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Liverpool View: It’s Either Good Buy! or Goodbye! for Benitez

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Managers live and die by the players they buy. That has a nice ring to it but is ominously true in the high powered money stakes of the Premiership these days. For the teams in contention or capable of being in contention there is little margin for error.

If you are delivering silverware you can get away with some mistakes and hence Ferguson and Wenger, although generally both with excellent records in the buying department, have been forgiven the occasional dud over the years.

Mourinho found himself with so much money that he could hardly fail, and again he delivered enough silverware to paper over the odd crack.

But not everyone escapes the pressures. It’s where the expectations are greatest and the challenge to get on the pace equally so, that the noose dangles most menacingly. All of which leads us to Anfield.

With a couple of generations of fans who ‘were there’ in the glory days of the late 70′s and 80′s still around, the desire for success burns feverishly on Merseyside. Silverware in the various cup campaigns in recent years has calmed the masses to some extent but the Holy Grail that is the Premiership is what the fans crave, not having won the League for over 17 years. The stinging salt in the wound is Man Utd’s 9 titles over that period and only raises the stakes for whoever is in charge at Liverpool.

For a number of years Liverpool just weren’t at the races financially in competing with United, Arsenal and (later) Chelsea. There was a period in the latter part of the Houllier days where they were hanging on by a thread in terms of staying competitive at the sharp end of the Premiership. The Houllier era dragged on too long, again bolstered by the arrival of some Cups, but the gulf to the Premiership’s top two grew ever wider.

For my money, and I think many Liverpool fans agree in hindsight, it took way to long to get rid of Houllier. It was not as if he didn’t have funds available to spend. Maybe not on the same level as his main rivals but good money nevertheless. In reality Houllier made a whole series of disastrous buys and it would make you wince to revisit some of these even now (Xavier, Baros, Diouf, Heggem, Biscan, Cheyrou, Vignal and that’s only a sample!).

Ultimately Houllier proved a disaster in the transfer market and failed to get even close to seriously competing for the Premiership. So goodbyes were given in exchange for bad buys as the axe finally fell and so entered Rafa Benitez with an excellent track record in management.

With the arrival of American investment the stakes have been raised and the money available increased. Good news for Benitez but a twin edged sword that’s razor sharp. Rafa has limited time to deliver or he’s out the door. The fans expectations at the start of this season knew no bounds; this was to be their year. They were happy with the transfer activity and believed they had the squad. Too emotional to be objective, let’s step back and look at Rafa’s transfer record over the last two seasons.

At the end of the ’05/’06 season the mantra coming out of Anfield (following a defensively solid season) was ‘get us a couple of quality attacking players and the Premiership is ours’! Benitez duly tried to oblige.

In came: Pennant, Bellamy, Gonzalez and Kuyt, Paletta, Aurelio, Mascherano.

An obvious indictment of his judgment is the fact that 1 year on Bellamy, Gonzalez and Paletta have already departed. There was also the here I come there I go comedy cameo from Fowler (we have to assume that Rafa was forced to bow to nostalgic pressure on that one.)

For most people’s money he was asking for trouble in the cases of Bellamy, Pennant and Fowler. All around long enough to have firmly established their (bad) reputations and level of quality, all three were bad moves in my opinion. Although Pennant remains, he is inconsistent and most Liverpool fans do not believe he is the required quality to help deliver what they want. Of the other buys last year, Aurelio is average and Kuyt decent but never going to be great. Mascherano is a good player who may have more to offer. Overall you couldn’t give Rafa more than 2 or 3 out of 10 for his transfer performance last year.

But then the big money arrived and the optimism soared.

Torres: Outstanding but has served to highlight the mediocrity of the other strike options.
Voronin: Part of that mediocrity. Brings nothing extra to the party.
Babel: High potential but hasn’t delivered yet. Compare him to Nani’s impact at Old Trafford.
Benayoun: Good player but with Gerrard, Alonso, Mascherano and Sissoko, central midfield was not a priority. Does he really add an extra dimension to the team?
Lucas and Leto: No impression yet but don’t look like world beaters.
Itandje: Cover keeper. No impression yet.

So having spent big, the initial results are disappointing. If Babel starts to fire and at least one of the other buys can make some difference, Rafa may get a mark of 5 or 6 for this year but right now he only scores 3 or 4. Not good enough I’m afraid if you’re the one signing the cheques. Equally the unrest among the faithful has started.

