Friday, January 30, 2009

Some Liverpool Fans Need A Slap Of Reality.

So Liverpool are starting to choke. Recent draws with Stoke, Evrton and Wigan have seen the club's attempt at the EPL title start to slip away. Many Liverpool fans are calling for Rafa Benitez's head.

Those people are ungrateful gobshites. Do Liverpool have a divine right to top the table?

When I was listening to the superb 606 podcast on Thursday morning from Wednesday night's show with Tim Lovejoy, the overwhelming amount of callers demanding Rafa's immediate dismissal made me spit out my coffee. Could the fans of Liverfourth really be unhappy with the prospect of coming second or third this year? Could they really want Rafa out? The venom and rage turned my ears red... I thought I'd share a few with you.

"I'm absolutely flabbergasted today, Benitez does not have a clue, we are not gonna win the title until this man gets out of the club. Robbie Keane, he spends 20 million on him and he sits him on the bench today. That man hasn't got a clue. I'm so frustrated. Robbie Keane is a striker who'll get you goals. Lucas should not be wearing a Liverpool shirt. We are playing negative."- Tim from Liverpool.

Basically, it's time for Rafa Benitez to go. He's dropped so many points, I agree with Tim, Lucas is a waste of space and the manager hasn't got a clue at all. Basically the sooner he goes the better.- Colin, Liverpool fan.

"Where do you find these callers Tim. Sack Benitez? You gotta be kidding. He has put Liverpool on the map. We are all disappointed, we might have blown it, who knows. But you cant sack the manager for that."- Stuart, Liverpool fan.

"I tell you what Tim, I've been a Liverpool fan my whole life and the feeling I'm getting with Rafa Benitez is the same feeling I had when Gerard Houllier started losing the plot. The decisions he is making, he has destroyed the teams confidence. How must Ryan Babel feel, yeah? When he watches a player called Dirk Kuyt picked in front of him on the pitch." - Tim, Liverpool fan from London.

"When it comes to the Premiership the man hasn't got a clue. It's an absolute disgrace what he's done to Keane" -Patrick, Ireland.
Don't get me wrong, I think Rafa has a few screws loose, and blew this season's title hopes when he spent 24 hours researching Alex Ferguson's history with referees a day before playing Stoke.

I also think he takes tinkering to a new level: Liverpool rotate their players more often than Walmart rotates the milk. But neither of these deficiencies deserve the man the sack.

Many of the complainers say Keane should be playing, but he has only scored 5 goals this season after costing 20 million. So Rafa should start a player who is under-performing? How does that help you win the Premier league?

Answer me this Liverpool fans: where were you in 2005? Fifth.

Benitez has delivered two third places and one fourth place finish in the last four years and currently has Liverpool in joint second place. He has taken you to the Champions League final TWICE, winning Europe's greatest prize AND he has won the FA Cup. All while the club deals with take-overs and an unknown, unstable future at the hands of a pair of twits from Texas.

A second- or third-placed finish this year is progress for a man who has to compete with the riches of Chelsea and United, two teams that can splash 30 million pounds on a single player.

You ungrateful scouse bastards, you! Most fans would herald such progress with hurrahs and praise! But no, you inhaled the fresh air at the top of the mountain and now you have the divine right to win the league.

No manager is perfect, all of them do one thing well and an other badly. Some are just plain crap and others learn and grow in the job, slowly building. Rafa fits in with the latter description. Rafa has taken you from a sleeping side to a European heavyweight and Premiership contender, but still you are not happy Liverpool fans. Winning the title this year is clearly a step too soon for you and this squad, but actually competeing for it is progress for sure. Another step to really challenging United and replacing Chelsea as the country's second-best team.

Sacking Benitez would be a disaster. The progress is clear for all to see, except for Liverpool fans. Shame on you Liverpudlians. What happened to the realistic, loyal red army that treated success with a grateful humility? Appreciation for success? The Rafa banners? You have become Chelsea fans overnight, expecting a title and place in the CL final. Demanding success.

If I'd offered you second place at this stage of the season back in August, you'd have bitten my arm off. Instead you choose to bite the arm of the hand that feeds you. Fickle feckers.

Wonder if you will change your tune with a win over Chelsea this Sunday?



Ibracadabra said...

Incredible to think that Liverpool have lost only ONCE in their last 30 Premier League matches.

The Fan's Attic said...

Yet, they still aren't in first place.

The odd thing is, I think only Chelsea has outspent Liverpool over the last 3 or 4 years in the transfer market. So, Rafa's complaints about not having enough money seem a bit...unseemly. He just spends it poorly save for Torres, Riera, Mascha and Skrtel. Too many bad signings for too much money (Degen, Dossena, Keane, Bellamy, etc.).

Ibracadabra said...

Good point re: spending.

What about Benayoun? He was cheap, and when he plays - produces. Perhaps one silver lining in the midst of a transfer spending clusterfuck of mediocre acquisitions.

Precious Roy said...

