Hopefully people will now get why the gross spend argument is so ridiculous and disingenuous - it is no more logical than saying you spend a pound on a trolley each and every time you go shopping, adding up all those pounds and asking what you did with them.

  148. Oh dear someones spent too much time on RAWK. The desperation people like you show including Charity shields and various tinpot exhibition matches is utterly pathetic.

    They have reached 3 finals because you left out the Carling Cup final they reached in 2007. If you can't even get your own facts right it makes you look like the obtuse liar that you are. The fact is they have achieved a relatively similar level of success on a fraction of the netspend we have, something you are willfully ignoring.

    You completely ignore the glaring fact that we have outspent Arsenal massively and at this point have a far worse squad.

    Wage bills are an indicator of success nothing more. It's not a scientific fact that the highest wage bill wins the league or Chelsea would win it ever year.  And Newcastle would never get relegated with the 5th highest wage bill would they?  Arsenal's wage bill is barely 10M more than ours so that figure isn't going to make a whole lot of difference except to pedants like you. Clutch at more straws if you will..

    Our netspend is massively higher than Arsenal in the last 5 years yet despite your laughable attempts at throwing the kitchen sink into the trophy cabinet we have 1 domestic trophy, exactly the same as us. And i am telling you that we will finish below them this year so that makes it 3 each in league performances. Come back in May and we can confirm this.

    Our netspend is not low as you claim it's the 3rd highest in the premiership but we don't have the 3rd best squad. Our Wage bill is nearly double that of Spurs and Villa yet they are now ahead of us and if your idiotic obsession with wages equating to success is applied they should never get near us. Something you conveniently ignore.

    People like you are professional apologists. You clutch at straws like Charity shields and tell outright lies to back up your daft theorising. Your simply distorting the truth to defend the manager. It is as gutless as Benitez himself.

    I think you need to stop being so defeatist and start looking at how we could do better instead of why we don't do better. Any fool can make lame excuses..as you amply demonstrate.

  149. No that is absolutely NOT what he is saying. That is a completely idiotic analogy. You are not "spending" the pound for a start when you put it in you KNOW FOR A FACT you are getting it back. It's not "spent" it's merely being loaned. A football player is not a shopping trolley. When you sign a player for X amount you have no idea that you will get X back and cannot reasonably assume so. Unlike the trolley where you know you put 1 pound in you will DEFINITELY get it back. Can you see the difference? Our netspend reflects how many of the players we have signed have subsequently been sold on as they were either crap or wanted to leave.

    What Jamie is saying is simple. We have outlayed a gross total of 270M over 5 years and that money could have been spent on different and better players to the one Benitez chose and we could have a better squad than the one we have now. And if we had we wouldn't be 1 point better off than bloody Birmingham City.

  150. If you bother reading the thread it was the previous guy i.e. you who mentioned the charity shield first and that Arsenal had reached a CL final. You go crazy about it when it gets used against you and then you throw in that Arsenal got to a Carling Cup final so who is being pathetic? 

    You're having a go at the guy and he blatantly says that it is wage bill and NOT net spend which is important. So you agree then that Arsenal should finish higher with their wage bill.

    You also call the guy a liar and a fool which is against the posting rules but I expect Jaimie won't delete it cos you agree with him.

    The guy is right. By any measure Liverpool have been more successful than Arsenal in the last 5-6 years with a lower wage bill and a slightly higher spend. However Benitez's transfer budget has been £0 in the last 2 years, if you don't believe, then check the facts here http://studsup.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/rafael-benitezs-transfer-dealings-in-focus/#comments 

    You need to calm down, it's not the end of the season yet. Since you seem to feel Arsenal are such a great team you might consider that if we win at Villa we will inly be 2 points behind where they were this time last season and you seem to feel they are fine!

    You almost seem to want us to do badly and you're the only Liverpool fan I know who would have dismissed the World Club cup as nothing, most of us would be delighted to say we are officially the best team in the world!

  151. Oh dear you just don't get it do you? You aren't "spending" the money when you buy a player, you are buying an ASSET for the club. You CAN choose to hold on to it and lose its value (player retires). Obviously you are not guaranteed to get the same return on a player - well done! But IT CUTS BOTH WAYS: You could lose money on him (Keane) or make more money from him (Alonso).
    That is why if you add up the total fees of our squad they DO NOT ADD UP TO 270M or anywhere near. you can't just keep adding money on like that!!!

    If you buy a player for 10M, sell him for 8M and replace him with a player costing 8M HOW MUCH OF THE CLUB'S MONEY HAVE YOU SPENT? 10M NOT 18M! People can't then turn round and say "you had 18M to spend and you bought him??!". Where did the other 8M go then?? That is why gross spend is irrelevant.

    All Rafa's spending is here:

    Therefore to suggest that a transfer fee is "lost" money is clearly ludicrous - you are right there is no guarantee and that is what makes Benitez such a good manager, the fact that he has generally played the market so well.

