View from the Kop

The “Broader Picture” must be seen on Rafa’s future


There is much talk about the need for change at Liverpool Football Club: on the ownership front, on the management front or indeed both.

The key question, however, is what kind of change Liverpool needs. While a change of ownership combined with a generous injection of funds would be most welcome, the future of Benitez and the personnel he has brought to Liverpool has become – to put it mildly – controversial.

There are indeed many sides to the argument concerning the quality of transfers in the Benitez era. To suggest that Benitez has failed miserably in this department (as argued increasingly by some Liverpool fans over the course of this painful season) is to forget that he has brought in players of the calibre of Reina, Agger, Skrtel, Johnson, Alonso, Mascherano, Benayoun, Kuyt and Torres – while also holding onto Gerrard at a time when his exit for Mourinho’s Chelsea was all but certain. Less satisfactory transactions such as the Keane fiasco and the loss of Alonso, Hyypia and Arbeloa are the other side of the story, but then again Ferguson and even Wenger have had similar failures at different times.

More pertinent, perhaps, is to consider the general direction of the club – in particular, the development of the ensemble of Liverpool’s playing staff and the composition of Liverpool’s coaching staff. Following the reorganisation of Liverpool’s power structure last year, Rafa has sought to build solid foundations for long-term success by bringing to the Liverpool Academy Frank McParland, José Segura, Rodolfo Borrell and (in an ambassadorial role) Kenny Dalglish. At the same time, a revitalised scout network has seen the recruitment of European youngsters (such as Daniel Pacheco, Daniel Ayala, Lauri Dalla Valle and Krizstian Nemeth) has been increasingly balanced by the development and acquisition of exciting British talent like Nathan Eccleston, David Amoo, Martin Kelly, Tom Ince, Michael Ngoo and, most recently, Raheem Sterling and Jonjo Shelvey.

The solid spine of the Liverpool first team – Reina, Johnson, Agger, Carragher, Skrtel, Mascherano, Lucas, Gerrard, Benayoun, Aquilani, Torres and perhaps even Babel – has thus seen a parallel (though similarly incomplete) improvement at the level of the Reserves and the Academy. More importantly, the arrival of individuals such as Borrell promises long-term developments along the lines of Barcelona’s enviable model revolving around a nucleus of home-grown talent.

Our horrendous season on the field has unfortunately clouded the many achievements of the Benitez era and threatens to influence the thinking of Liverpool decision makers. It is to be hoped that Martin Broughton and the Liverpool board can turn their eyes away from this year’s failures and towards the broader picture; and that they are able to marshal the required funds and assurances to keep Rafael Benitez at Liverpool for the duration of his contract.

Benitez’s departure in the summer would derail the club’s progress at a critical time, bringing about an exodus of both coaching and playing talent and threatening the foundations laid in recent years.

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  • Andy says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Particularly like the reference to his list of successful trades. Most lists seem to stop at Torres. They also neglect to mention that Reina, Agger and Skrtel to name three were relatively unknown when he brought them in. And his detractors never mention that at the time he was even criticised for bringing in Torres. At the time many supposedly wise headsthought he did not score many goals, and never in big games, and of course he wasnt strong enough for the EPL.

  • Rememory says:

    Thank god, someone finally talking some sense. Lets not also forget if there is a new manager brought in, even with funds, i seriously doubt Liverpool will be straight back in the fight. With a new manager comes new tatics, staff, etc. A normal target with a club of this size would be 5 years, Rafa’s had 6 but with no money for the last 2.5 it’s no wonder we’ve had 3 baron years.

  • samuel charles says:

    reina would walk into most if not all clubs in the world, agger and in time skrtel for what they cost, 6 mill each was the fee, what a snip they where, when you see bolton want 20 mill for the over rated cahil, could that be because he is another so called young english great! dear god the guy is over rated at best, kuyt again has scored more goals than most wingers in this league and yet he gets stick? yossi is one of the most under rated players around and what did he cost, 5 mill form west ham, then you have ngog, hardly plays buts does gets goals when needed, and what did we pay 1,5 million peanuts…. lucus was a snip at 6 mill, please tell me waht you want for 6mill whne man utd pay 17 mill for nani, who has had half a good year out of 3, hargreves any body for 19 mill, doesnt play a game and no one says a word about fergies bad buys,,,, are you getting any of this, oh buy the way what about arbeloa when we paid 2,2 mill for him and sold him for more, no one ever said what a snip he was, alonso was 10 ,5 mill sold for nearly 3 times that amount in,,, rafa is so bad isnt he,,, waht a load crap… yes he has let fairly good players go, but ask your self why,, because we have not got the cash to pay the wages to have that wide and deep exspensive squad.
    crouch was brought and we made a profit, and when he plays well for spurs he gets credit, when he did for liverpool he was over rated, this country and its media is ill and is happy to drive liverpool down.

