Rafa Benitez must resign after destroying Liverpool

Ollie Irish

14th, January 2010


By Ollie Irish


“How do you control this thing?”


That’s it then. All of the goodwill earned by Rafa Benitez with the Champions League win in Istanbul in 2005 has now run out – there’s not a drop left.

After Liverpool lost to Reading at Anfield last night, time is surely up for the Horizontally Challenged Spanish Waiter. Or, as one Liverpool fan put it, on F365 today:

“I know I keep trotting this out, but in the last 2 years he has destroyed the squad, Hyypia, Dudek, Finnan, Riise, Pennant, Crouch, Bellamy, Fowler, Kewell, Arbeloa, Alonso, Garcia, Keane. Now, ok some not at their best [sic] and how he would have kept them all happy is another issue. However, having said all that, all of those players I have listed you would be happy with to call upon. It is Benitez fault [sic] the squad is poor. He had the players and he has got rid of them, ok he has bought in possibly the world’s best striker in the last two seasons, but the squad is shocking, at best a Championship squad.”

When you see those names listed, you realise that, yes, Rafa has done his best to strip Liverpool of a substantial number of more-than-decent players, and he hasn’t managed to replace them with better models – in fact, he has downgraded in most cases. Bar Torres, who everyone could see was more than just a good player, and whose nationality meant that it was easier for Benitez than his rivals to tempt to Anfield, Rafa’s dealings in the transfer market have been a total failure.

That would be fine if results were still good. But after the promise shown last season, this season has been a calamity. It seems that most teams have figured out how Liverpool play – without creativity, most of the time. Hell, Reading certainly figured it out.

The problem is, Benitez does plenty of homework, but he’s utterly mechanical – not to mention stubborn and, in post-match interviews at least, plain childish – in his use of tactics. We know the drill by now: two holding midfielders stay put, strikers-perversely-converted-to-wingers work their guts out on the wings, Stevie G runs around like the proverbial headless chicken, and if that doesn’t create chances (it doesn’t), then simply pray that Fernando Torres is fit and can win you the game with a moment of magic. It’s utterly predictable, shamefully so on Rafa’s part.

Speaking of Gerrard and Torres, it appears that the former – who is having his worst season in a long time – is at the stage where he no longer has the desire to play for the man he has defended to the hilt, whereas it seems increasingly bizarre that a player of Torres’s quality should ply his trade at Liverpool, rather than the likes of Barcelona or Chelsea.

If there are any Rafa defenders out there, I wonder what possible argument they could make for the current manager to keep his job. Even if it costs a ridiculous amount of money to sack Benitez, it’s something that has to be done now.

Agree/disagree? Let’s ‘ave it…


Phil McNulty’s BBC blog on this subject

The Guardian’s Kevin McCarra on Liverpool’s woes

Posted in Featured, Liverpool

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  1. Denzil Ruiters says:


  2. Ahmad Zaman says:

    You are an idiot.

  3. harold says:

    Amen to that brother! He should retire and not burden other clubs and their fans with this much disappointment or turmoil I won’t even wish it on Man United!

  4. Richard Hulligan says:

    No excuses for last night, but i’m sure Man U(re) are out of the cup too?!
    Some of the team need to buck their ideas up, but losing Torres AND Gerrard in first half definitely affected the teams rhythmn and tactics… if it was Rooney, Berbatov,Drogba,Lampard,Fabregas, Arshavin, I’m sure each team would suffer a dip in fluidity.
    Its the wrong time to press the eject button, but something needs to be done
    In reference to the poor Benitez review you chose to showcase in your article, perhaps this honest overview might redress the balance as regards player Out of Anfield.

    Hyypia-after 10 years of great service, more or less retired.
    Dudek- Reina far better, Dudek didn’t want to warm bench
    Finnan-Showing his age and easily exposed- where’s he playing now?!
    Riise- At fault for CL exit ’07. Not good enough defensively despite occasional worldy goals
    Pennant- I don’t think I need to explain
    Crouch- Sorry to see him go, but him or Torres?! Didn’t want to play every other week.
    Bellamy-Not enough product for industry, dressing room moaner
    Fowler-brought back after his best.
    Kewell-Not even half the player he was at Leeds,absolute disgrace
    Arbeloa-switched off too often
    Alonso- Good servant, but not the reason for poor season.
    Garcia-Inconsistent, a risk
    Keane- Couldn’t hack the pressure or expectancy

  5. rowan says:

    and replace him with who exactly. until we get rid of the owners bring in money and stability. we have no choice but to stick with benitez. i would rather Rafa than Mark Hughes or someone of that ilk. lets wait till the end of the season, get totally new owners, keep purslow and go for Matin oniel with the promise of millions to spend. thats the only way out of this mess imo.

  6. oller says:

    Thinking about last night, both Torres and Gerrard effectively brought themselves off, with no real obvious injuries. I can’t think of a more defiant act than the top 2 players basically walking off the pitch.