    I'm sure you do get it really and are deliberately pretending to not understand it, but just to clear up any problems I wil link the article in the Times which debunks this myth.<span>  </span>
    "One of the key building blocks of any good PR/spin campaign is to repeat certain talking points endlessly. Never mind what the question is, just repeat your talking point. We've seen politicians do it for years. The neat thing is that, if you repeat something enough times it sort of becomes true, or, at least, actionable (remember the war over evidence of - as one former Prime Minister put it - "Weapons of mass destruction related program activities"?).  
    These talking points are useful when discussing Rafa Benitez. Take your pick from the following: Lucas Leiva, the mishandling of Robbie Keane, the sale of Xabi Alonso and, my personal favourite, "spending £240 million" and being "no closer" to winning the Premier League.  
    I like the last one best because it's the most idiotic. The latter part of the statement is easy to dispatch.  Liverpool finished closer to winning the title last year than they have in any season since 1989/90, when they actually won it.  
    But the former part is truly absurd. Liverpool may have spent £240m since Benitez's arrival (Tony Barrett's figures in The Times yesterday more accurately put the number at £226m, presumably because they don't include Djibril Cisse, who was signed earlier but only arrived when Benitez did). But the key is that this number is a gross spend.   
    Liverpool also SOLD players in that period. A much fairer reflection of Benitez's spending is to look at the net spend, which is around £80m (or £94m if you include Cisse).  
    That's a lot isn't it? Yes, until you remember that it's £80m (or £94m) over SIX years. Which is actually between £13.5m and £15.5m a season. A hefty sum, but not an earth-shattering one. Just this past summer, for example, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Manchester City, Sunderland, Stoke and Birmingham City all spent that amount (or a little more, much more in the case of City).  
    There are plenty of reasons to be critical of Benitez. It's just that some are valid and some, like this £240m fallacy, are, at best, wrong, at worst, dishonest."</span>

  152. If you are stupid enough to believe we were at any point the best club in the world then i'm afraid no one can help you. I mentioned the charity shield in jest at the perceived notion that this is a trophy. It's not it's an exhibition match and yes reaching a Carling Cup final is more worthy. If that guy wants to lie and pretend that didn't happen it's not my fault.

    No i don't agree Arsenal should finish higher as their wage bill is only 10M more than ours. That is hardly a chasm. Our wage bill is 40M more than Spurs or Villa. Would you agree that we should be above them? Chelsea's wage bill is 50M higher than Utd, how have Utd won the last 3 premierships? It's and indicator nothing more. Stop taking it so literally.

    Our wage bill is higher than Fiorentina's or Lyon. Remind me who progressed in our group? It's an imperfect theory not a scientific fact. Or Newcastle with the 5th highest wage bill couldn't have got relegated could they? Please start living in the real world. By any measure we are massively underperforming at the moment and yet the likes of you clutch to excuses to explain why.

    Listen our transfer budget has not been zero we have simply recovered what we spent. Do you understand this? If the budget was zero we would have spent nothing i.e signed no one. And what about what was spent before? This squad reflects 5 years spending not 2 and i personally think it could look a bit better than it does. You'll obviously disagree.

  153. You can argue that The World Club Cup and Charity Shield are exhibition matches, and I would agree they are not the focus of any club's season, but if the height of your ambition is the League Cup then that's very worrying. To be involved in the two aforementioned competitions you have to win the League or FA Cup (both more prestigious than the League Cup) or Win the Continental Trophy, in the case of Europe CL winner V Europa Winners - both more prestigious than League Cup, which is generally contested by bigger clubs' fringe players. 

    I don't think anybody in this debate has at any point said that wages = a cast-iron gurantee of league placing; I guess you are just trying to pretend that it has been said to score a non-existent point.

    We have underperformed for the past 5 months, I agree, however I am not a knee-jerk kind of person who instinctively panics when things go wrong. I believe there are mitigating circumstances which explain our failures and these things are a complex tapestry, not just "oh it must be Benitez". He will not be blameless.

    I also believe that if you look at the situation pragmatically there is not a better alternative to Benitez. Mourinho is unlikely to come, I am not a fan of his dour, cynical football, and we don't have the kind of money he needs to be effective. O'Neill has the same pedigree as Souness - effective in Scotland, but look at how Villa fell away last year - plenty of their fans were calling for his head: with their club size and spending power they should have won something by now. Redknapp never sees a job through and every club he leaves a couple of months before the bubble bursts from his huge signings and wages. Dalglish has been out of the game too long - football has changed a huge amount in the last 20 years and his tenure at Newcastle was v v average. Klinsmann was a complete failure at Germany's biggest club and seen as a joke.

    For me, Benitez was a great success up until the beginning of this season and has transformed our standing as a club - we have moved on miles from the Houllier days when 4th was a good season - as your current complaints show.

    Sure this season has been poor so far but I believe we owe Benitez time.

    Oh and if you have to sell in order to buy and you balance the books, your budget was zero. If your budget is zero - as it has been for 2 years - you sell players to finance buying new ones 0+x-x=0. When you have a budget that covers who you want to sign you don't need to sell anyone - it's pretty basic maths.

  154. It is YOU who does not get it.

    1. The figures you quote for LFC's net spend are totally wrong.  Studs Up is wrong and Tony Barrett at The Times is wrong.  Neither publication has taken their figures from the club's own financial reports, thus they are conjecture and estimation at best. I have taken the gross/net spending figures directly from club accounts, and the gross spend is 272m, not 226m.

    2. As the previous poster said, you are a professional apologist, and you completely incapable of looking at things objectively.  So blinded are you by your deification of Benitez that you cannot see things clearly. Net spend is the lame and barely credible excuse that apologists such as yourself use to justify Benitez's poor signings in the transfer market.  Any fair-minded person can see that gross spend paints a more accurate picture of a manager's EFFECTIVENESS in the transfer market.

    Your newest analogy - like your previous one with the shopping trolleys - is utter nonsense.  You state:

    If you buy a player for 10M, sell him for 8M and replace him with a player costing 8M HOW MUCH OF THE CLUB'S MONEY HAVE YOU SPENT? 10M NOT 18M!

    WRONG. You have, as a matter of fact spent 18m and recouped 8m.  There is a difference. Just vecause you recoup 8m does not change the fact that 18m of the club's money has been spent!  Why can you not grasp this simple concept?

    Now, if those three transactions took place within days of each other then it would be a different story, but this is not the way things transpire in practice, is it?  There is always a time-gap between buying a player and selling him. 

