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This just got posted on another forum, dont know who wrote it but it makes interesting reading.

 

Is Benítez making a dog's dinner of Liverpool?

 

He may have won the Champions League, but Rafa Benítez - like Géd Houllier before him - is still no nearer to winning the league.

 

Scott MurrayOctober 23, 2006 09:55 PM

The canine theme continues apace on Merseyside. Because if Everton's no-nonsense outfit of the mid-90s had to suffer being branded as The Dogs Of War, then in all fairness and interests of balance, Liverpool's present side should henceforth be referred to as The Dog's Dinner.

 

What a terrible shambles the Rafalution is in danger of turning into. Is it knee-jerk to ask serious questions of Rafael Benitez, European Cup-winning Rafael Benítez, just because Liverpool performed so dismally at Old Trafford? So cluelessly at Bolton? So pathetically at Everton? And - forget the hard-luck stories, please - so helplessly out of their depth at Chelsea?

 

Well, possibly. That's only two months' worth of dreadful form after all, and anyone can suffer that. Just ask Arsene Wenger this time last year. But at least there was some sense then that Arsenal were making long-term progress: by the end of Benítez's third season, Liverpool Football Club will have edged no closer to ending their increasingly Manchester Unitedesque period in the league wilderness than they were under Souness, Evans or Houller. In neither style nor substance.

 

Ah, poor Géd Houller. Cup successes beyond supporters' wildest dreams, yet when it came to the competition Bill Shankly referred to as the club's "bread and butter", he couldn't push on. His defensive style was enough to land a brilliant European trophy - and with the likes of Roma and Barcelona in the way, the 2001 Uefa Cup was as impressive an achievement for the club as the 2005 Champions League - but his subsequent attempts to reach the Premiership summit playing a more proactive attacking game ended in laughable gaffe-strewn disaster.

 

This reminding you of anyone?

 

Like Géd, Rafa has shone in the cups. You can't knock a Champions League and an FA Cup in two seasons, but let's keep things in perspective. Here's Clichéd-but-Irrefutable Truth Of Football No4,873: a well-drilled defence and a soupcon of luck can take you a long way in knockout competitions, but winning league titles is a different proposition altogether. Imagine those two pots never happened - consider Gerrard's thriker against Olympiakos, Gudjohnsen's miss in the Anfield semi-final or Lionel Scaloni's hacked clearance at the Millennium Stadium, and that thin line between success and failure snaps sharply into focus. Imagine that, and Liverpool's lack of Premiership progression under Benítez is suddenly seen in stark relief: they're in the bottom half of the table after a quarter of the season, for goodness sake. But what's worse, they're a knotted mess.

 

Not one component of the team is functioning correctly. Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso look lost, the former detailed with different roles each week, the latter often asked to switch tack from playmaker to covering midfielder in the same game. The wingers - as much as Jermaine Pennant, Luis García and Mark González deserve to be described as such (especially if you compare them to Cristiano Ronaldo or Ryan Giggs) - meander aimlessly inside and without intent.

 

Up front, where goals are at a premium, Dirk Kuyt and Peter Crouch are frequently forced on futile lone patrol. (At Old Trafford, the busy Dutchman spent half the time chasing balls on the right wing from where he'd look up to cross, only to realise that the team's one penalty-box predator was chasing balls on the right wing and looking up to cross. Thus he'd find himself forced to turn tail and pass backwards.) Meanwhile a once well-drilled back line marshalled by Pepe the Performing Ape has lost all shape and unity, randomly sliding up and down the pitch like a graphic equaliser on a cheap hi-fi.

 

In comparison with dependable Chelsea, cinematic Arsenal and resurgent Manchester United, Liverpool are a total embarrassment. Actually, in comparison with Aston Villa, Everton, Bolton, Reading and Portsmouth, Liverpool are a total embarrassment. Benítez can't hide behind the European Cup forever - like Géd tried with his "five" trophies in a season shtick and that six-year "five-year plan" - and with Liverpool regressing at frightening pace, it's time he proved he can transfer his La Liga pedigree to England. Or was that "lucky manager" tag he was saddled with in Spain less unfair than it seemed at the time?

