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Liverpool Stand On The Edge Of Failure

rafa benitez Liverpool Stand On The Edge Of Failure

The morning after Liverpool crashed out of the Champions League has seen the club reiterate that Rafa Benitez’s position is safe.  Not qualifying for the Champions League knock out stage is a big blow for a club that strives for parity at Europe’s top table. Throughout this season, Liverpool have struggled in the League and in Europe. Last night saw them relying on Lyon to win in Florence, but what astounded me was the lack of pushing for extra goals.

Liverpool needed goals, but towards the end of the game, Benitez’s substitutions began to become increasingly surreal. Ngog was removed for Benayoun, Left backs were exchanged and Aquilani was brought on for 34 seconds.  All the while, Liverpool were praying for Lyon to score but if they had, Benitez needed Liverpool to score more. If Lyon had scored and the game in Florence was drawn, Liverpool then could qualify by beating Fiorentina 3-0 at Anfield.

 Liverpool Stand On The Edge Of Failure

Yet what would have happened if Liverpool had only won 2-0? It would have then come down to goal difference and Liverpool would have lost out again. As it is, it doesn’t matter anymore, but what struck me before the game yesterday was Jamie Carragher’s comments about winning the Europa League to give the season a “gloss”. This Liverpool side is possibly the weakest since Gerard Houillier left the club in the summer of 2004, they’re struggling in the league and only have the Europa League and the F.A. Cup to aim for. What kind of gloss does winning the Europa League give you?

The title is a non starter, but is it beyond them to finish 4th? They are only 5 points off 4th currently but the next 3 league games could see them fall further behind. Tough trips to Everton and Blackburn are followed by a visit from Arsenal whilst the upwardly mobile trio of Tottenham, Manchester City and Aston Villa are playing well. For Liverpool to profit they have to hope they can hit title form, without having a hope of the title and all 3 of their rivals fall away spectacularly.Is that possible?

Of course, people point to the injury crisis that seems to have engulfed Liverpool, but this squad is solely the work of Rafa Benitez. It is only weak because he has created such a situation. He still relies on 2 players he inherited, Gerrard and Carragher, who are coming to the end of their natural careers. Gerrard is 29 and Carragher is 32 in January and has probably had his most fitful season in the red shirt. Gerrard can still drag Liverpool forward, but for how much longer? How much longer can Carragher keep going? How much will it cost to replace them?

liver 1516859c Liverpool Stand On The Edge Of Failure

Last year for me saw Liverpool punching way above their weight when they ran Manchester United so close for the title. Chelsea were in flux, Arsenal were still growing as a side. Spurs were in a crisis of their own creation, Villa lost their way and Manchester City were still coming to grips with their new found wealth. That is not the case this season, all of their rivals are in much better shape and all of them have money to spend, which is certainly not the case at Anfield.

The constant negativity towards the owners has sullied the the picture at Anfield, taking the focus away from the playing squad. Blaming bad luck, referees and injuries is becoming the norm from Benitez. Yes they have had bad luck with injuries but so have Chelsea and Manchester United. Chelsea were without Lampard, Drogba, Ballack, Boswinga and Carvalho on Saturday and thumped Wolves 4-0. Would a Liverpool side without Torres, Gerrard, Carragher, Mascherano and Johnson do so?

Fiorentina+v+Liverpool+ +UEFA+Champions+League Liverpool Stand On The Edge Of Failure

Of course the added poignancy here for Liverpool is that they can’t afford to sack Benitez regardless of how bad this season turns out for them. The last accounts filed for 2007-2008 saw Liverpool make a loss of £41.5 million on top of a £290 million debt. There is no doubt that Hicks and Gillett have saddled the club with debt, but at what point does the playing squad become the main area for concern? It is a dangerous game to assume Liverpool can walk in to the Europa League and win it.

There will be other footballing giants in the next round of the competition, which Liverpool will have to be aware of. Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, Marseille, Real Madrid, AC Milan, CSKA Moscow and Athletico Madrid could all join them. It will not be easy for a team playing well to win it, never mind one that is struggling across all fronts to find some form. Benitez has to find a settled side and stick with it, forget the Europa League and concentrate on the league. Benitez’s obsession with Europe could completely derail the league with dire consequences.

