The fixture at the Stadium of Light this weekend was never going to be easy. This wasn’t helped by the lack of inspirational captain Steven Gerrard and Spanish front man Fernando Torres. Preparations for our mid-week game against Lyon won’t be helped by calls for Rafa’s head, either.
Going into todays game we had Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Javier Mascherano and Emiliano Insua missing due to the troublesome international week. This left Rafa with a severely weakened squad to pick from for our trip to the North-Easts only Premier League outfit.
The result selection choices were, in my opinion, the best choices Benitez could have made given his obvious limitations due to injury. This left us with squad worth around£65 million, a similar value to that of our oppositions squad based on rough and ready figures.
So, we lost the game, two evenly matched sides went into the contest and one came out on top due to a goal deflected off a rubber ball. It’s not the managers fault that’s for certain.
So, who do we look towards? How about our owners? Our squad had a very low value financially today, when put up against the value of the teams placed on the pitch by the other ‘big four’ clubs that played today. This is clearly due to gross under-funding when it has come to player transfers, something Tom Hicks and George Gillett can certainly be held accountable for.
Yes, Rafa did have some part to play in todays lost. Maybe changes should have been made earlier and yes maybe a different formation would have been a better option, but as a manager you have to take calculated risks in order to try and win a game, especially when you have so many key players missing. Rafa took a risk and it didn’t pay off, but that’s what you get with football.
Everyone who wants Rafa out isn’t looking at the bigger picture. If Rafa left now the current owners would happily replace him with a ‘yes man’, someone who would obey their every command and not care about the lack of investment and the resulting fall down the table that would result. An owner-chosen replacement for Rafa Benitez may well destroy this club, without someone to oppose the owners we are on a sinking ship going straight down the Premier League table.
To evaluate, with Rafa we have a manager who has lead us to a European Cup win, a FA Cup win and our best season in two-decades last year. With a replacement comes the long settling in period that would ruin any chance of league success this year and the demise of Liverpool Football Club due to our American owners using any new person in the hot seat as a puppet to do as they wish.