The loyalty will remain for a while but if Liverpool are out of the Premiership race by January, and I believe that they will be, then expect the pressure to grow on Benitez. Departure from the Champions League at the group stage would also be a disaster and now looks more likely than not.

Its either Good Buy or Goodbye and right now for Rafa the pendulum is swinging towards the latter. Don’t be surprised to hear ‘Adios Amigo’ when we reach next summer, if not before.

Comments (35)

  1. rubbish
    to LFC fans
    let mine be the last comment from us for us
    this article is not worth discussing
    YNWA

  2. Whoever wrote this is wide of the mark. It’s more like a personal rant than an article.
    Check the statements on the most recent buys:
    Veronin – mediocre? People this season fans and media have been saying he could be the buy of the season. Free, and scoring goals in the Prem! Mediocre really? I don’t think the fans think so.
    Asking if Benayoun was needed shows real ignorance. If you don’t even know what Rafa has recently ‘often’ said about why he brought him to the club you’re obviously an amateur.
    We see Leto and Lucas who are very young a couple of times in minor appearances and the comment we get is ‘don’t look like world beaters’.
    That really sums up this terribly poor attempt at an article. Lucas gets us the winning (penalty) in the Derby and yet gets nothing positive from this or his performance?
    Obviously if Rafa had bought the cream of Europe and spent 500 million the writer of this article would still find some way to criticize. The players brought in are still excellent, but need time to adapt like all new players.
    As for suggesting Rafa’s on his way out, well again it just highlights how amateurish this article and this pretend journo is because thankfully, we’re not Tottenham!

    Notes to self and other LFC fans: Another site to avoid if you don’t like amateur, ‘pointless’ articles.

  3. My view –

    Torres: TOP CLASS – does make our other strikes look a bit basic – but all of them added together cost less the torres – so what do you expect??
    Voronin: started on fire (I was at the preseason friendly at Crewe) – has failed to live up to the start, but as a free signing a good bit of business.
    Babel: bought for his potential, will live up to it (no worries)
    Benayoun: has already scpred some important goals and setup others – a needed addition with little luis leaving..
    Lucas and Leto: Lucas looks mint, will do well here for years to come. Leto’s still a bit raw, does well in reserves but can’t pull it out in competitive games yet…
    Itandje: Wasn’t convinced after his first outing, but pulled out some decent saves againt cardiff.

    We only spend a net £20 mill or so in the summer, less then many teams many places beneath us!

    Rafa would have scored a decent mark for his transfers in the summer, IF he had signed heinze / cover for the defense – thats where he has failed…

  4. lets be honest this article is bollocks. i think we need to spend 25 to 40 mil still in the summer to win the league, we need two out of quaresma, mancini, david silva and daniel alves to play on the wings. a left back and a centre back, maybe something like heinze and the wonderkid kjaer or whatever his name is, my low down on the signings made by benitez

    bellamy, he was bought because he had a quality season at blackburn before he came to us, prob the most outstanding striker outside the top four, and he cost just 6 mil, we got more than that for him when we sold him, tell me how that is bad business?

    pennant, he is a little inconsistant, i think he should be our back up right winger, did you see the champs league final? he was the best player on the pitch, better than kaka till mascherano came off

    gonzalez, he didn’t adapt well to the prem but we made money on him so it aint all bad, still a qaulity player just not suited to our league

    kuyt, hard working and consistant, great bloke but only a good player, not a starter more of a squad player at a team like liverpool in my opinion,

    palleta, flopped a bit really, however he got us insua in a swap deal and he is held in very high regards by the coaching staff so i am told

    aruelio, he is a very good player, again prob a squad player but he has a very good eft foot on him, capable of player all down the left or in the middle, i am happy to have him in the squad, he has just been unlucky with injuries, plus he was a free, so whats the big deal?

    mascherano, he is a quality player, one for now and many years to come delighted he signed him, just hope we can secure the permanent deal,

    torres, quality nuff said really, agree with the above comment he cost a lot more than the rest of the strikers so logically he should be better,

    voronin, had a very good start but like the rest of the team has dipped recently, but he was just a free and not much was expected of him, i think we should sell him still and if we dont we will ovbious get more than £0 for him won’t we?