Leeds United Elland Road view 781769 Liverpool Stand On The Edge Of Failure

What if Liverpool don’t win the Europa League and finish 5th? That’s a £40 million hole in a teams finances that is losing £40 million a year already. Across the Pennines, the effects of financial mismanagement coupled with failure to qualify for the Champions League can still be seen at Elland Road. That’s a very real scenario, regardless of history and standing. Liverpool need to get going and quickly or a disappointing season will become a catastrophic one within weeks.

47 Responses to Liverpool Stand On The Edge Of Failure

  1. Topredman says:

    We didn’t really “crash” out of the Champions League, or as I like to call it the European Cup, just slipped quietly away for this year. I don’t see any shame in being in the Europa League. It is, after all, the UEFA Cup. Didn’t bother us before to win it so why now? All or certainly two from Arsenal, Chelsea and Man U won’t win the European Cup, so we might as well have some European glory where the others fail. Come on lads-chins up!

    • FredtheRed says:

      Oh I’m sorry, you lost to the weakest Lyon team in a decade, a Fiorentina team that are nowhere near the level of a top European side and manage to scrap two 1-0 wins against a team from Hungary with an annual budget of £1 million pounds. Bravo, such fantastic displays of footballing excellence!!
      That’s not crashing out of the Champions League, no it’s being humbled and humiliated out of the Champions League.
      What are you going to do if you get a half decent side in the next round of the Europa League? Whine about the draw? Blame Michel Platini? Say the ref needs glasses?

    • FredtheRed says:

      And another thing, if you think Chelsea aren’t going to be in the final, you need your head checking. I mean, they’re already 13 points ahead of you now and it’s not even December.
      When will the “it’ll be our season next season” mantra start?

  2. magnumopus says:

    The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

  3. sam says:

    I LOVE LIVERPOOL THE CLUB IS IN MY HEART BUT I TAKE THIS AS A POSITIVE THAT WERE OUT OF THE CHAMPIONS LEAGE AND IF WE DONT MAKE TOP 4 NEXT YEAR THE REASON WILL BE MAYBE THE OWNERS WILL BE FORCED TO SELL OUT THE CLUB THEY WILL NEVER TAKE THIS CLUB FORWARD SO TAKE IT AS A POSITIVE PEOPLE MIGHT THINK I AM INSANE BUT THAT COULD FORCE GILLETTE AND HICKS TO SELL OUT

  4. Laurence says:

    Let’s face it, trying to ‘gloss’ over this is not realistic. It’s just press spin. The position is different to the press position, unless your club always wins and even then there are things hidden from the press.

    Financially, it is going to be sured up and as a team, this is a stronger team than the mentality would suggest.

    Europa League is hardly glamorous, just good league run would probably be a success. 4th is the target for Rafa.

    On the verge? Really? Let’s step back and inhale deeply before we go making Liverpool fans panic every time they log onto EPLTalk.

  5. knocsucow00 says:

    Laurence,
    What makes you think that they will financial situation will improve?

    It has been two years since Hicks/Gillett bought the team, and they are still in bad financial state.

    Hicks had to sell his Montreal Canadians, and Gillett is from all reports going to be forced to sell the Texas Rangers as well.

    They had to sell to buy in the summer, where is this new found Jan transfer kitty going to come from?

    • Laurence says:

      knocsucow,

      CE Christian Purslow has been quoted numerous times as saying that negotiations with investors is ongoing and will be complete not far into the new year. I don’t think that the Jan transfer budget will be replenished. It’s a case of Liverpool steadying their ship right now, they are making all the right noises but the actions need to back it up if they are to go ahead and push on, if not then it could continue to be a rocky season full of false accusations and apocalyptic articles.

      Gillett and Hicks will either weather the storm or bail out. Either way Liverpool has to come out of the other side.

