Whilst Reading arguably equalled Leeds feat in triumphing over one of the ‘top four’ bigger sides some serious questions have been raised regarding Liverpool football club, both on and off the pitch, and fingers are being pointed at Rafael Benitez.
Rumours have been recklessly slung around about how Liverpool’s potential failure to secure a top four finish could lead to a financial crisis in which they would need to sell their top players. The image of Gerrard and Torres comes to mind immediately, but what of Pepe Reina and Javier Mascherano, who have both shown genuine class this year, Glen Johnson, Yossi Benayoun and Martin Skrtel, all of whom have proven considerable worth which could be converted into the form of valuable revenue.
But as I pen down this list of world-class star names one question comes to mind. Why? Why are Liverpool struggling in seventh place, twelve points off the top spot that they were so close to achieving last year? Whilst I appreciate the raw quality of Xabi Alonso, surely he can’t have possibly been the only catalyst in Liverpool’s success last season? More fingers head in the direction of Rafael Benitez.
Heads are now turning towards two princes, both of whom have the potential to fill gaps, on and off the field. Prince Faisal bin Fahad bin Abdulla Al Saud is said to be looking into a 50% stake at Liverpool football club, but these rumours have been falling in and out of the tabloids since September. Potentially a desperate clutch at straws; and the other Prince in question is surely a smarter bet to fix Liverpool’s current troubles?
As whispers of the name Alberto Aquilani fly around Anfield, you see Liverpool heads raise and the shadow of a smile flitter across their faces. But why hasn’t the young Roman played a consistent string of games? And why did Rafael Benitez spend the majority of his transfer budget on the young Italian if he had no intention to play him? Whilst I appreciate that he was injured for the first few weeks, he’s assumed just under £2,000,000 in wages since his arrival and made little impact, though through no fault of his own.
There can only be a few answers, either the young Italian isn’t all he’s cracked up to be and he can’t physically fit into the squad, or this is another controversial tactic from Benitez in which he will release Aquilani onto the Premiership’s un-expecting defenders with just months to go; surely a decision in league with the removal of Torres and Benayoun for Babel and Ecclestone whilst drawing 1-1 with Fulham, or Benayouns departure for El Zhar against Blackburn?
On top of Liverpool’s woes Fernando Torres has been ruled out for the next six weeks because of a torn cartilage, Yossi Benayoun will be missing for the next month due to a fractured rib, and Stephen Gerrard’s hamstring has left him on the sidelines for the next two weeks. Lady luck has truly ignored Liverpool’s call for a little help this season
Benitez has done a fantastic job at Liverpool over the last five years, I think that he’s going to need to pull a metaphorical rabbit out of the hat that is Liverpool’s collapsing season, and that maybe it’s time for the two to part, after many successful years.