    You’d have to wonder if morale was better and they enjoyed playing for their manager, they might have tried a little harder to run them off.

    Almost seems as if they just want to get off the pitch.

    Anyway, I support Reading, so let’s bask in McAnuff’s almost wonder goal. URZ!

  7. Jas says:

    Another Newcastle or Leeds in the making… hahahaha

  8. Nick says:

    Keep him to the end of the season?, unfortunatley that might have to be the case but not by choice. If he had any decency, he would walk away of his own accord. Its plain to see that he has ran out of ideas, the dressing room is obviousley divided and our most treasured asset in Stevie G, is clear that he has lost confidence in his manager and players around him. He spent his whole time on the pitch against Reading having to shout at players because not many of them seemed interested. I dont believe that he went off injured, i genuinley think that he just refused because of the way they were playing. None of the players were listening to instructions and just running around doing there own thing.
    My vote would be to put King Kenny in charge till the end of the season and then look for someone along the lines of O niel or Mourinho, a manager that will instill belief within the players and someone with character which Benitez does not have. His tactics clearly do not work but yet he refuses to change. I know everyone has there own opinion on this saga, but that is my own opinion.

  9. Dave Mcallen says:

    You are deluded if you think Benitez is the man for the Liverpool job , he has to go NOW!!!! Agree with the article , how many more excuses can anyone come up with for this massive failure??!!!

    The longer he stays the worse it will get. Please do the decent thing RB sooner rather than later. Oh , anybody would be better at this moment in time , OPEN YOUR EYE’S IRWT Brigade!!!!!!

  10. scouser_ste says:

    I will not defend Rafa, but them players need to take a long hard look at themselves. Basically same team that finished 2nd last season and were fantastic, apart from Xabi and Arbeloa. So what has happend? from being so good to so poor in a few months? Yossi, Kuyt, Skrtel, Gerrard to name a few were brilliant last season, now they are jsut going thru the motions. Something needs to be done, and its only going to end one way.

    Dont like saying sack the gaffa etc, but we are so poor. There is possible one manager good enought to take over, and would he come? probably not, why would you come, you have got precious little money to spend etc

    Club is a complete shambles top to bottom, and its sad to watch

  11. gary says:

    what a load of rubbish is that all you can say sack rafa lol. i think a lot of you supposed liverpool fans have forgotten were we were as a football club before rafa arrived. the only thing rafa is guilty of is raising expectation.

  12. Padraig McKeon says:

    Leave him there until May as it makes no difference at this stage. Liverpool will end up out of any European football and that will change the ground rules in every respect.

    Then there is only one option – Murinho.

    As for the key players – Torres and Gerrard, I’d be worrried.

    At this point if I were Torres looking towards the World Cup, I’d be scaling back on busting me balls to get fir for my club. Risk missing the Workld Cup for one of the favorites for the privilige of possibly finishing 6th rather than 7th in the EPL table.

    As for SG – two small words beckon for a 30 yr old that is running out of time and has less prospect that ever of getting a trophy with his home club – MAN CITY.

  13. sai says:

    SACK HIM! Is a MUST! or else liverpool will relegate!

  14. mike says:

    As an LFC fan and a football fan it hurts me to say this, but i would like to see Torres ply his trade elsewhere. With a better team, a footballing team. This is the worlds best striker playing in one of the worlds worst football teams. This kid should not be hampered by our pathetic miserable club any further. gerrard can just fuck off the miserable bastard.

  15. Adam says:

    Interesting comments with regards the players who have left. Most of those players were signed by Rafa in the first place. A large portion of them were simply not good enough. The idea of still having Sami, Kewell, Fowler, Dudek, Pennant and Bellamy in the squad is absurd. In each case we have better players, all signed by Rafa. For that list, in order: Skrtel, Benayoun, Ngog, Anyone, Riera and Torres. Finnan was a crock the very next season after he left, Crouch asked to leave because he would have not gotten a regular start, Keane was never going to be good enough … seriously folks, I can see as well as the next bloke that this is not the greatest squad in the league but it’s a hell of a lot better than what he inherited. I’m not suggesting Rafa is immune to criticism but some of these comments are absurd.
    For people to mention Mourhino … I’m honestly gob-smacked. This is a man who engineered Chelsea into being one of the most boring clubs in the world despite having a team worth hundreds of millions. Sure, he can win things with a team of superstars, but how long before fickle Liverpool fans get on his back for not playing the right kind of football? For god sake, try and put your hurt feelings aside for a second and try to think rationally about what is best for this football club.

  16. anon says:

    No way

    Rafa needs time to finish the job

    Rafa MUST Stay!

  17. EDWhite says:

    How can a manager who has signed nearly a hundred players since coming to Liverpool not have a team to challenge for the title. Rafa your time’s up, so please go.