  6. Darby O'Gill says:

    The only reason Rafa hasn’t been fired yet is because the team literally can’t afford to.

    They will lose a massive amount of money missing out on the group stages. They can try to offset that with a good showing in the Europa League (not a foregone conclusion with their current form) but that would probably require sacrificing league position. And if Liverpool don’t finish in the top 4 they will be in dire financial straits.

    And it all feels so good to watch. First Dirty Leeds, now the thieving scousers.

  7. knocsucow00 says:

    So in your view steadying the ship does not involve improving the team during the Jan transfer window? Especially when two of their competitors for the 4th spot, Spurs/Man City will likely be buying and improving their team?

    Or do you just expect them to “get healthy?”

    • Laurence says:

      Just because all of those around you are losing their heads and splashing money doesn’t mean that you have to follow. Wenger proved his quality and Liverpool’s squad is not too different from last season. Aside from Alonso and we all know that his replacement (not like for like) is on his way back.

      I don’t expect them to “get healthy”. It’s just expected that Liverpool’s experience will come through. If so much has changed in one season then it is more down to press spin and mentality than anything else.

      The team needs the fans to get right behind them. Bad things are happening, but trying to buy your way out of trouble is not the quick solution that most people bill it as. Do you agree?

  8. Chris from Texas says:

    While Liverpool has been in a mediocre form this season, you can’t blame Rafa. I know some people think it’s a cop out, but the injury problems are overwhelming. No team can win a game when they have 10 players injured, and the comparison to Chelsea is laughable. They have an owner who spends money to make the team better, but doesn’t ever have to worry about the bottom line.

    This season has highlighted all of Liverpool’s problems, and for that I am glad. Hopefully new investors will come in and we can add depth to the squad. Another thing being overplayed is the lack of forwards. Rafa wanted to bring one in before Hicks and co. told him salary increases came out of the transfer budget. Liverpool is one of the best teams in Europe and have poor backing from their owners.

    As for the Europa League? It may not be ideal but the league is more important.

    • Laurence says:

      Concur.

    • Eddie says:

      Great post, Chris. I agree completely.

      I actually expect Liverpool to be much better in the second half of the year. Of course, the club can’t rely on all of the players being healthy, but surely the whole season won’t be this way.

      We haven’t even had a chance yet to see Torres, Gerrard, Aquilani, Agger, and Aurelio all on the pitch at the same time. Let’s see what happens first before we start writing them off.

      I also would not agree that this is Liverpool’s weakest squad since Houllier left. Though the constant presence of Lucas would add weight to that argument.

    • FredtheRed says:

      Liverpool under Benitez have spent £248 million pounds and raised £132 million in sales, a net spend of £116 million. The second highest, behind Chelsea in the last 5 years. Other than Torres, name me a top quality signing that Benitez has made? Lucas? Voronin? Skrtel? Bellamy? Agger? Joke injury prone wasters.
      Liverpool fans constantly claim how good there side is, how many of the team other than Gerrard, maybe Mascherano and Torres would get in any of the other top 6 sides in the Premiership.
      None of them. Liverpool won’t finish in the top 4 and I will have a bottle of bubbly ready. Your time has passed. You are out dated and over rated.
      Get ready for financial implosion.

    • FredtheRed says:

      You won’t get a point in the next 3 games. What will be the excuse then? Injuries? Beach balls? All premiership ref’s need glasses? It’s all Fergies fault?
      Pathetic.
      You haven’t won a trophy in 3 seasons, only 3 in the last 8 seasons. Hardly a big club return is it??

    • FredtheRed says:

      I’m sorry, it’s not Rafa’s fault?? Who signed all these injury prone players? Who signed a £17million right back that can’t defend when the squad was crying out for a striker? Who lost Alonso by trying to sell him all over Europe 12 months ago? Who hasn’t brought one quality player through from youth level in his entire time as manager. Who sells Bellamy, Crouch and Keane and keeps Ngog and Voronin? Who plays two defence midfielders whether your playing Macclesfield or Manchester City.