    babel, just needs some time to adjust and develop thats all, cant really judge him yet,

    beayoun, he is our replacment for garcia, and he doesn’t give the ball away as often! i think he was an intelligent buy, plus he wasn’t bought for the centre stupid, he was bought to play on the wings or just behind the front man/men,

    lucs, this guy looks class already, he was named player of teh year in brazil the season after tevez one it, and he only cost us 5mil where tevez will cost man u 30mil, dont really see how you can knock him, he has look good when he has played,

    leto, still adjusting, still young looks good in patches, got to give him a bit more of a chance really, hasn’t played much for the first team isn’t it a little early to judge him?

    itanje, well he isn’t likely to ever get past reina in the fight to be in the first 11, but he made some good saves against cardiff, looks like a competent back up, hopefully he wont make as many mistakes at dudek towards the end lol

    so overall i would give benitez an 8/10 could do better but far from shite really,

  5. 1. How much did Arsenal really spend in this same period?
    (I don’t think it’s about the amount of money available, it’s about choosing the right players).

    2. Cannot compare Babel’s impact to Nani’s.
    (nani was bought for the following couple of seasons – future – unfortunately, due to injuries, he was thrown into the team earlier than planned. Babel was expected to make an impact now.)

  6. You are a clueless donk supporting a corporate mogul with less league titles and Euro Cup successes than the mighty LFC – forever in our shadow – pls try not to post again and waste peoples time, theres a good lad ..

  7. to karl, how long has wenger been at arsenal? how long has benitez been at liverpool? arsenal have been a settled club for a long time, benitez is trying to rearange liverpool from top to bottom, plus you dont pay 17mil for a player to play in a couple of seasons time do you? i hate the way arseal fans think wenger is the greatest ever, lets be honest he still buys players, bergkamp bought, henry bought, walcott bought, denilson bought, gilberto bought, hleb bought, you lot think that arsen makes them with his bare f*cking hands,

  8. ‘blah’, you just proved why everyone thinks Arsene Wenger’s so great, all of the players that you named were worth the money he paid for them so… he doesn’t often buy complete flops.

  9. blah – I’m not an Arsenal fan, but come on. Wenger paid £10.5 million for Thierry Henry. You wouldn’t say that was worth a £6 million profit, two championships, and a few thousand league goals along the way? How about Bergkamp for £7.5 million? The point isn’t that he gets players for free and shapes them with his bare hands (who ever said that?), but that he has an impressive history of identifying talents others have overlooked, buying them relatively cheap, and helping them develop into stars.

  10. [Blah]
    …that’s not my point. the point is, how much did Arsenal spend compare to liverpool during the same period? It’s not about how much money you spend, or how many players you get, its about identifying the right players for the type of game that you want to play.

    “arsenal have been a settled club for a long time, benitez is trying to rearange liverpool from top to bottom”
    - Can you prove this by pointing to the league finishes of the 2 clubs respectively? If my memory serves me correct, then both clubs have been top-4 finishers for the past couple of season. (I understand what you are trying to say though).

    “plus you dont pay 17mil for a player to play in a couple of seasons time do you?”
    - This might sound arrogant I know, but:
    We are manchester United. We can ‘afford’ to spend £17m (+£18m) to invest in the future of the club. Perhaps if Liverpool FC did that in their ‘hey-day’, they would not have found themselves in this predicament of having to – as you say it – ‘rearrange from top to bottom’.

  11. Actually I just remembered that Bergkamp came to Arsenal a year before Wenger did, so he’s a bad example both for me and for blah. Still, the other names on that list more than make the point.

  12. I won’t say Wenger is great because he can identify ‘cheap talents’ (incidently, that’s the job of the scouts).
    I will say he is great because he does proper homework (and are very cautious) when he decides to sign someone. He makes sure that the player fits into his style of play. Same with Fergie. Then again, no matter how much homework you do, there’s no guarentee that the player will fit in. I suppose that’s why Fergie try to play it safe – and end up spending so much – because he want to first see that the player can play in the EPL. In essence, that’s his approach, but it has a cost to it. Wenger has a different appraoch. Benitez (in my personal opinion) rather does it ‘cowboy-style’.

  13. Other than transfers (imo), I think Rafa is an excellent manager.

  14. Torres: Great buy would have spent 50 million for him but a bit too much injurry time so far.

    Voronin: He is a top act but his form lately has been down.

    Babel: I have to admit Nani is a better player but Babel under Benitez could become a Liverpool player for the ages.