 

The crunch is coming. Does Benítez dump the progressive experiment (such as it is), sideline the wingers and go back to 2005's sturdy grind-em-out philosophy? If so, he ain't winning the league any time soon. Does he keep on with the current mix-and-match approach, in the hope that things will come good in "two months" (the Houllieresque wait-and-see timespan he demanded after the abject capitulation at the Reebok)? Well, good luck with that. Or does he give in to the ridiculous clamour to play Steven Gerrard in central midfield - where the captain simply never delivers - in which case Rafa should admit he's taken Liverpool as far as he can possibly take them, and step aside gracefully before everyone's reputation becomes irreversibly tarnished?

 

An end to the policy of constant rotation could be the simple answer; rotating the systems, that is. If Benítez sticks - in every league match - to the simple attacking 4-4-2 framework he often employs at Anfield, and quits trying to be too clever for his own good away from home, he can scribble whichever bloody players he likes in the regular spaces on each teamsheet. At least everyone might remember what they're supposed to be doing that way. And the strikers might have someone to pass to.

 

Telling his full-backs to get up and down a bit more might help too, but whatever he decides, something has to change. And quick. Because if there's not a notable improvement in Liverpool's consistency over the next three to four months, serious questions about Benítez's suitability for the task in hand should be legitimately asked. Turgid, clever-clever tactics will only get you so far and no further - as the Houllier era proved. It's the league Liverpool really want. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss? Say it ain't so, Rafa.

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Just recieved this PM from Heh!

 

Remember him the banned RS who is obviously so infatuated with Everton that he cant keep away from our forums.

 

Life required ASAP methinks!

 

(my reply in bold)

 

laugh.gif Re: the article you posted.

 

How you could take comfort in that, knowing that despite our terrible start we`re only a few points behind you with most of our difficult away games outta the way proves just how deluded you really have become.

 

That article is so biased, so anti-Liverpool and so unbalanced that it`s clearly stupid to even respond to it , yet, all the muppets will read it and take comfort in it.

They`ll ignore the fact the you`ll win fuck all ever again while Liverpool are top of their champions league group and 11 points off the leaders.

 

Have no fear you`ll be well behind us come May and you`ll never top a champions league group, in fact, you`ll achieve fuck all again this season....................when did you last win a trophy of note? were you born then?

 

 

Still reading an Everton forum even tho' your banned from posting laugh.gif laugh.gif

 

Sad and deluded, go back to watching your one man team and your knock out compotition manager.

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That article is so biased, so anti-Liverpool and so unbalanced that it`s clearly stupid to even respond to it

 

Hmm...and he's responding to it...nuff said :lol: .

 

Although actually reading it it's a very good well thought out argument (love "randomly sliding up and down the pitch like a graphic equaliser on a cheap hi-fi")...plainly by a Liverpool supporter and although I'm no expert on the RS from the outside it's difficult to see what Heh could disagree with.

Edited by mikeo
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I didn't realise you actually banned people on this site. How on Earth did I survive that???!!

 

As for the article, fair but a little early to be writing off Benitez just yet. His selections, if based on last year, are pretty sound its just that Gerrard is not scoring, which covered up a lot of the gaps last year.

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I didn't realise you actually banned people on this site. How on Earth did I survive that???!!

 

As for the article, fair but a little early to be writing off Benitez just yet. His selections, if based on last year, are pretty sound its just that Gerrard is not scoring, which covered up a lot of the gaps last year.

 

Dispite what alot of RS think we are open to banter, stick and differing opinions but when someone crosses the line a decision is taken by the team.

 

We're a fair bunch just a tad opinionated and a little argumentative at times!

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Dispite what alot of RS think we are open to banter, stick and differing opinions but when someone crosses the line a decision is taken by the team.

 

We're a fair bunch just a tad opinionated and a little argumentative at times!

 

True. Would be a rubbish forum (which it isn't) if there were no arguments

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  • 2 weeks later...
Nice to hear from you my red friend...hows things in your neck of the planet?

 

Bloody assignments and submissions never gave me the oppurtunity to spend quality time :D on the internet. My Crimbo hols start on the 20th of next month. Hopefully, ill be able to spend some more time here once they start.

 

 

Didnt know you'd been away, didnt miss you. :D

 

 

Go away! :D

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