    Please consider the following two questions:
    1. How do we judge a manager's effectiveness in the transfer market?

    a)  By looking at how much money he's recouped in sales over the years
    b) By looking at how the money he's been given has been spent, and assessing the impact his purchases on the club.
    Clearly, the answer is B.  It has to be, otherwise the implication is that the only thing that matters when judging transfer market performance is money recouped, which is ludicrous.
    2. Why do football clubs buy players?  Surely the principal reason is to help the club be successful and win trophies? Yes, it's good to recoup money when players are sold but that is NOT the principal reason for purchases.

    The two points above are the reasons why gross spend is important and net-spend is irrelevant.  It is important to look at HOW the money given to a Benitez has been spent.  And no matter what way you try and twist it, he has been given 272m to spend over the last 5.5 years.
    This is the ACTUAL money that he has, AS A MATTER OF FACT, spent. It is money that is accounted for in the club's accounts.  It is irrefutable. 

    Recouped money is irrelevent here. The amount Benitez made back in sales does not change the amount that was originally spent.  If you were to ask Christian Purslow how much Liverpool has SPENT in the last 5.5 years, he would say 272m.  He might then say 'but we recouped X', BUT that does not change the fact that 272m was spent!
    I keep repeating that same point but clearly it's necessary because you don't get it.
    We then have to look at what that 272m was spent on, and how effective the players bought with the money have been.  That is how we gauge how effective Benitez has been in the transfer market.
    To argue that net-spend = transfer market effectiveness (which is essentially what you're doing) is just irredemably ignorant as you are basically arguing that top-tier clubs do not buy players to help them improve and win trophies, they buy players to recoup money somewhere down the line (!). 

    You can use cliches like 'every company in the world uses net spend' but that is [...]

  155. Correct. If you own buy a player worth 10m, then have to sell 2 x 5m of your current players to pay off the money, your budget that year was £0. A football club's annual transfer budget is money over and above its current assets - the current squad.

  156. One final point: please stop using unverified articles to back up your points about how much Liverpool has spent under Benitez.  Tony Barrett has his own agenda, which is why he has not used official figures for his article.  he has just cobbled together transfer fees from various places on the net and added them up.  And neither article you use quotes a source for their figures; I wonder why that is?  BECAUSE THERE IS NO SOURCE. 

    As I said before, my figures come from the club's own reports, and they have been verified by an independent accountant. Are you going to ignore this and continue with your use of inaccurate figures?  Are you going to ignore the club's own figures, produced in line with recognised legal guidelines?! If so, then you negate your own argument.

    The gross spend under Benitez is 272m.  How he spent that money is what's important here.  How the payers he bought for that money performed and contributed to the team is what we should be looking at.  End of story.

  157. Well if you insist on accounting pedantry...

    Yes the budget was zero. So what was Arsenal's budget? And Utd's Budget?

    Both of them are in profit on player transfers in the last 2 years and yet sailing further away from us in the league. Funny that..

    Maybe their just budgeting better than us eh. They certainly playing better football!!

  158. Those are the latest published official accounts you numpty so don't question them or you will look even more foolish. Were Newcastle not a premiership side last season? I must have dreamed them getting relegated...And i very much coubt Spurs have increased their wage bill by 40M in one year. And we have increased OUR wage bill since then with new deals for Benitez, his staff and others.

    It's not made up at all. Go to transferleague.co.uk and see for yourself.

    In fact instead of asking me to do your homework please show me any stats YOU have to show  our spending in the last 5 years and which clubs are ahead of us apart from Chelsea and City. Go ahead and show me i'll be happy to read anything you can provide.
    Oh wait...

  159. So you agree that the figures you published aren't current - you even admit that City are definitely ahead of us (you must have had a sneak preview of their accounts or maybe you are just using common sense).

    According to you then we cannot argue about this season intil
    1.  We have official accounting data (end of season).
    2. We know where we are actually going to finish.

    Thus the only facts we have to hand are last season's data:

    1. We had the 4th highest wage bill.
    2. We finished 2nd.

    Gosh - that would seem to suggest our players were very well managed wouldn't it. THAT is why we want to keep Rafa - I'm glad I managed to help you prove it.

  160. Exactly the sort of response I expected from you JK. Gerrard plays well in this game and it's all because it was "only" Wolves and they had 10 men. Forget the fact that he scored for the first time in open play since Hull, he had 3 shots on target which is more than he's had in had in his previous 6 appearances. Forget the fact that recently Wolves have drawn with Villa dn beat Spurs, two teams that have beaten us this season.

    When a team goes down to 10 as Wolves did they normally take a striker off but they will still have 2 banks of 4. You still have to get through that defence to score. Gerrard showed more determination getting to that cross than he has in previous games. He looked sharper than he had in previous games.

    It may have nothing to do with what Bentiez said, but it is also a slight coincidence that he plays better a few days after what Rafa says. And to be fair Rafa doesn't publicly criticise Gerrard; he acknowledges that Gerrard said himself said that he must improve. Don't think he's done anything wrong here.

    Yet again it seems that the anti-Rafa brigade will latch on to anything to show the man in a bad light.

  161. Jaimie just because YOU say it is the best way of judging a manager doesn't make it so. In the above example of a 10m and 8m player, the manager has NEVER had 18m to spend on a player. He cannot possibly have bought a player worth 18m, therefore it is misleading to say he has had 18m to spend.

    You claim that only you have worked out the 'real' figures, yet you have never published what you believe is the money recouped. Why don't you do this?

    What you are presenting is a cheap trick, you are trying to tell us that
     2 + 2 - 1 = 4!!! Benitez has never had 272m to spend. He does not have a squad worth 272m and never has. 

