Now before you roll your eyes in despair, and snort derisively seeing as that question has been thrown about only a few hundred times since the Italian club’s interest in him became public knowledge, hear me out.
I am a Rafa fan. In the sense that I think that he should be given a chance to make things right, and in the sense that people are quick to disregard his qualities because his weaknesses are being highlighted thanks to the ravenous lynch-mob that is the tabloid press.
The guy, over the last few months, and indeed at certain parts of the last couple of seasons or so has got an unbelievable amount of stick. Some of it warranted yes, because we are playing poorly at the moment, but it has reached an all new level of abuse. It is one thing to criticize your manager. In some ways, it is good to criticize the manager (depending on how you do it), but now it is just full-on abuse. You only have to look at some of the message-boards to what extent the fans have turned. Most of the stuff I can’t write on here, but the one slant on the guy that absolutely makes my blood boil is the ‘Fat Spanish Waiter,’ remark. It isn’t altogether insulting on its own, but the ‘poisonous’ barb it carries is where it comes from. You see, the ‘Fat Spanish Waiter,’ line has always been something that was thought up by rival fans, and it is something leveled at him by rival fans. To know that our fans are using it against him to me make them just as bad as Everton/United/Chelsea etc fans. Fans criticize, not abuse.
Anyway, all this leads me to think that maybe Rafa is better off without Liverpool? I know his family is well settled in to the city, and his daughter by all accounts has a Scouse accent and all that so it is always going to be hard for him to leave this club and this city. To an extent, it depends on what Rafa experiences at the matches. The match-going Reds (I don’t class myself as a regular match-going Red unfortunately) in general seem to still be on his side. If those crowds either start to disappear on a regular basis or turn on him then maybe his mind will be changed. After all, he is still a World-Class manager, regardless of what people say. Lets face it, there will be more clubs scrambling over each other to sign him than there will be managers scrambling over to take over his position at Liverpool. Rafa doesn’t need Liverpool for his career, he is here because he cares. He could walk out that door, and live happily ever after, whilst we are left with two dubious owners and a plot of land where our new stadium might or might not be – oh and Ryan Babel.
So should he just do it? I don’t for a minute think that he wants the £20m that he will get if he is sacked. I do believe that if he genuinely thought that he couldn’t do it anymore, he would just bid us all farewell and sail off into the horizon to greener pastures. So should he do it? I seem to recall a year or so ago him saying that he would like to manage in Italy one day. He has that opportunity now to work at one of Europe’s finest Italian’s clubs at a top stadium with top players. Should he just do it? Get rid of some of our fans, and get shot of this media (although I’m not sure if the Italian press is any better) and forge a new life in sunny Turin. I know that if I were him, and I saw some of the comments floating about my love for the club would be tested.
So either way, I do believe that Liverpool need him more than Rafa needs Liverpool. So to anyone who abuses the guy on message-boards and phone-ins (as opposed to criticizes him) – be careful what you wish for, because for this club, the grass might not necessarily be greener on the other side.