      Nah, it’s not Benitez is it. I think he’s doing a grand job, almost as good as Souness did.

      • Laurence says:

        Sounds like another fan that picks and chooses his statistics.

        It’s easy to be negative about another team. The fact is that Liverpool fans aren’t making excuses for Benitez, no-one is saying that he is in the best form of his career or that this is excusable form. There are injury problems and no you can’t plan for player injuries so to say that Benitez is signing injury proned players holds little water.

        You’re setting up straw-men and using them to gloat.

        4/5 comments that you posted on this page have had little content to them but spite and anger; not much return for the investment that you have made. Sounds like you comment in the same way Rafa operates in the transfer market (according to you.) It’s nothing personal, just an observation.

        “Feed the scousers?” You should, they’re scoring the most goals for you right now…

        Put the shot-gun down and let’s engage in a debate.

      • Eric says:

        FredtheRed, kindly remove your tampon and hop off the manu bandwagon, i’m not sure there’s any more room. Oh, wait, and aren’t these shitty players are the ones who beat united 2-0 without Gerrard? Hmm…

  9. Matt says:

    I take it you didn’t watch the game, seeing as Aurelio (who was replaced by Dossena) was playing left midfield, not left back.

    And manager’s dont normally waste time by making subs in injury time when winning 1-0 then?

    Give me a break.

    • FredtheRed says:

      Hahaha, Aurelio is a left back, shunted into midfield because Benitez hasn’t got anyone else. So a left back played out of position was replaced by a left back.
      Wasting time, Liverpool needed all the goals they could. You struggled to beat the 6th best team in Hungary on this weeks Hungarian League and dress it up as a fantastic victory.
      Liverpool are knackered.

      • Matt says:

        Yes, hasnt got anyone else because Riera and Babel were out injured and Benayoun wasn’t fully fit as he is returning from injury. Nice one Sherlock.

  10. knocsucow00 says:

    Laurence,
    “Just because all of those around you are losing their heads and splashing money doesn’t mean that you have to follow.”

    But “Hope is not a plan.” Obviously spending foolishly isn’t the answer.

    “Wenger proved his quality and Liverpool’s squad is not too different from last season. Aside from Alonso and we all know that his replacement (not like for like) is on his way back.”

    Wenger has a proven track record of buying youth cheaply and developing them, and not splurging in the transfer market. Rafa has no history of having success with this plan, nor has he implemented buying cheap young talent and developing them.

    “I don’t expect them to “get healthy”. It’s just expected that Liverpool’s experience will come through. If so much has changed in one season then it is more down to press spin and mentality than anything else.”

    But again that is the “hope.” “Experience to come through” really just means, they’ve been in the top 4 for so long now…the experience should carry them. Past performance does not dictate future performance.

    “The team needs the fans to get right behind them. Bad things are happening, but trying to buy your way out of trouble is not the quick solution that most people bill it as. Do you agree?”

    Look no matter how much the fans get behind them or players put their heads down and give there all, it does not cause an automatic 3 points each game.

    Throwing money at the problem doesn’t necessarily work, obviously there is a chance they could spend foolish if given the opportunity. But it does open the door that quality of the side could be improved.

    Not sure sitting on your hands, and hoping they return to form is the answer.

    • FredtheRed says:

      Well said, a realist amongst the blinkered Liverpool masses.

      • Laurence says:

        knocsucow,

        I agree that hope is not a plan, but passed experience is. You wouldn’t send a scout out to games unless it actually gained something so having players in the squad who are used to big games and having to pull themselves out of problems is going to help the squad as they have a proven mentality in this situation. History of games of age old make little difference, but over recent seasons can have a mental block for some players.

        Liverpool is a club (like many) built on support from loyal fans. Don’t tell me that the 12th man hasn’t been helpful in previous seasons, even opposition players speak about it.

        Sitting on your hands isn’t going to help. But I didn’t expect this longer debate with you. I think in many ways we are saying the same thing.

        Rafa does have a history of success with this. Valencia (where Aurelio showed him his left wing experience and great delivery.)