    The reason a gross figure is unfair is because he has had to get rid of the dross that Houllier left behind at huge losses, therefore he has no selling power, therefore he is restricted to money he can spend in his BUDGET, therefore the relevant figure is his annual transfer budget: These budgets do NOT add up to 272m as you well know, they add up to about 90m.

    THEREFORE he has been GIVEN about 18m a year to SPEND and the rest he has had to fin by wheeling and dealing and selling his assets (which must be replaced). You are just stacking up the same money several times each time a transfer is made.

    I do get it - it's just wrong!

    Using rhetorical devices like "any fair-minded person can see..." does not convince anyone but the weak-minded. The president of BMW is not judged on how many cars he has manufactured and the materials required - he is judged on how the books BALANCE. 

    jaimie you above all should be careful of using phrases like "completely incapable of looking at things objectively" and "blinded" - there is a whole website of articles here to see how balanced you have been to Benitez over the years!

    After all, you are the man who wrote:

    <span>After five and a half years at Anfield, Rafa Benitez still has no idea how to man-manage Steven Gerrard effectively, something that was<span> proven once again</span> with his recent pubic comments about Liverpool's captain."</span>

    The next day Gerrard was man of the match, scored a cracking goal and celebrated like crazy and you STILL haven't retracted your statement. I would also say that your use of the word "proof" in the article shows how loose your definition is.

    Finally, in another piece of rhetoric I am accuse of "deifying" Benitez. Please point to anywhere where I ascribe god-like powers to him? All I say is that he has done a good job as our manager up to this season and I even say he will not be blameless for what has gone wrong this year - hardly deification! 

    This is the problem with trying to take an argument to extremes - when it doesn't match the landscape of reality you get found out.

  162. The reason gross spend is misleading is this:

    Last season's transfer dealings at LFC (feel free to correct the actual figures if they are slightly wrong Jaimie - I have gone for the higher named spanding and lowest named sales figures).

    Players in:
    20m Aquilani
    17m Johnson
     2m Kyrgiakos
    = £39 MILLION SPENT.

    Players out:
    30m Alonso
    3.5m Arbeloa
    1.3m Leto

    Now Jaimie you want to say this is 40m spent and ignore anything else.

    So 2 questions:

    1. What was our transfer budget this season?
    2. What happened to the 34.8 million? Do we have some 30+ million superstar rotting in the reserves?

    THAT is why gross spend is irrelevant. If someone has to asset strip in order to invest, you cannot claim the assets stripped as investment.

    Do you think that if Alonso had stayed Rafa would have been allowed to spend 40m???

  163. More pedantic sophistry. Your reasoning on this issue is so unbelievably flawed but I'm sure many people can see that.  You are the one who is trying to deceive people here with your inaccurate view of gross/net spend.

    1. You state: You claim that only you have worked out the 'real' figures, yet you have never published what you believe is the money recouped. Why don't you do this?

    Perhaps you should do some rudimentary research before making statements like this.  I published my net\gross spending figures over 2 weeks ago, and included links to the actual snippets from each annual report in the process: http://www.liverpool-kop.com/2009/12/exclusive-liverpool-fc-net-spend.html

    2. You state: Benitez has never had 272m to spend. He does not have a squad worth 272m and never has.   

    Your complete failure to acknowledge fact really is mind-boggling!  Benitez HAS had 272m to spend.  In order to buy players, money is spent.  In other words, independently of money being recouped, money is handed over to other clubs to acquire the services of players.  Thus, money has been spent, and that money constitutes the gross spend.

    You cannot dispute this; you can try, but your argument has no credibility.  If money has been handed over to another team for a player, it has been spent; it means Benitez had it in his hands and spent it.  How else do Liverpool acquire players?!

    If I buy X for 20m in 2005 and selling him for 10m in 2009, how do you account for the 4 year period between purchase and sale where there is no net spend figure for that transfer?!  Net spend only kicks into action after the player is sold again; how can the net spend figure post-sale apply retrospectively over the previous 4 years?!  This is how flawed your reasoning is.
    3. You state: The reason a gross figure is unfair is because he has had to get rid of the dross that Houllier left behind at huge losses, therefore he has no selling power, therefore he is restricted to money he can spend in his BUDGET, therefore the relevant figure is his annual transfer budget: These budgets do NOT add up to 272m as you well know, they add up to about 90m.  

    Please list these alleged 'huge losses' incurred for getting rid of Houllier's players. Dubious semantics aside, Benitez's actual transfer budget is the amount he actually spends. If he spends 70m in one year (as he did from July 2007 to July 2008) then his transfer budget was 70m. It doesn't matter how you break it down, that is the actual specific amount Benitez spent in reality.

    If we add up all the money Benitez ACTUALLY SPENT, it comes to 272m. The club's accounts confirm this, or do you doubt the veracity of such legal documents?!

    What you still fail to grasp is HOW a manager's effectiveness in the transfer market should be judged.  The fallacious net spend argument places the emphasis on money recouped in sales; the gross spend argument focuses squarely on HOW the money available was ACTUALLY spent.  By any logical way of thinking, this is 100% more important.

    According to you, Benitez is effective in the transfer market because of his net spend figure.  Is that what his job is?  When he became Liverpool manager, did the board say 'Rafa - your job is to make lots of money selling players, and that is how we will judge you'?!  Or did they say 'Rafa - we want you to buy the best players possible to achieve the goal of winning trophies'.

    You are right on one thing though - we do not have a squad that represents a 272m outlay. And why is that?  Simple: Benitez has made LOTS of mistakes in the transfer market and wasted tens of millions in the process.  These mistakes are what necessitated most of the player sales, which is what makes up the [...]

