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Benitez is No Longer The Right Man for Liverpool

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Despite Liverpool’s impressive turnaround in their Champions League group and an unbeaten record in the league until their recent losses against Reading and Man United, Liverpool has given their fans much more hope this season of lifting the Premier League title than in previous years.

However, the problem with Liverpool is that they’ve been much too inconsistent and have too many severe weaknesses in their side.

These are problems that Benitez was aware of last season but instead of correcting the issues during the summer by buying players to fit those slots, he (and Liverpool fans) now have to wait until the January transfer window for hopes of fixing the challenges.

Benitez’s dependence on playing Dirk Kuyt has hurt the Spaniard this season. It should be the Dutch striker, not Peter Crouch, that needs to be offloaded in the January transfer window. Kuyt, despite his determination, is severely lacking in the skills to be a prolific striker. And when you see him up alongside Fernando Torres, you can see how much more skillful Torres is in comparison to Kuyt.

Riise is another player who has had a terrible season thus far.

Harry Kewell isn’t ready for first team football. His pace and weight is still not what they need to be to succeed at a Premiership level again.

Ryan Babel shows flashes of brilliance but always seems to mess up the last few crucial steps of his move. With time, Babel will flourish at Anfield.

Momo Sissoko isn’t half the player he used to be and is making so many mistakes for Liverpool that he’s a liability on the pitch for the club.

Overall, Liverpool looks like a team that is missing a few jigsaw pieces. When Daniel Agger returns, the Reds will be sound at the back in front of the excellent keeper Reina. But it’s up front and in midfield where Benitez needs the most amount of help. Maybe he’s taking on more than he can chew after assistant manager Pako Ayestaran left Anfield recently?

For Liverpool fans, the holes in the side are too big to fix in a short amount of time to enable them to win the Premier League title this season. Yet again, it’s time to rebuild for Liverpool which makes me wonder whether Benitez is actually the right man for the job or not.

I’m now convinced that the Reds need someone to replace Rafa Benitez. They need a manager who can take them to the next level. Sure, Rafa has won the Champions League trophy for Liverpool and almost won a second one earlier this spring, but the same mistakes that Benitez commits are being repeated over and over again.

Whether you love or hate Rafa Benitez, I have to think that someone like Jose Mourinho could have achieved much more at Liverpool than Benitez did. Sure, Rafa won Liverpool a Champions League trophy that Mourinho may have been unable to achieve at Anfield, but Liverpool would be a top three side now if Mourinho was in charge. He would have spent his money more wisely. He would have fixed the holes that have plagued Liverpool for too long.

Instead it sounds like Gillette and Hicks have gone too soft and given Benitez more rope. The question now is when will the American owners decide enough is enough and could it be as early as this next summer?

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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