        The main thrust of my argument is that much of this is mentality not quality. (Let’s use Wes Brown and Darren Fletcher as examples.)

        Do you see where I’m coming from?

  11. Eddie says:

    Fred, your obsession with LFC is most unhealthy. Seek professional help.

  12. Phil says:

    Fred Chill out bro ur a moron!

  13. brn442 says:

    Brink of failure? That’s like saying The Titanic is on the brink of sinking.

    Crashed out implies some sort of undeserved exit and as the others had said, LFC got exactly what they deserved. Only one team can win the Champions league and based on Liverpool’s form there was no way they would have repeated being the worst team ever to win the Cup.

    Hopefully Rafa will continue to use the likes of Ngog in the Europa League to gain them experience.

  14. Steve Gunkelman says:

    I can’t believe noone mentioned the inaccuracies in this post. First of all, the 1-0 scoreline was enough. There was certainly no need to push for more at the end of the game unless they were planning on winning by 4. The first tie-breaker in the group stage is head to head. The second is total goal difference. Fiorentina beat Liverpool 2-0. Hence, a 3 goal victory would have been required at Anfield had Lyon managed a draw. That’s unless liverpool won by 4, in which case a 2 goal win would have put them through on total goal difference (tied head to head).

    I don’t think you can Rafa bash about his team’s lack of all out attack in the closing minutes when a second goal is useless and an equalizer ends our campaign. (all moot points now but it angered me a bit to read this nonsense).

    Anyway, to add my voice to the noise, I say treat the Uefa cup like the Carling cup and concentrate on 4th. And for Christ’s sake sign that placenta lady to the medical team quick. We only have one striker.

    • Paul Bestall says:

      Erm not it wasn’t. Would Liverpool have won 3-0? Doubtful on current form.
      If Lyon had drawn in Florence, Liverpool would then have to beat Fiorentina 3-0 at Anfield. If they had only won 2-0, then the head to head scores level would be the same, so goal difference would come in to play.
      Working on that scenario, Liverpool would be +1, Fiorentina would be +3, so Liverpool would go out. Even if Liverpool had managed 3 against Debrecen, putting them on +3, they would then go out on goals scored.

  15. Tyson says:

    Liverpool fans and Rafa Benitez share one thing. They refuse to take criticism on board.

    Instead of attacking people when they critisize you how about learning from it and improving yourself?

    If you pretend nothing is wrong when something clearly is wrong how does that help you?

    Liverpool are 13 points behind the table leaders and out of the Champions League and most Liverpool fans are critisizing people who are making the point that Liverpool are in trouble.

    FredTheRed is commenting above with the basic assertion that Liverpool are not doing well and Rafa Benitez has done a bad job and hes being attacked like he isn’t pointing out the obvious.

    As long as you refuse to see something is wrong you can’t fix it. It’s time to grow up, realise everything isn’t perfect and get to work on what is wrong. This arrogant mentality of everything is fine is not going to work.

    If you need proof that something is wrong just look at the situation Liverpool is in.

    • Henry H says:

      As a neutral observer, how can you possibly possibly associate “arrogant mentality” with the liverpool fans here? FredTheRed seems like a pompous prick and laurence seems the one who was being reasonable. Quite ironic that the post about being unbiased is one of the most biased of them all.

      Look at these…
      FredtheRed: And you sir, must be 13.

      FredtheRed: You won’t get a point in the next 3 games. What will be the excuse then? Injuries? Beach balls? All premiership ref’s need glasses? It’s all Fergies fault?
      Pathetic.
      You haven’t won a trophy in 3 seasons, only 3 in the last 8 seasons.

      FredtheRed: Nah, it’s not Benitez is it. I think he’s doing a grand job, almost as good as Souness did.

      FredtheRed: Are you looking forward to playing Barnsley away in two years in the Coca Cola Championship?

      Seriously, the guy seems like an utter douche bag. I think 90% of what he said was just anger.

      • Tyson says:

        Neutral overser huh?

        And you sir, must be 13.

        was in reply to:

        Fred Chill out bro ur a moron!