  164. One final example to illustrate what I've been arguing all along.  We'll look at the Keane deal and consider the probably responses of the net spend cult vs the gross spend realists:

    * We bought Keane for 20m and sold him 6 months later for 12m (this is the figure states in the the 2008 annual report).

    Net spend cult response:

    Great!  We made 12m back on the deal, which means we only actually paid 8m for Keane in the first place!  We actually lost 8m on the deal, which was a mistake to begin with,  but who cares - the net spend figure is low, so everybody wins.

    Gross spend realist response

    We wasted 20m on Keane. If the money had been spent more wisely we could perhaps have acquired a different player who would make a positive long-term contribution to the club, hopefully commensurate with the fee.

    The 20m was wasted because the wrong player was bought, which has deprived Liverpool of the services of some other top class player who would actually fit in.

    Furthermore, Liverpool have ended up with an 8m loss in 6 months, not including wages, signing-on fees etc. How is that something to celebrate?

    Any fair-minded person can see that your take on things is just mind-bogglingly misguided.  Net spend celebrates mistakes and medicrity; gross spend examines the reality of the situation

  165. 1. Our transfer budget was whatever was spent, i.e. close to 40m. 

    Transfer budget is not a static concept.  If the board says to Benitez 'you have 10m to spend' but he ends up spending 30m, his budget is no loinger 10m, it is 30m.  Your way of looking at it is (deliberately) inflexible.

    2. What is the relevance of the 34m? I'm not quite sure what point you are trying to make here.  Does every last penny recouped in transfer fees for EVERY club go on new players?! No.  That is not sustainable, and to use it as some kind of argument in favour of net spend doesn't make sense.

    The bottom line here is what Benitez spent, and that is close to 40m.  The money for those players will have to be paid; it is real money, not imaginary.

    Asset stripping?  Very emotive, but where is your proof?  You are assuming that Benitez had to sell to buy, which is NOT TRUE.  He was not forced to sell Alonso; he alienated Alonso into moving.  That deal was always going to go through.  Your assumptions here have absolutely no foundation in fact.

    Furthermore, the money from Alonso's sale was NOT used for transfers; it was used to extend the contracts of 5 players AT BENITEZ'S REQUEST.

    It could have been spend on more players but Benitez chose to utilise it for extending contracts.  I have had this information from one of my sources at the club, someone who is in a position to know the intricate details of Liverpool's finances.

    Whether you choose to believe it or not makes no difference to me. I'm not here to force people to change their views.  I know it's true, and that's good enough for me. If you want to continue deluding yourself then go ahead.

    One final thing: I do not ignore net spend; it is a useful figure to look at in terms of establishing how FINANCIALLY effective a manager is in the transfer market.  However, when it comes to judging a manager's overall effectivess (i.e. success of players bought, and the impact said players make on the club), net spend is irrelevent.

    A manager lives and dies by his signings, and that is wht gross spend is important in this regard.  As I said above, net spend celebrates transfer mistakes; gross spend looks at the reality of how effectively the money was spent.

  166. Can someone provide their opinion on Rafa's latest comment?  I guess now he is talking about protecting Aquilani and leaving him out of the Villa game.  Romour has it he pulled a hammy and it that's so then yes rest him.  If not then I say play the lad.

    But personally I think Rafa really flopped when he bought this guy.  Rafa has been talking about how wicked this guy is and how much he can bring to the team and blah blah blah.  But it's December and I've seen 1 premier league start and 0 goals and 0 assists.  Oh yeah and guess what....the transfer window opens again on FRIDAY! since we bought this lemon all we've gotten is a medical bill!

    But yeah of course Rafa is a genius.  It is all part of his master plan to win the league this year.

  167. Well then we go back to the trolley analogy - it IS a good one since you are saying the point is how much is SPENT regardless of how much is recouped. So every time you go to the supermarket you SPEND £1 on a trolley, so over a year you SPEND £52 on nothing - terrible management!!!

    I'm not going to argue on this one any more, we have both made our points of view crystal clear and people can decide which is a fair, reasonable and logical way of judging a manager.

    I'm sure you will want the last word, so be my guest.

  168. whoever that "guest" guy is, he really doesn't get the picture at all does he? footballers = trolley? maybe it works that way with benitez since almost all the players he buys, he sells back as fast as he can, so its the same as taking the coin out at then end of every transfer window.

    Why don't you think of the "football" part when talking about benitez....he is not your financial advisor, or share market agent, he is the bloody manager/coach of a football team.

    Lets all say he only spent 90 million in his 6 years, where is the return for that? 1 CL and 1 FA cup? both with the team he had before spending all that money?

    Jamie, i think the best way to prove your point is by doing a comparison of players bought by benitez to other players that were transfered during that same period, and show how the money could have been better spent.

    I am not sure how accurate this is, but i think when Liverpool signed Kuyt for 10 million, Berbatov was moving to Spurs for the same ammount. I know Berbatov hasn't proved himself in Man Utd yet, but surely he would have been more useful a player to have than Kuyt. Also, I am sure there were lots of other players Benitez missed out on, and lots of them from the Spanish league as well. David Villa (transfer to Valencia) instead of Morientes, Simao instead of Pennant + Palleta, etc.

    Hopefully you can come up with a more accurate list Jamie, though i am sure then you will have ppl coming out and saying its all easier with hindsight...i really don't know what kind of sight you need to see how crap Voronin is, but then that Benitez for you...

  169. Not sure if this has been mentioned but, under Rafa Benitez's managament we have seen the best form of gerrards life. So maybe just maybe he of all people actually knows what it takes to bring the best out of him. Jamie your critisism of Benitez is his man management skills but as a good man manager you should know that some players need an arm around their shoulder, some need to just play through their struggles, and others need to be openly critisised. Its all about doing it for the right individual player at the right time. Just my two cents

  170. well i had just commented but its seems like a effed up and deleated it so i guess i will try to recapture my previous pov.