Only one of the twits is from Texas.

Keith said...

I'm hoping for a meteor at Anfield tomorrow; though a draw would be nice, too.

cjdomer04 said...

I'm not so sure about the spending thing. How much has Man U spent? Are we only talking about spent or net? He has sold off a lot of the buying mistakes, which eases the burden a lot.

He has made some really strange decisions, but unless Liverpool have someone else lined up that has proven to be better in the prem, why sack Rafa?

Autoglass said...

Nice job, Bigus. You changed my mind!

But I will say that Rafa will never win the League. He is a control freak. He is utterly inflexible. He arrogantly believes that he is always right. He is a whiner. Now, I think that firing him might result in them dropping and, as Bigus says, they aren't doing bad.

Instead, they will grant him his total control. He'll make a bigger mess, and THEN they'll fire him.

Precious Roy said...

Remember how early in the season Liverpool was leaving it late and getting 87th minute goals and when people brought that up Liverpool fans were all like, "If this were United everyone would say, 'This team has the markings of a champion blah blah...'"

The reason people brought it up is that shit like that tends to even out. Liverpool's run of draws since Rafa went off on SAF is kind of evidence of that (Don't believe it? Go look at goal difference for the last 6-7 years of the Prem, the team with the best GD has won the league every year save for one of those. Hell, Man U and Chelsea are 2-1 in GD and 1-2 in the table right now).

Fifteen to play and you're two points from the top. Want to win the league? Man up and start playing. You've got more than enough talent around Gerrard and Torres to compete.

Andrew said...

Yes, PR, I agree whole-heartedly. If they want this - the organization and the fans - then stop complaining and play. Blaming Rafa doesn't make any sense to me; he has brought in quality players and supplemented them with some decent players, meaning the team is there. The performance level isn't, and that is not necessarily Rafa's fault.

The Fan's Attic said...

No...I believe the performance level is at least partially Rafa's fault. It is his responsibility to get the team performing at a high level through motivation and tactics. For the past 2 months, he really hasn't done that. You can see it on the field.

Blame also falls on the players, but Rafa's tactics have been out of whack.

The Fan's Attic said...

according to, since 04-05 these clubs have spent the following amounts on transfers:

Chelsea - 234M
Liverpool- 170M
ManU-130.8M (including Nani/Anderson, Van der Sar fees not noted)

The Fan's Attic said...

amounts received during same time:



CFC - 153M
LFC - 98M
MU - 51M

Interesting numbers.

Mike Georger said...

Yeah PR you were right all along, I think I just didn't want to believe it. Though what I said about how the media treats a late LFC win compared to a United win is still accurate.

Rafa complains the morning of a Champions League Final that he needs width, so he buys Babel and Yossi, neither of which are wide players. This is a man who started Bolo Fucking Zenden in said Champions League Final.

I'm gonna get good and drunk and expound on this.

phil said...

OTOH, I'm anxious to see what other posts fall under the "ungratul gobshites" tag.

Bigus Dickus said...

Fans Attic. Interesting indeed, but when did the Liverpool kitty have the balls for a 30 million quid player?

cjdomer04 said...

Fans Attic, not as much when they supposedly count Tevez, Nani, and Anderson as free. Call it a hunch, but I have a feeling there was some money changing hands in those deals.

Man U was also in a slightly stronger position than Liverpool in 2004. I would assume Man U to have spent less.

Mike Georger said...

So. Eleven Black and Tans later, I'm ready to give my opinion on the 'Rafalution.'

I love Liverpool. I love Steven Gerrard. I love Jamie Carragher.
I think the biggest fear I have, and I know this is a sentiment shared amongst my compatriots, is that those two will go down as two of the best players the club has ever seen, without winning the league. They deserve it, to really be up there on the pantheon with the likes of Kenny, Crazy Horse, Billy, Keegan, Barnes, etc, they just can't afford Dan Marino Syndrome. And the worry that is creeping up is that they will not win it under Rafa.

Has he learned over the last five years, as Bigus has suggested? I don't know. I have no doubt that Rafa 'gets it' about Liverpool. His rants about Fuck Face Fergie and Everton prove that to me. However, over the last few years, there has been a patch like this in each season. Three years ago it was the stretch of games leading up to the B'city FA Cup game where they scored seven goals, for the month or two beforehand they couldn't score to save their lives. Two years ago it was the start of the season, where they started with something like two points from seven games. Last year it was the Christmas period where they were drawing to Boro and DERBY for fuck's sake. This year it was delayed a week or two. Every team has their struggles each year, United have been lucky enough the past two years to have their's come the first month of the season then get on a roll. The concern is that Rafa is too stubborn to make adjustments to keep from the same inept stretches from occurring.

Simply put, champion teams cannot draw at home each year to two of the promoted sides, it just can't happen when the parity amongst the top eight or so teams is tightening up each year.