        What was he supposed to say rather than arguing the point he is making hes being attacked. How would you reply to that?

        As for the second quote again what is he saying that is wrong there?

        Just stop and think about this for a moment. Liverpool haven’t won a PL game to get a point in a while.

        Over the course of those losses all of the above that was mention has been used as an excuse as to why they lost those games.

        Injuries is bought up frequently, a game where Liverpool played badly throughout was blamed on a beach ball and Liverpool fans claim other teams(especially United) get special treatment when they do play.

        Again not an ounce of responsibility shouldered its always somebody or something elses fault.

        Again you very selectively picked the next quote too. If you look at the point he is making about Rafa Benitezs mismanagement of purchasing players it isn’t hard to see why he is saying what he is saying.

        Bellamy, Crouch and Keane sold while he keeps Ngog and Voronin? It’s a very valid point if you weren’t insistent on picking out little bits of his statement you’d see he is making a good point.

        The point he made backed up by figures about how much Benitez has spent to form a team that is out of the Champions League in the group stage is completely valid. It IS a problem.

        Again the last quote you seem to miss what he was replying to.

        And you don’t want me to associate a negative and bad attitude towards United with Liverpool fans?

        Scroll up and read Eric’s “bitterness” argument about United fans their loss to Liverpool. Thats really nice eric thank you very much.

        Look at the end of the day guys if your going to attack somebody his reply isn’t going to be something your going to like seeing.

        Instead of picking on what hes saying why not look at the points he is trying to make because none of the points he is making are wrong.

        Liverpool fans are attacking United when United is significantly more successful than Liverpool and you guys dont see an issue with that but on the other hand you like to pick on the detractors of Liverpool.

        The detractors of Liverpool have a valid point and one look at the Premier League table will show you that.

        • Laurence says:

          Tyson, I don’t know when you came in on the thread, but this debate really started to get out of hand as soon as insults were thrown by a Manchester United fan. It then progressed away when we pointed out that Rooney was a scouser and indeed United’s top scorer this season. So let’s not get it twisted here.

          I think we are mixing points here though. Winning a personal argument doesn’t make your argument about football more valid. Look at his arguments and the problems that posters have with them, because as a Liverpool fan I am sick of being clubbed together with fans that post ridiculous things and I’m sick of the stupid arguments that go on between the two clubs which actually take away from some good debates.

          The money that Benitez has spent: he has spent an awful lot since coming to the club, but at moments has had his hands tied. Keane was not his buy so let’s put that one to bed.

          Bellamy was a success at the club but Benitez needed to sell to buy and Bellamy wanted regular football, the same for Crouch, it was a choice in their career. They needed to go to a club where they would get football at the time, things have changed since then.

          A large amount of money has been spent in the academy and that is important to remember when quoting stats, that is the point, a stat about cash spent doesn’t say it all. If he had read a little deeper than the Daily Mail then he might have realised that Benitez doesn’t have the ‘awful’ record that some claim he does, but no one is saying that Benitez is blameless. Myth = busted.

          When you say ‘when United is significantly more successful’ do you mean now or for all time? Because United are the most successful team of the decade and have the most successful manager of all time. But it makes it hard to make a positive observation when fans like Fred rub it in your face. The clubs that don’t rub it in often have the most respect, hence why Madrid garner much less respect in Europe now whereas Milan have a classy club. I see a difference.

          I don’t think that anyone was attacking the club or their success, they were attacking this negative fan perspective which comes from pockets of both clubs when there is actually a lot of respect between the two sets of fans.

          A large number of Liverpool detractors have a point when you boil it down, but some don’t make their point in the right place or with the right stats.

          Benitez has the same match-win rate in the Champion’s League as he does in the Premiership, so it would indicate that he has a club which is better in a cup competition. In the long run you can see his plan though.

          I have more but I also have editing to do. I don’t want to have to argue about silly points, let’s actually engage in a debate if we are going to.

          Cheers

          • Tyson says:

            Laurence the issue is everybody has their own opinion on why something happens.