    It has been under benitez that we have seen steven gerrard with his best form in his career. So maybe just maybe , Benitez might the one person who actually knows how to bring out the best in him. Jamie, one of your main complaints about Benitez has been his lack of man management. In my opinion a coach with good skills in this area knows that when things are going wrong depending on the player there are three actions one can take. 1) put an arm around the players shoulder and encourage 2) keep on playing them and make no reference what so ever in their drop and form knowing that time is all they need 3) publicly criticize them knowly that all they need is a kick up the back side. And Rafa choose number 3. I'm not going to use the wolves result as vindication to rafa cause lets be honest we SHOULD be beating and dominating wolves 11 v 11 let alone 11v 10. But as he is the manager who has brought out the best in gerrard throughout his entire career at liverpool maybe he actually knows what he's doing in this situation.

    Would appreciate a comment to see what your views are on my pov

  171. someone please let me know:
     1) what their best lineup for tonight would be
     2) how they reckon rafa will line them up

  172. i dont care about net money gains and losses i just care about the the effect this dour negative ignorant arrogant fool is having on our club and the way he is destroying the moral of fans and players alike
    FACT     the majority of his buys are very very very poor with the obvious exceptions
    FACT   the better players we have lost have left because of this idiots lack of man management skills and his ignorant attitude

  173. What do you think Rafa will do if his star player criticised him? Put them to play? I doubt so.

  174. Sorry to have to state the bloody obvious here but this is not a black or white issue.  It is not that Net Spend is totally irrelevant and Gross Spend is the only indicator we should assess Rafa on (or vice versa).

    Gross Spend when analysed versus the quality of player brought in tells us a little about Rafa's judgement of players.  On this front I'm afraid Rafa has proven himself to be, on average, a poor judge or player.  There are lots of examples of his poor judgement here so I will not repeat them. 

    Net Spend gives some context to how he has been able to spend.  This is very important when assessing the squad he has.  Clearly he has had to sell to buy (especially in the last 2 years) and so he has had to make compromises over the years.  It appears his Net Spend figures are not too bad and that shows that he has been somewhat effective as a wheeler and dealer in the transfer market. 

    However, while both these indicators are important,  neither is the key indicator. Ultimately the key indicator is trophies won.  On that front the jury is still out on Rafa I'm afraid and unless we win the FA Cup this year, then it looks like another bad year on the trophy front.  We also need to assess is man management skills, coaching skills, team seletion skills and a myriad of other factors to really assess Rafa as a manager. 

    I was an optimist on the Rafa question for a while.  Tactically he seemed to be able to out manouever most managers when it really mattered.  However, this year his poor man management, team selection, coaching and also his poor judgement of players seems to have come back to haunt him (by the way when I say poor I mean poor in comparison to his peers - Fergie, Wenger etc).  I think Rafa has taken us as far as he can.  Time for a new face for next season.

  175. Hi Samsamire, you said that Torres, Reina & Masch were worth 120mil?
    You do not make any sense Samsamire.

    So tell me, what was Rafas net spend on those 3 players? You are deluded, you will keep on making excuses to defend the donkey that we have at our club.
    Fact is that Rafa has won nothing with the team that he has built, hence me saying that he cant even win the Carling cup with the players that he has signed.  The Romans? Have you ever heard of The Egyptians? Are you a historian? Isnt this a website about LFC?

  176. Hello Guest,

    Just shows what kind of supporter you are when you say:  
    "The Carling Cup? Pathetic effort - when has he ever played his 1st XI in it and who cares about winning it?" This is exactly what Rafa would say!!!
    So guest, are you saying the same about the Uefa Cup (Europa league)? Having our highest points total in the league last season doesnt mean shit if you havent won it. You make me laugh. Go and brag to a Manu supporter about our highest points total and he will tell you to go to a mental institution.Geust, you also said the following:  "I would also add that Houllier was in charge during an era when there was not such mega-money in the Prem - this is shown by Arsenal's decline - they have gone from Invincibles to winning nothing during the Benitez reign, not because they have got worse but because the standard is so much better."So tell us Guest, wouldnt Houllier have achieved alot more if he was given the amount of cash that Rafa has been given?You also said: "Which is the better manager? Exactly - using exactly the same resources as Houllier Benitez won the CL, definitively proving he is the better manager."

    Arent you contradicting yourself? So if we get in another manager and won the Chamions League with Rafas players then sells all of them after that and rebuilds his own team and cant win anything with the team that he has built, does that make him a better manager than Rafa?

    Just shows how blind you are...


  177. All this hype about Torres and 50 goals ?

    RVN and Andey Cole did it faster,

    Proof RVN and Cole > Torres

  178. I think he knows it was on 'Sky Sports' Max. The rest of his comment is probably the most sense I've read on this site for some time.

  179. 'JK is taking a break from the site. I can no longer stomach the <span>stale and joyless dictatorship of Rafa Benitez</span>, who (along with Gerard Houllier) has sucked all the fun out of being a Liverpool fan. I'm so sick of autocratic managers who <span>prioritise strength and stamina </span><span>over flair and individuality</span>; I'm also tired of 'fans' who prioritise the individual over the club, with their pathetic hero-worship and damaging blind faith. Benitez's Liverpool is sadly unrecognisable from the club I grew up with. Hopefully, when I return, he will no longer be manager of LFC.'

    Chin up Kanwar. Could be worse. Could be a bluenose.

  180. What a shame no more critical bullshit.

  181. Yosser, tell me then who should you replace Rafa with? And please provide some back ups and rationale. Please do not just mention names. Let's have a good debate on this.

