I received this article from Alain Grimaitre, he is a 34 year old Liverpool Supporter from Basel, Switzerland.
In a sad way many message boards could make one believe the great reputation that Liverpool supporters enjoy all over the world for their passion and loyalty is a big myth. Is it just a general lack of football knowledge or is it just that it only seems like that because in pre-internet times there were no platforms for that kind of people? It makes me sick when our own supporters call our manager an “idiot” – the man that is responsible for some of my greatest Liverpool memories. And I do not only talk about Istanbul 2005 or Cardiff 2006. There were many sensational European nights but also great wins in the league – and just in case all the Rafa bashers forgot: check which grounds his Liverpool sides conquered. Check the league record of this manager and compare it to others. Check the real figures and the motivation behind his transfer policy. Anyone who is seriously doing this will only come to one conclusion: we are f****** lucky to have such a brilliant manager. Not a perfect one (who is?) but believe it or not: while the English press tries to make Benitez look like an idiot, in the rest of Europe he is regarded as one of the very top managers in World football. Ever wondered why?
I admit: it doesn’t take a genius to see that it all went wrong so far this season. But to blame Rafael Benitez for everything or even want to sack him is plain stupid. In my opinions there are several reasons for our “crisis”:
– Injuries. I do not remember that Liverpool have ever suffered from so many injuries. It certainly does not help when you lose key players because they had to play in total unimportant games for their countries. We also have defensive problems due to the fact that we have to play every other week with a different back four which automatically results in losing stability.
– Squad. Rafa might not agree publicly (if he did – what effect would that have on the team?) but it is obvious that we are short of a couple of players. In my opinion, most urgently a right Winger and a quality back up for Torres (who never will be able to play a whole injury-free season). The problem: quality on that positions costs a lot of money, more money than we can afford because I think we all agree on that: average players from the lower price categories won’t improve the team any further.
– Transfers. Johnson was not a bargain but still a great buy, especially considering the coming FIFA rule. English players are overpriced but that hardly is Rafa’s fault. Aquilani was a risk Rafa had to take because Liverpool could not have afforded a fully fit player of his quality. Yes, it backfires now because of the many injuries but think about this: Benitez spent a lot of money on two potential world class players – would you have preferred Rafa to spend the money on 5 squad players from the £ 8 Mio category? How many players can you name from that price category that would improve the side? Lack of transfer funds is not a lame excuse, it is a reality. Check the Man City team today and you understand what I mean: Tevez who wouldn’t sign for Liverpool because of money sitting on the bench while Liverpool have to start Ngog. Bizarre.
– Lack of self-confidence. Probably the most important point in trying to find an explanation for our miserable start. We were so unlucky this season it’s hard not to start believing we need an exorcist. The injuries aside, there was also the beachball incident or ref decisions that mainly went against Liverpool. Plus conceding freak goals or unluckily in the last minutes of the games. The lack of believe to score late in a game as we did a few times last season or the fear to concede from the same set pieces again and again. It all comes together. In my opinion, the main difference between that sensational Liverpool side of the final third of last season and this season is not Alonso, it is mostly injuries and the lack of self-confidence.
Now what can our season turn around? Only a big win. I thought the win vs Manchester Utd would kick start our season but we missed out on building up a momentum – not least due to further injury set backs. The next game is Debrecen away and it doesn’t matter that they are not a top side but we need to get used to winning again and Hungary looks like the perfect place to get some of our self-confidence back. Everton away will doubtless be a key game, a potential kick-starter for our season so we cannot afford to continue criticising everyone and everything. Instead let’s support our team, our club, our players and our manager. Now is the time to live up to our reputation as Liverpool supporters, the time to live up to our great hymn YNWA. We should not only sing it, we should start to live it. Because at the end of the storm there really is a golden sky!