Having endured yet another drawn out football related saga, it’s nice to see that Rafael Benitez and the Liverpool board have finally come to an agreement. Decisions over the Spaniard’s new contract had been ongoing for months and there were periods when it looked as though Benitez would turn down any sort of deal in favour of a move to take over at Real Madrid.
However, much to the relief of many Liverpool fans, Benitez has agreed to stay on at the club until 2014. Reports coming out of Anfield indicate the deal will give Benitez a lot more control over the club’s transfer policy and with the departure of chief executive Rick Parry to come at the end of the season, we may finally see the Liverpool boss firmly make his mark on the club.
Liverpool are finally mounting a serious title challenge after going 19 years without lifting the league title. Whilst their rivals Manchester United have enjoyed a sustained period of success since the Premier League was created, the Merseyside based club have had to settle for success in the cup competitions. Many have put the club’s failure to win the Premier League title down to the lack of stability at Anfield but with Benitez agreeing a new deal those days could be over.
In the time since Sir Alex Ferguson was appointed Manchester United manager, Liverpool went through five different managers before coming to Benitez. However, on-the-field matters now seem to have settled down and whilst the Reds do need to strengthen their squad you’d think many Liverpool fans will be happy Benitez will be in charge of the inevitable recruitment drive.
Whilst Tom Hicks and George Gillett continue to look for a buyer off the field, it’s thought that Benitez agreeing to stay at the club could make Liverpool a more attractive prospect. There is no doubt that Benitez is a quality manager, as he demonstrated last weekend when he masterminded the 4-1 victory over Man Utd, and as such any potential owner should be pleased to have the Spaniard already on board.
This could be the start of something great for Liverpool because if they can find a new owner you feel they could be on the verge of returning to the kind of domination we saw from the club in the 1970s and 80s. Obviously the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal will have something to say about that but it’s certainly not unfathomable that with the right backer Benitez could restore Liverpool to their former glory.