  182. Hello Guest, a replacement for Rafa has already been debated. Go check out The Martin O Niel article. You will find all the answers there.

    The problem is that Rafa supporters dont want to open their eyes. Rafa has all of those who follow him so far up his ass and only once all the shit is wiped off their faces will they realise that Rafa is a failure and that it is time for him to go.

    I want to hear what all the blind faith will have to say should we not finish in the top 4 or win any trophies come the end of the season. Will that be enough for the Pro Rafas to call for his exit? Lets face it, our most important target is to finish top 4 (What a fuc**** joke), if that does not happen we are heading for a disaster. No Champions League next season could spell major financial trouble for our club. This could mean no new signings and possibly players leaving or being sold to other clubs. Also, will top players want to come to our club if we play in the Europa League? Doubt it...  

    Only time will tell whats going to happen. I am trying to be as positive as I can regarding the remainder of our season but seeing how things are at the moment is fuc**** painfull to watch. 

    I have a funny feeling that Mourinho is coming to Anfield. He said that he wants to come back to the PL and looking at Manu (Ferguson isnt going to retire now), Chelsea (The owner will never take Jose back), Arsenal (Wenger probably has a job for life there), Spurs (Harry has done wonders and wont leave or be sacked soon), Villa (Doubt that Jose will go to Villa) and Man City (Mancini has just arrived) we will be the only option for Mourinho. I say lets bring him to Anfield. He has managed in the PL and is the ideal candidate to change things around. Otherwise lets bring back King Kenny, he knows the Liverpool way.    

    Time for change ASAP! YNWA!!!

  183. Jammy Rafa bashing.......who would of thought that! =-O

  184. Spot on Yossar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Got a job yet??

  185. Spineless half assed midfield, putting pressure on the back line. Nothing pisses me of more than Lucas and Kuyt pinging the ball back and forward to each other with no pace or invention. Insua has been totally figured out be the opposition, Johnson too is a liability in defence. Aurelio and Dossena down the left, god give me strength . We really miss those two class acts Alonso and Big Sami. Benitez got it totally wrong with his summer spend. Too reliant on G+ T pulling the mediocre up to their level. Aqua will take time to settle if at all. Season over!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  186. Max, you called that an article? Maybe. What makes you think Mourinho is coming to Anfield? I forgot, your funny feeling. Tell you what. I too have a funny feeling that we'll win the League and FA cup double plus the Europa Cup.

  187. You are deluded Guest, Pro Rafa have been saying that we will win the League just about every season under Rafa. We will be extremely lucky to win anything this season.   

    The truth hurts and your blind faith is just giving Rafa even more time to lead us on a road to nowhere.

    So tell me Guest, what will you do if Rafa had to leave or be given his marching orders? The thing is he wont leave and would rather be sacked cause he knows that there is a big fat cheque waiting for him should the owners ask him to leave. I am sure he will give everyone at LFC a nice big fu** you if it ever had to happen.

    Keep on supporting this donkey and then I will keep on laughing when the day comes where Benitez makes you look like a complete fool...

  188. Max, Long chalk is obviously busy so I'll reply for him.

    I am not a Pro Rafa enthusiast and I like many others are baffled and f**ked off by some of his bizarre decisions. However, you have got to be fair about things. 

    Before he came along we had a far worse Sqwad than we have now. Far worse. Admittedly he has made some shocking signings but he has also made some very astute purchases. Net/Gross spend is just a smoke screen and if he sold Torres for £80m or something stupid like Fergie did with Ronaldo then the argument would be redundant as the figures would be distorted like Man Uniteds. Even though Jamie does not recognise that. 

    Before Rafa came we were a team that regularly struggled to make the top 4 and only once came 2nd with Houllier and we had regularly failed to make it out of the group stages of the Champions League when we did get there. 

    So far in 5 full seasons we have qualified for the champions league every time. Winning it once, finishing runners up once, one semi final, one quarter final and one 2nd round. That is a consistantly good performance and it is only this season when we have been found wanting. During this time we have beaten Real Madrid Home and Away, Inter Milan Home and Away and countless other sides that we would never have had a prayer of beating before. 

    The final win may have been lucky, however on the way we still be chelsea, Juventus and Bayer Leverkuson twice. I was at many of those games and we're weren't lucky at all. Well deserved and because of benitez. 

    And even though some argue that he won the Cup with Houlliers Squad he still had to do it and it was more than what Houllier did with his own players as well. 

    Before he came along our expectation levels were just to qualify for the champions league. Now we expect to win or get close every season. Can you not see that is because of one man? Or it is just because of Steve Gerrard? Probably according to Kanwar. 

    He has also won us the FA Cup the European Super cup, Runners up in the 2005 Carling Cup to a team club that was in the process of buying the league title. And we were only minutes away from winning that game, if you remember correctly. 

    We are in a far better position now than we have been in years on the pitch and one blip of a season doesn't make either us or Rafa Crap. He is a good manager, a very good one. Hence why Real Madrid have courted him for the last 5 years. Real Madrid to not employ crap managers. 

    Off the pitch is a different story and there are many culprits for what has effectively been a complete shambles. Hicks and Gillett for putting a huge debt burden on the club which they said they wouldn't. The stadium issue is different and I appreciate that it is down to the financial markets and there looks to be some light at the end of the tunnel in that regards. 

    However, the way in which they conduct themselves leaves a lot to be desired and has made us a laughing stock in many quarters. 

    They have done some good, I appreciate that. They have got rid of Parry which is brilliant and improved out commercial revenues which will help. 

    On the flip side, we need that money to pay bank interest..... If we weren't burdened with debt then that extra money could be used to strengthen the team without having to weaken the squad by selling. 