            Maybe I blame Benitez but you blame the owners etc etc.

            The point is when somebody is trying to make the same point as you why does it matter whether they are making it in a different way or with a different perspective?

            FredTheRed WAS making good points. I won’t agree with the way he conducted himself but I can’t fault him when I see how people replied to him when he was trying to make those valid points.

            Everybody was going to have a strong reaction to this article and this article was written in such a way that he blew the debate open with a lot of food for thought(awesome article by the way brings up a lot of good points and you don’t preface it with your own opinions which would kill the debate before it began).

            Anyway I personally think the biggest problem Liverpool have is refusing to accept they are in a bad situation.

            If I was in Liverpools situation I would start by admitting I messed up. I’d say I did a shitty job that lead me to this situation.

            I know if I stand there and blame everything from the elements to injuries for my problems I will never accept blame and I’ll keep thinking there is nothing wrong so why should I change anything.

            I personally believe if your players are not doing their job you wait till half time and then you give them some words you can never say on TV.

            I’ve always admired Fergies utterly blunt attitude towards his players. It’s as simple as its my way or the highway. With Liverpool Benitez has done a bad job with a lot of players in the past and his personal relations have gotten in the way.

            I think he needs to take responsibility, take charge and get those lads out there.

            I think you guys practically dug your own grave after you sold Xabi Alonso. He was just absolutely perfect for Liverpool. His howitzer like balls forward and ICBM like precision was just freaking astounding.

            I think he is the best in the world at what he specialises in BAR NONE. Just an absolutely sensational player and Benitez ended up screwing things up for him.

            Take a look at last year and look at just how instrumental he was at putting the ball at Gerrard or Torres’ feet. In all honesty I think it’s one of the worse things to happen to Liverpool in a long time. He WAS that good.

        • Jorge Curioso says:

          Exactly right. Denial. It’s not just a river in Liverpool…

  16. Cam says:

    might be on the edge???? HA! Liverpool have failed BAD this season…BYE BYE BENITEZ, BYE BYE!!!!

  17. Trogdor says:

    Look, I’m a huge Liverpool fan but to be fair, they have drastically underperformed this year. I’ll be the last one to make excuses about injuries.

    This is where I think the problem lies:
    Take Liverpool’s line up and stack it up against the giants of Europe, specifically those in the EPL. How many players does a club like Chelsea look at and say, “Wow, I wish he was on our team”? Torres and Gerrard surely but past that it gets pretty murky. Glen Johnson and Javier Mascherano probably but then I’m not sure anyone else would get in the starting 11 let alone get playing time.

    With that in mind, now take Chelsea and look at a team like Barca. I’m sure the blues would love to get their hands on Messi, Ibra, Xavi, Iniesta, Alves, or Pique. Likewise, Barca would love a Drogba, Lampard, Ashley Cole, Terry, etc. You get the point.

    Liverpool does just not have enough top quality players, especially when it comes to their bench. As far as who’s to blame, I think it needs to spread around. I was reading a post on ThisisAnfield.com about has ever won anything when they needed to sell to buy like Liverpool. A fair point that putsts the owners at fault. That said, I question Rafa’s transfers. Robbie Keane? Andrea Dossena? Andriy Voronin? Selling Xabi Alonso? Even buying Glen Johnson when we needed a forward and by all account have a burgeoning talent Martin Kelly waiting in the fold? Furthermore, his stubbornness infuriates me. It took him months to finally admit he screwed up with Voronin and give N’gog a chance. When will he admit that Lucas isn’t the best fit for our midfield playing alongside Masch? No, I don’t think Rafa should be sacked, but he certianly needs to be held accountable.

    Finally, guys stop making this a LFC v ManU thing. Many of the united fans here are being pricks but so was “Eric” with the stuff he said so get over it. Why we are even mentioning United amazes me considering this Article had nothing to do with them.

  18. Jorge Curioso says:

    On the “edge of failure”? Liverpool are in full-blown meltdown mode, and have been since Rafa lost it in January.

    But, yeah, it’s not the manager’s fault…

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