I know a lot of this has to be put on the players, so lets talk about the players. The only mainstays of the team that are left from the days of GH are Carra and Stevie. Reina is the most underrated keeper in Europe, and a fantastic signing. Bouzanis is supposed to be the next great young keeper, so I'm happy with that position, and while Dudek won Istanbul for us, frankly he sucked.

Left back? Fuck. Aurelio can't really defend, and cannot stay healthy, though he can cross. Dossena, for eight million pounds holy fuck what the hell was Rafa thinking? When an ITALIAN is too slow and fat to break into the national side, that should be a big red fucking flag. Insua is the future, and honestly I think at least one of the recent draws would be a win had he not been on international duty with the u-20's right now.

Right back ..... Carra is the best right back on the team. Arbeloa is so hit and miss, it's painful. Deggen, while a free signing, will never play for this team, he can't stay healthy. Should not have sold Finnan, though I understand he was part of the deal for Reina. Darby is the future there, hopefully, and I think he will be in the XI by the end of the year.

Center back ... now here is where Rafa has hit the mark, the spine. Agger and Skrtel, are for my money, the two best young central defenders in Europe (eat my ass Kompany, you broke my fucking heart). Nothing more to say there, aside from don't let Sami leave and please give him a coaching spot, and PLEASE give Agger a contract.

Central midfield ... Alonso and Masche, don't need to say anything. Lucas, well in the words of Jimmy McNulty, I had such fucking hopes for us. He hasn't lived up to them, but he is still young, and I think some loan time in Italy may help him out. Regardless, with Plessis and Spearing in the wings, if Lucas doesn't pan out it won't matter. Alonso has redeemed himself this season and is player of the year for the team in my opinion.
Left wing .... I was one of the biggest Harry Kewell fans there is, and I don't blame Rafa for sticking with him. I'm glad he is doing well now, but at the same time, fuck him. Leto could be a good squad player. Riera is a great signing and I'm in love with his creativity. However, Rafa insists on having him cut inside instead of staying wide where he is comfortable. He is not a scorer, he is a crosser, leave him out wide for fuck's sake.

Right wing. .... holy fucking shit. Kuyt, in the same mold as Morientes, tries his best but just isn't cut out for the EPL. Babel is a striker, not a winger. Yosssi is a CAM, not a winger. The best right winger on this team? STEVEN FUCKING GERRARD. The most points 'pool have ever had in a season was when he was playing on the right wing. He doesn't like playing it, but who the fuck cares, he will suck it up. You stack a midfield of Gerrard – Little Chief – Alonso – Hank Azaria, and I honest to God will put that up against any midfield in the world.

Striker, play Torres with Babel or Keane. If Nemeth can stop breaking bones in his face, give him a shot.

Honestly, all I think this team needs is a right back and right wing. My fellow Pollack Jakub Błaszczykowski from Dortmund would fight great in the right wing spot. Carra or Darby can play on the right back position and provide the necessary cover and crossing. What this team lacks is service from the right, and a competent servicing winger would do it. If they won't play Stevie out there, which it looks like they won't they need someone other than Kuyt.

Do I like Rafa? Absolutely. He is ruthless and understands the club. He hates United and Everton. But he is as stubborn as a mule, and you don't get behind a mule, because it will end up kicking you in the fucking face. It is hard to say who is in charge of the transfers, but either Parry or him needs to go. The only reasons I wouldn't give Rafa the heave-ho at the end of the year at that 1) I'm afraid Torres will want out and 2) who else is out there? There needs to be some sort of shake up at the club, be it upper management or ownership.

I don't think they are far off from winning the title. And it isn't really that they won't win it this year that is pissing me off, rather that I honestly do not see much improvement from the problems of the last few years. Too many draws at home. No service from the midfield. Terrible play from left back.

Would I rather have Kenny back running this club? Without a fucking doubt; sadly he doesn't have the stomach for it and frankly I can't blame him. Would I rather have GH back? No. Would I rather have Martin O'neill at the helm? I'd give up my left nut for that, I think he's the best manager in the game right now, and has been for a few years, and England won't win the WC until he is in charge. But Rafa may be the best we can do right now. And with the shit condition of England's young players, it may well prove beneficial to have an Iberian manager who can tap into an actually succesful farm system (Pacheco, Bruna, etc.).

I think he will get an extension, but if next year we go another month without a win in the league, he just has to go. Maybe Jamie Redknapp will end up managing the team, I don't know, he has been the most vocal and consistent critic of Rafa, and it seems like he is politicking for a job. But in ten years, Jamie Carragher will be calling the shots I fucking guarantee it.

I'm only 25, I'm going to see another Liverpool title team, probably several more. But I want to see Stevie and Jamie win one, and I'm worried they will not do it under Rafa.

The Fan's Attic said...

I included the rumored 25M for Nani/Anderson in the calculation. Tevez hasn't been signed yet...still on loan.

Bigus, no they haven't had the stones for a 30M purchase but did outlay 26M for torres. look how that turned out? pretty good save for the injuries this season. still half a season to go though.