Alan Hansen: ‘Rafa Is Leaving Liverpool In Their Worst State For 50 Years’

By Chris Wright

Liverpool legend Alan Hansen has stuck the boot in to the club’s recently-departed manager Rafa Benitez, claiming that the Spaniard has left the squad in the worst state it’s been in for half a century.

The former Scotland defender also expressed his fears that prospective high-profile managers will be put off from taking over the reigns at Anfield by the chalice of sh*t they would be inheriting.

Speaking in his column for the Daily Telegraph, Hansen said;

“After six years under Benitez, it is definitely time for a change at Anfield, and credit must go to managing director Christian Purslow and chairman Martin Broughton for being strong with their decision, but whoever comes in faces a mammoth task, one which will start with a blank sheet of paper and a realisation that it will be a long haul ahead.

You could be looking at three to four years before Liverpool get back to where the club should be.”

And the MotD pundit is also under no illusion as to where the majority of the blame lies for Liverpool’s gradual fall from grace;

“Although Benitez will cite a variety of reasons – the owners, key players losing form, the financial problems – he is the man who has filled a squad that is littered with bad buys.

Benitez made too many mistakes with too many players. In recent seasons, he hasn’t got any right beyond Fernando Torres, Javier MascheranoGlen Johnson. They were all big-money buys and players of proven quality.

Benitez has had money to spend, but when he has bought players in the mid-range market of £3-5 million, they just have not been good enough and that is why Liverpool’s bench has been so poor in recent months.

He has spent too much money on average players and we are now seeing the fruits of that because Liverpool are a long way short of competing to finish in the top four, never mind fighting to win the big boys’ trophies.”

Hansen also added that he believes Liverpool will struggle to restore themselves to their former glory if they allow key duo Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard to leave the club this summer;

“The only light at the end of the tunnel for Liverpool at the moment is that they still have Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres.

If the club decides to cash in on those two, it might raise £90m for new players, but what kind of statement would that send out to the supporters and potential new signings?

Unfortunately, if Gerrard and Torres go, there will be no light and a dark tunnel for Liverpool.”

Ouch! It’s fairly harshly worded, but I’ve got to say I agree with him.

You can read the full article here.

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  1. tony says:

    alan that is a load of rubbish u r talking look when rafa took over dudek biscan kewell diouf baros that is some of the team rafa took over look what he has left reina johnson carragher skyrtel agger maschareno gerrard aquillani torres that is 9 quality players he has left only need 4 additions what gerrard & torres both said then they will have a good a team as anyone in the premiership not squad team so i would say rafa has not done that bad compared to what he started with why does everyone slag rafa of he is a quality maager

  2. bully g says:

    a manager plays with the budget he has…. financially, we are not in the same league as your manu’s, chelseas, milans, barca, real madrids…. when you pay top dollar for a player, you know you are getting the finished article with honours to their name… the gamble is still there but it’s far less than the gamble rafa has had to take… yes he’s made his mistakes but who hasnt… i dont think fergie, mourhnio, ancellettio would have achieved anywhere near what rafa has if they’d had to wwork in the conditions he has had to in the last 6 years…. Give the man some credit hansen…

    Current squad is weaker than the one he inherited…!!! Oh… dudek, traore, biscan, mellor, pongolle, vladi, le tallec, cisse, baros…..etc…. all better than pepe, skertel, agger, masch, torres, aqua, lucas, johnson, benni, babel… etc…. I don’t think so….

  3. oki says:

    I agree with Tony. A. Hansen is WAY off with his “slaughter” of the current Liverpool-players! Quality-players (at least): Agger, Skrtel, Johnson, Mascherano, Aquilani, Reina, Maxi, of course in addition to Torres and Gerrard.

  4. steve mcauley says:

    tony, i don’t think your arguement holds much water mate, i do agree those players weren’t great but they DID win the CL !!! what have the players rafa bought won since and don’t tell me the FA cup that SG won after being out-played by west ham for 89 mins or that other great trophy that benitez listed as one of his successes, namely the community shield (how embarrassing was that). hanson is spot on, HE and HE ALONE has littered the squad with dross! he spent £250m on players HE deemed good enough for Lfc, the vast majority of them are championship quality at best!

  5. KZ says:

    Another bullsh**te from a former ex-Liverpool legend. Try being a manager before giving your two cents worth of critism. When can they learn to keep their big mouths shut?

  6. stan howard says:

    has alan forgotten kuyt, benyoun and reina all good buys. rodriguez and aqualani should be given time, alonso and arbeloa were determined to leave whatever rafa had no choice but to sell. if the board had backed him over barry we would not have bought aqualani.

  7. steve mcauley says:

    yes guys i do agree that we have some high quality players now, but you all surely must concede that, due to his pathetic man-management skills, rafa just can’t get the best out of them! as for bully g’s theory that top bucks brings the finished honour-laden article, i have 2 words for you mate…alberto aquilani….he cost big bucks when we so obviously needed a quality striker.