    Benayoun: Not for central midfield he for the wings dumbass. He is probably Liverpools most skilled player he is brilliant.

    Lucas : Great midfielder i reckon he will be better than Gerrard he is very similar but when Gerrard was his age Gerrard was no were near that good.

    Itandje: Cover keeper

    Karl: are you sure ur a united fan ;) probably the most unbiased one i have ever met

  15. Crap article. Research your facts mate, you closet utd fan.

  16. Hmmm, I think Rafa should go if Liverpool fail to compete for the title this season. It isn’t that he is a bad manager, but that Liverpool may need a fresh change of philosophy at the helm to get them to where they need to go.

    We (Chelsea) did it with Mourinho when we sacked Ranieri and then when Mourinho left, Grant was brought in to helm the club with a drastically different vision. Liverpool may need a shake up just to get them going.

  17. i don’t care well it’s still gudbye to Rafa bcoz he will not meet liverpool expectations.

    EXPECT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Brian but i personally think its better to settle with a manager long term. Rafa has upgraded his youth academy and he NOW has one of the best youth systems in the world. Sacking him would be a major set back i reckon

  19. Liverpool_Fan, I agree with you. Rafa has done more in his first years at Liverpool than SAF in his. Look at SAF now. I also think that the players should start getting behind the manager. If ManU players spoke the stuff that the Pool players spoke (Carragher, Gerrard) about his rotation policy, they would have gotten the boot (Beckham, Ruud, Keane, Stam). It does not sound like the team is 100% behind the manager. That’s not good. That’s the main reason they’re not performing (imo).
    FYI, I hate Liverpool, but that does not mean I cannot respect a good manager.

  20. I won’t join the Benitez-bashers but let me point out something. (Yes, I’m a United fan)

    It’s pointless to compare Fergie’s start as United manager to Benitez’s first few seasons. It’s natural that the latter is given less time. He does his job in an era when the extreme financial circumstances more or less created a solid, unbreakable top four. He does not have to compete against a whole league but against these three teams.

    Twenty years ago, it wasn’t unusual that the reigning champions finished mid-table and a totally useless side somehow ended up winning the league (Leeds). It was much less predictable, the resources were more limited, the scouting wasn’t worldwide… Fergie took a long time to rebuild United from the ashes but in 2007 no manager of such a big club would be given that time because the circumstances changed.

    Having said all this, I think Liverpool were punching above their weight with Benitez for the past three seasons – on paper they were never good enough to reach two Champions League finals. It remains to be seen if he’s the man to take them to the next level. Something Martin Jol failed with at Spurs.

  21. I think that Rafael Benitez has delivered descent transfers, but I think rafa has just not been delivering what us LFC supporters want.
    TORRES – 5 star buy, but is not being played enough – rafa has messed up his top form.
    VORONIN – A good buy for free, but in my opinion no where near as good Kuyt or Torres.
    BABEL – A good buy, young and talented. I know he’s got potential, but if he wants to show us that, he needs to be played!

    So, Rafa has done descent transfers….
    BUT he needs to play the one’s with make an actual impact.

  22. typical… when u’re winning 6-nil everyone worships u but when u don’t people bury u alive. thankfully the liverpool board is not as near stupid as the mass of fans n english press n chelshea board.

    liverpool r having faith in a manager who against all odds brought the champs league back at anfield- a man they can trust…

    actually , benitez situation is very much like that of ferguson at his united start. at that time manu had a 20 years wait 4 the league title. n ferguson took 7 years 2 win it. so in the meantime he must have taken a lot of crap from the press but manu did not sack him. 2 their own good.

    last year more than a few arsenal fans wanted wenger out( don’t u dare lie) but now they r kissing his ass again…

    true there some managers who r just crap ( souness?) but benitez is just class. he just gets mud slingling because of his rotation policy… a policy that enabled him 2 win 2 spanish titles, 1 uefa, 2 champs league finals( 1lost,1 won), 1 fA cup IN LESS THAN A DECADE. lfc will not( like arsenal n manu…… n unlike small teams) sack their manager, since he is one of the best in the world.

    ps. if given more time jol would have win the epl with tottenham…

  23. But when Fergy came he played crazy formations and he changed it won the league went home with his job safe.

    Now everyone just wants Benitez to change his rotation maybe it could have the same effect?