    Moores and Parry also must take their share of the blame for selling to a couple of con men. Jaime insists that the way we were bought is the way business is done. I doubt Jaime has a business or even a business related qualification because that is not the only way to do business or even the best way. 

    Nor is the best way to run a club like Man City and Chelsea do and what will they become when their uber rich benefactors [...]

  189. <p>Real clubs are still owed (outright) by people who love the clubs and want success for the fans and local community. 
    </p><p>In the future, us, Man U, Chelsea and City will all be screwed financially. Just watch. I don't want a super rich Saudi to bankrole us as what will happen when he gets bored? I'll tell you what. We'd be FU**ED. 
    </p><p>We have caught up with Man U and Chelsea undeniably since Houllier left and yes, we're having a bad season but to reiterate that doesn't make us a bad team. 
    </p><p>Keep the faith, we will get there in the end. 
    </p><p>What has Arsene Wenger won in the last 5 years by the way? and if you ask any arsenal fan if they would take winning trophies or playing fancy football all the time then you know exactly what the response will be. 

  190. oneill.did you see the game,they are dull just like forest were.

  191. j moores should be hung drawn and quarted
    this greedy mullett headed lowlife should
    never again be allowed to drag his skanky
    arse into anfield again

  192. D moores should be hung drawn and quarted 
    this greedy mullett headed lowlife should 
    never again be allowed to drag his skanky 
    arse into anfield again

    Read more: <span>http://www.liverpool-kop.com/2009/12/what-was-point-how-rafa-benitez.html#ixzz0blx374PR</span>

  193. The net spend cannot be looked at by its self as it is not a true reflection as liverpool are not buying and selling the same players or commodities like a regular business except for Robbie Keane. Benetiz sold players that he inherited from GH, to make room for the players that he wanted.  Gross spent is what needs to be looked at as that is what Benetiz had at his disposal to get the players he wanted and by saying that benetiz didnt have the funds and had to sell players would mean we would have a squad twice the current size. No, the problem is that Benetiz spend unwisely and sold unwisely as well.

  194. Max, let me tell you this. I'll be the first to say thank you and all the best when the time comes. The time is not now. He's the closest to bring us the league title since King Kenny. Yes, we have not won for 20 years and it's Rafa's fault. Grow up!
    Of course he doesn't want to leave and everyone at Anfield and Kirkby knows exactly what he's doing. If fans like you "kneejerkers" continue with all this sh*t, we'll be the next Leeds Utd. Go take some time and give it a thought.

    1 CL title, 1 FA Cup, 1 European Super Cup, 1 Community Shield. 4 trophies and also Runners-up in the league, 2 final appearances in CL, 1 QF. He has brought us to where we're supposed to belong in Europe and the closest to the league title.

    Yes, sack him now is all you can say and bring in someone which we can't afford. Good rationale and I'm glad that you're not the one making the decision.

    Mark my words, you'll be covering in shame come May.

  195. Hi Guest, lets look at the following: 

    1. Roy Evans
    (Signed for LFC: 31.01.1994)
    Honours: League cup winners 1995
    P: 226
    W: 116
    D: 57
    L: 53
    Goals F: 375
    Goals A: 216
    Win %: 51.33

    2. Gerard Houllier
    (Signed for LFC: 12.11.1998)
    Honours: F.A. cup winners 2001
    League cup winners 2001, 2003
    UEFA cup winners 2001
    Played: 307
    Won: 158
    Draws: 75
    Lost: 74
    Goals F: 516
    Goals A: 298
    Win %: 51.47

    3.Now for Rafa
    (Signed for LFC: 16.06.2004)
    Honours: Champions League 2005
    European Super Cup 2005
    FA Cup 2006

    Played: 323
    Won: 181
    Draws: 71
    Lost: 71
    Goals F: 546
    Goals A: 283
    Win %: 56.04

    Now can all you planks that follow this donkey tell me where Rafa has so called improved the situation at our club? Please take into consideration that Houllier also finished second in the league oh and lets forget about Souness as his managerial stats are a complete joke and not even worth mentioning...

    Rafa lovers keep on praising him for winning the CL and FA Cup with the team that he inherited from Houllier but you know what is the biggest joke of all, he sold all of Houlliers players bar Carra & Stevie then signed countless crap players then builds his own team and cant even win the Carling Cup. WTF? Tactical genius? Surely a tactical genius can win the Carling Cup of all competitions with a team that he has built and with one of the best midfielders (Stevie) in the world and one of the top defenders in the league (Cara) which he inherited from Houllier?   

    Covering may shame? That is what each and every Liverpool Supporter should be saying to themselves at the moment. LFC this season have been all but a joke but we get planks like you who dont seem to be to phased about how our season has gone and put the blame on everything else besides our "Mastermind manager". Remember, if we do not finish 4th we are heading for trouble. Champions League next season is more than just a must, are we going to finish 4th though? Forget about 1st, 2nd & 3rd as those spost have already been claimed. 

    I am waiting for all the Blind Faith excuses!!!

  196. Furthermore, has Benitez ever come out and said that he has made mistakes? Never, he has blamed everything under the sun and makes his followers believe him. 

    I think Liverpool Football Club should have a name change to:

    What really puzzles me is that Rafa's record is not much more impressive than that of Houlliers but wasnt everybody calling for his name when the wheels came off???

    Let me say this, Benitez most probably will be here till the end of season. I couldnt care less about the FA Cup or Europa League this season cause they arent going to get us in the Champions league and would winning the FA Cup or Europa League matter if we do not finish 4th?

    If Benitez doesnt finish 4th which he gaurenteed, he should have the balls to stand up and say I am also at fault and pack his stuff and leave.