  8. steve mcauley says:

    hey KZ, i think someone who has played under some truly legendry managers has more right to voice his opinion than the likes of you (and me) who think they know it all

  9. bill says:

    Alan,what about Xabi alonso???? Every person said we were a 2 player side,torres and Gerrard,then Alonso goes and we really miss him,which we did,who bought alonso,and wasnt allowed to spend the profit made from him?
    Rafa has made mistakes,the way he treated Alonso being one,why on earth chase Barry as a replacement for Alonso,do you ever think Barry would play for Real madrid.
    Get it right Alan,you were a hero for the pool,dont start jumping on the kill rafa bandwagon with the rest of them,he was a great manager,he wont be out of a job for long,what does that tell you???

  10. Deckard says:

    I think Hansen is speaking in frustration from his Liverpool heart rather then wanting to sit on the manager’s seat.

    About Aquilani, he was the so-called replacement for Xabi Alonso, although they’re distinctively different players. He was kinda cheap compared to what he might’ve cost a few years ago so I think Rafa might’ve thought he grabbed a bargain. Downside was that he bought Aquaman while he was still injured and wasn’t match-ready when half the season had already passed.

    I dunno about Gerrard but Torres made it clear a number of times in the media this season that it was essential for him LFC are playing CL next season. No CL could be a deal-breaker for him and a certain Real Madrid are dead-set on getting a world-class striker this Summer after Barca have bought Villa.

  11. Deckard says:

    Btw, ok Torres may be an Atletico boy, but it’d be a great temptation to resist when Madrid offers you a mega contract and the chance to play with some of the best players in the world. We shall see….

  12. Matthew says:

    Is this the same Alan Hansen that less than a year ago tipped the very same squad to win the Prem? Sorry to say this about a Liverpool legend but what an idiot.

    £3-5m are not mid range players these days. They are bargain basement. Too many times Rafa had to accept his third or fourth choice options because there was no money.

    For a club with the 5th most expensive squad and 5th biggest wage bill to win the title is unrealistic at best.

    But it’s good a Liverpool legend is focusing on the most important issue i.e. kicking the former manager when he’s down. Now that he’s gone all is good and well at LFC. Sad days but I guess he has to put food on the table.

    There is a cancer at Anfield that is slowly but surely killing the club.

  13. Col Gee says:

    And that article demonstrates why Hansen should never, nay WILL never be considered for ANY management position.

    The statement that Rafa failed with his ‘mid-range’ market buys (3-5 mil) indicates that he is talking out his ass. In this day and age, to regard the mid market as that price range is either naive and stupid, or he has said that in order to point an inaccurate picture of Rafa. The fact is that the low-range would be 1-5m, the mid-range is in the region of 6-15m and the top range is above 15m. Hansen shows himself as an idiot by making that statement, and, in fact, by making it, he acknowledges the market that Rafa has had to work with mostly.

    Rafa, for me, made 2 seriously bad purchasing decisions in the top range (Aquilani – not because he is a bad player, but because we needed someone to get in and go from the start of the season – enough said .. and Keane, which was a total disaster). Those 2 purchases are the ones Hansen should have highlighted as questionable – but he preferred to attempt to make the situation look a lot worse than it actually is with his comments.

    Whoever takes over the managers job at LFC, will have a MUCH better squad (assuming the Yanks don’t sell the family jewels, of course, which is a very real threat) than what Rafa inherited .. similarly, Evans took over a worse squad from Souness as well. Worst squad in 50 years? What HAS Hansen been smoking?

  14. oki says:

    Col Gee: LOL (and I agree!) :)

  15. Matthew says:

    Forgot to mention the reserves and the Academy that are in a way better shape than what they were after Houllier. There are several young players that have a real chance of breaking into the first team. Or at least would have had if Rafa was the Liverpool gaffer.

    Col Gee, you’re right. Not your regular Marlboro in Hansen’s pack.

  16. Deckard says:

    Don’t really agree. Rafa’s proven he has this buying obsession, good players and highly questionable ones, and in his 6 year tenure it’s fair to so not a hell of a lot of home grown talent broke through. I mean, Jay Spearing got his first taste of Prem League action near the closing of the 08-09 season and barely went on to make any progress the following season. He could’ve got plenty more playing time but Rafa always put his money on the likes of Benayoun and Lucas, who in my opinion fall well short of being top side material.

    I also don’t agree with Col Gee that Keane and Aquilani were Rafa’s only two really bad buys. I got mixed feelings on Aquaman anyway because there’s not doubt he has potential, buying him when he was still miles off from being match fit raised alotta question marks.

    But other serious mistake in my mind are the likes of Dossena, Voronin, Crouch, and Jan Krompkamp for those who remember who he is. They might’ve cost a lot less and all, but players who fail within a season or who just never really got going are simply flops. Then I’d also put my question marks behind players such as Riera and Babel who look good on a good day but on any other day are very, very average players the way I see it.

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