  24. when you start saying a point at blackburn is a good result for liverpool its time to go

  25. torres- quality
    babel- has potential blah,blah,blah…but if pool were eyeing this year’s title they should have signed someone who could hit the ground running..
    voronin – epitomizes mediocrity
    lucas – havent seen much of him,but cant help but laugh when pool fans speak as though he is certain to be the next
    gerrard..
    benayoun- decent squad player..nothing more
    conclusion- torres is the only quality addition to the first team as far as this season is concerned.

  26. Arsenal only got a point at blackburn?

  27. gov im the only liverpool fan to say that about lucas stop being sterotypical!

  28. Arvin, Not a closet United fan, fully out out in open actually.
    You do understand the difference between fact and opinion don’t you? The only real facts in my article are the players bought by Benitez (and Houllier). The rest is opinion. If you’d like to point out what facts you are referring to I am all ears.

    Secondly, here are some quotes from your article “Benitez letting Liverpool down” posted the other day:
    “Rafa has not achieved the necessary balance”
    “Babel will be a good player, but it will take time.”
    “Liverpool DON’T have time.”
    “Sell Kuyt. Voronin……give him another season.”
    “Benitez will continue to let us down as far as the league is concerned.”

    It seems it is alright for you to have reservations and opinions regarding Benitez’s performance (including the quality of players that have been brought in) but not other people.

    Same applies to a number of the other responses that don’t even engage in debate.
    I accept some points in realtion to Benayoun, Lucas, Leto. Time will tell.

    I’ll be here in 3 months and 6 months and will happily accept if my opinions are wrong.
    I’ll always be happy to debate the issues though.

  29. To Blotchy Scot
    It’s the fact that Liverpool have been in the shadow of United for 17 years now that has you so bitter. If that’s the intellectual sum of your ability to debate then why not just piss off…there’s a good lad!

  30. Whoever wrote this, you are an idiot. You know nothing about the beautiful game. Pennant, nothing special at the beginning of his Liverpool career, but look at him now. MOTM in a CL final mean anything to you? I can understand you critizing Bellamy, but not Rafa. Before this year, Rafa never had the money to spend on world class strikers. Kuyt, if you had any idea about football, works his arse of when he’s on the pitch. On top of that, he creates opportunities for himself and others. Aurelio, I can’t see how you can critizise him, considering he’s been out injured for most of his time here. I can’t believe you are saying this when he hasn’t even had time to show us what he’s got, you moron. Gonzalez probably never had time to settle, but I can understand you on the topic of him, Fowler and Paletta. Thats about all I understand. Voronin has been playing superbly for us this season, and you would know this is you watched games like Besiktas. Babel, he is going to be class. He’s not as good as Nani yet because Nani is older than him, and is playing in his prefered position. Babel is still being converted to a winger, so before you open your mouth, give him a chance. Benayoun, by the way, is playing as a WINGER, you nitwit, and you would know this if you watched some games. He has not played in CM once this season. Leto and Lucas don’t look like world beaters because they are very young, and I must say, I’m very, very impressed by Lucas. You would be as well if you watched the derby, as every Liverpool fan should. Finally, Itandje is a BACKUP keeper. You don’t buy class backup keepers, because they are BACKUP, so don’t even start on saying that he is not good enough to play for us. Me, someone who knows a thing or two about football, I give Rafa a 7 or 8 on his buys this year, because he got some cheap talent (Benayoun, Voronin) some expensive talent (Torres) and some outstanding youth talent (Lucas, Babel and maybe Leto).

  31. Benitez is a tremendous manager with a great track record. In three years in Europe he has outperformed Mourinho, Wenger and Ferguson. And look how long Wenger and Ferguson have been going at it in Europe.

    Building a championship winning team will take time unless you are able to throw 100s of millions at it like Chelsea. I hold no torch for Liverpool, but there are firmly still in the race this season. Paisley and Shankly understood that you don’t win titles in November; but you do need to keep in touch at the top during this part of the season.

    This season will be one of the most exciting in the history of the Premier League. There is going to be a genuine three or four way fight for the title right down to the wire. It’s a high class field: Arsenal, Chelsea and United have extremely good sides. Liverpool may not win it this year (I think United will), but they have every chance of doing so in the next 2 or 3 years. Benitez is putting together virtually a new team and it may take 12 to 18 months before you see this team at its best. He is a football manager, not an alchemist. Benitez’ buys for the most part have been good ones, and Liverpool definitely have a squad stronger than at any time during Benitez’s tenure. Remember also that players new to the Premiership rarely produce their best form in their first season. Look at people like Drogba, Hleb, Vidic and Evra.