  18. Denzil Ruiters says:

    I’d like to respond to the comments of Richard and Rowen – History is true and we had good players of which we all know, but reality dictates that a child can only be kept interested as long as you do things to make it interesting. It is useless to say that what was – and in the process be relogated AND loose top players. The best thing to do is to admit that Rafa is stubborn in his team selection and also with his zonal marking obsession. If you tell me we must keep Rafa, because of financial burdens, what players is going to be left? I can gaurentee you that Rafa does not know what quality he has in Liverpool ANYMORE and he will never get it with his iron fist mentallity. Hence a new, fresh Manager and some much needed fresh ideas.

  19. rowan says:

    I would just like to say how proud i was to hear the fans signing YNWA whilst 2-1 down to reading in the FA cup and playing shockingly. They, unlike the manager, players, and owners are a credit to the club and do not deserve the treatment they are getting. Hopefully someone with influence will have seen this and come and save our club!!

  20. Souksonne says:

    @ Adam – I’m sure at this stage after such a long dryspell (League) that any Liverpool fan would take a trophy, no matter how boring the football to achieve it.

  21. phil says:

    Jeez – how predictable are football writers? And can you see a band-wagon without jumping on it? What would be the result of a change of manager? Do you imagine the team would fly up the league? How exactly? By the power of magic or wishful thinking? As for the prat who posted on football365, well that semi-literate oaf posted on a Murdoch site! I think that tells us all we need to know about his judgment.

  22. Denzil Ruiters says:

    Caragher is apologising all over the net, but that is like saying you are sorry for something you had nothing to do with. Caragher, I appreciate your passion, but the bottom line is, you need to know what went wrong! Not just in this game, but in all the others we’ve lost, surely some one at Liverpool look at the Videos and questions wrong doings, unless it’s being watched by Rafa who is the reason for the mistakes and can’t see it. Get some one that can see the mistakes, please! This is the question that no one seem to answer truthfully. We all know Liverpool is almost the same team as last year, but why cant any one see where the problem is. I mean you and liverpool are on top and seriously guys, some one there must be able to think. Well, i am not there, but what I see on the TV and internet is that you lost your key qualities in distribution, creativity and defense. If the player is not good enough to be called a Liverpolian, then why put him there. If the manager purchase and select players that don’t cut the Liverpool level then he is loosing the plot and that is what Rafa lost and we need to put a stop to it. How can you loose so many games? surely some one at Liverpool is man enough to cut there losses and move on! Get my team back on track and for once get rid of the dead waite PLEASE!!!!

  23. rowan says:

    Liverpool today revealed the extent of the injuries sustained by Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Yossi Benayoun against Reading last night.

    Related Links
    A Club spokesman said: “Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres both underwent scans earlier today after coming off in the FA Cup tie against Reading.

    “Steven has a hamstring strain and will be out for a fortnight, while Fernando has torn a cartilage in his right knee. The injury will require surgery and he is expected to be sidelined for six weeks.

    “Yossi Benayoun also suffered a fractured rib in the game and will be unavailable for between three and four weeks.”

    Oh dear!!!

  24. DaVE says:

    Benitez must be the luckiest guy alive then seeing as his awful tactics led Liverpool to 2nd in the league last year. As well as tumbling upon 4 goal masterclasses over Madrid and United. This Benitez guy really must have no clue. Bloody foreigners, eh? Good Old “Tax Dodger” Harry would never treat Keane badly would he? No leaving Keane, his captain, on the bench is crcking man management isn’t it?

  25. Quincy says:

    @Richard Hulligan

    You are a world class analyst.

    I agree Benitez must not go. The squad will only be more instable because a change of manager needs to settle for some 6 months. And that is no option if we wanna see our mighty reds win it all next year.

  26. Anonymous says:

    stupid ugly benayoun costs pool the game

    and some deluded fans think that rat is world class

    kick him out

    along with the equally crap and ugly kuyt

  27. dee says:

    stupid ugly benayoun costs pool the game

    and some deluded fans think that rat is world class

    kick him out

    along with the equally crap and ugly kuyt

  28. Mr.C says:

    So this is what loyal fans do, huh? Already abandoning the ship. Since 2004, when Rafa arrived we have been improving. Second in the league, fa cup, champions league. Look where we were before that and I’m not talking 20 years back. So stop being so ungrateful and drop this defeatist mentality. It’s been a shitty year with a lot of injuries and the team hasn’t played as a team but that is no reason to forget all we accomplished. Patience and faith, that’s all it takes. Oh and getting reed of the Americans.

  29. Dave A says:

    Total agreement! If you sing the song, mean it. Rafa could have walked away for money at madrid, he did,nt. if the team is having a bad time, remember the words of the song. if players don,t want to stick with us as the song says, they should f–k off, they don,t belong. the only thing rafa should do in future is ask prospective players, do you want to play for LFC, if they do, then talk money. I lost the faith after Reading, but remember the song, YOU,LL NEVER WALK ALONE!

  30. jeneria says:

    I just don’t understand buying players and then sitting them on the bench. What is the logic behind that?

  31. fedup says:

    Rafa must go NOW

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