    Who is better than Benitez out there and would be available to Liverpool? What Benitez has achieved in his career bears comparison with any manager/coach in Europe. Since leaving Valencia, they have become a shadow of their former selves. In his first year with the Pool they won the Champions League; something they had not come close to doing in over 20 years. 2 years later he takes them back to a Champions League final. In between, he wins the FA cup. Message to Liverpool fans: lighten up, show some loyalty and STAND BY YOUR MAN. You’d be mad to tell Benitez to “walk alone” into the sunset.

  32. If we do not keep our key players fit i also think united will win the league they are now looking stronger than arsenal (no offence to arsenal). United are back to the way they were last season but they are also having bad luck with injuries (aswell as Chelsea).

    Arsenal haven’t had key players injured the way Liverpool, United and Chelsea have and like Gerrard said it will be a test to their sqaud depth. They would be an extremely lucky side to go up until christmas without a key injury.

  33. Injuries and squad depth is vital. You cannot fight effectively on the two fronts of Champions League and Premier League without strength in depth. It’s more than coincidence, that both Milan and Liverpool were out of their respective title races by the turn of last year, and so had enough steam left in April to on and make it through to the European final. These teams were able to rest key players in domestic league fixtures before their semi-final clashes. United and Chelsea didn’t have that luxury because they were involved in a title run in.

    It is no accident that United’s form tailed off at the end of last season when they simply ran out of players and legs by the time they got to the second leg against Milan last season. United went into that game with only one member of their first choice back four (and he was way off the pace in his first game back after injury) and also lacking fire power up front through injuries. This is why Ferguson and Benitez have invested so heavily in building up the quality and numbers in their first team squads. This is necessary if you are going to make a serious assault on the two big trophies.

    Luck with injuries will play a critical part in the destination of this season’s big trophies. Benitez has been criticised for “rotation” and perhaps he might have done this a little too much in the past. But I know what he’s trying to achieve. He wants to make sure that his players are fit and fresh come March and April – the business end of the season. There’s no point in Torres being brilliant in October and knackered and out for the rest of the season by February.

  34. In fact, last season it was even worse for United and Chelsea. Chelsea fought on 4 fronts throughout the season (Europe, EPL, FA Cup, and League); United on 3 fronts (Europe, EPL and FA Cup). It was too much for their squads.

    Mourinho might have landed the Champions League or the EPL had Abramovich allowed him to recruit the players he wanted in the January transfer window. But I’ve got a feeling that Abramovich already wanted Mourinho out and so didn’t want him to be too successful. Otherwise, stopping Mourinho from buying players to bolster the club’s challenges on all fronts simply makes no sense. The issue could not have been lack of funds to strengthen.

    Benitez might need to prioritise the EPL. Going out of Europe might not be the worst thing ever to happen to Liverpool, although I think they will make it through to the knock out stages.

  35. Dear Patrick,
    Benayoun is a right sided central midfield player as opposed to a winger. He is most definitely NOT an orthodox winger.
    Read some of your own fans comments post the loss to Man Utd at Anfield yesterday……criticism of Rafa trying to play him as a winger.
    Kuyt may ‘work his arse off’ but that’s all he does. Hell you’d work your arse off if given a game for Liverpool!! Comments from the Anfield faithfull today “he’s not good enough and doesn’t provide the link to Torres”.

    Finally, if you think the beligerent journeyman Pennant is class and any answer to Liverpool’s quest for a title then there’s really no point in debating with you. He’s average and has a bad attitude (well documented) and won’t last much longer at Anfield.

    My article doesn’t favour sacking Rafa, in fact, I believe that would be a big mistake right now and he has made progress. It simply points out the demands the American owners will place on him. This has been highlighted by all the recent hype and speculation surrounding the visit of the yanks yesterday. I believe that staying in the CL saved Rafa’s bacon.
    How he spends his money will be key and that is the crux of what I argue.
    Vorinin, Kuyt, Pennant, Benayoun. In fact, revisit all the new names over the last 2 seasons and rate who you think will make a lasting impression, has the potential to be a Kop legend? Torres for sure and Babbel has the potential. A couple of younger players deserve more time. But that leaves a long list of names that have either already departed or that most Liverpool fans do not believe are the required quality to bring back the title.