  • dj says:

    lfc was 5 years behind MU when rafa joined liverpool.rafa has brought us within striking distance of the big teams with very little money actually. you only have to look at the tranfer dealings to see why we are falling behind again. the finger points quite clearly towards the yanks.they have not been as suportive as the media would have us believe. read the following, courtecy of the telegraph today. the dopy t**ts have unwittingly helped rafa with this one.

    IN: £2m Josemi; £1.5m Nunez; £10.7m Alonso; £6m Luis Garcia; £6.3m Morientes; £1m Carson; Free Pelligrino. Total: £27.5m.
    OUT: £2.5m Murphy; £8.5m Owen; Free Babbel, Henchoz. Total: £11m.
    NET SPEND: £16.5m.
    WON: Champions League.

    IN: £240,000 Barragan; £6m Reina; £5.6m Sissoko; £7m Crouch; £150,000 Hobbs; £190,000 Idriza; £1.5m Gonzalez; £5.8m Agger; £250,000 Martin; Free Zenden, Fowler; Exchange Anderson for Welsh, Kromkamp for Josemi; Unknown Miki Roque. Total: £26.73m.
    OUT: £3.5m Diouf; £2m Alou Diarra; £2m Nunez; £6.5m Baros; Free Smicer, Pellegrino; Exchange Welsh for Anderson, Josemi for Kromkamp. Total: £14m.
    NET SPEND: £12.73m.
    WON: FA Cup
    IN: £6m Bellamy; £2m Palletta; £6.7m Pennant; £9m Kuyt; £200,000 El Zhar; £750,000 Ajdarevic; £2.5m Arbeloa; Free Fabio Aurelio; Loan Mascherano, Padelli; Undisclosed Brouwer. Total: £27.15m.
    OUT: £200,000 Whitbread; £3m Morientes; £675,000 Barragan; £2m Traore; £500,000 Mellor; £1.75m Kromkamp; £525,000 Potter; £1.5m Warnock; Free Hamann, Diao; Undisclosed Cheyrou. Total: £10.15m.
    NET SPEND: £17m.
    PREMIER LEAGUE: 3rd and reached Champions League final.
    IN: £5m Lucas; £270,000 Jose Dominguez; £1.8m Leto; £20.2m Torres; £5m Benayoun; £11.5m Babel; £1.3m Insua; £6.5m Skrtel; £18.6m Mascherano; Free Voronin; Undisclosed Nemeth, Itandje. Total: £70.7m.
    OUT: £2.7m Sinama-Pongolle; £100,000 O’Donnell; £4m Luis Garcia; £6m Cisse; £7.5m Bellamy; £3.5m Gonzalez; £1.2m Palletta; £3.5m Kirkland; £8.2m Sissoko; Free Dudek, Fowler. Total: £36.7m.
    NET SPEND: £34m.
    IN: £7m Dossena; £3.5m Cavalieri; £1.5m N’gog; £19m Keane; £8m Riera; Free Degen. Total: £39m.
    OUT: £4m Riise; £11m Crouch; £2.25m Guthrie; £3.25m Carson; £16m Keane; Free Kewell; Undisclosed Le Tallec, Finnan, Hobbs. Total: £36.5m.
    NET SPEND: £2.5m.
    IN: £17.5m Johnson; £17.1m Aquilani; £2m Kyrgiakos; £160,000 Ayala; £1.5m Maxi Rodriguez. Total: £38.26m.
    OUT: £250,000 Anderson; £3m Leto; £3.5m Arbeloa; £30m Alonso; £4.4m Dossena; £1.5m Voronin; Free Pennant, Miki Roque. Total: £42.65m.
    NET SPEND: -£4.25m.
    TOTAL BOUGHT: £230,476,000.
    TOTAL SOLD: £151,000,000.
    TOTAL NET SPEND: £79,476,000.

  • MisoSoup says:

    What is this? Sense and rationality? On a blog about Rafa? Surely some mistake here?

    Seriously, this post and the responses so far are helping me believe that not all LFC fans are Sun-reading bottom-feeders. Thank god for that. And Yes, let’s hope that good sense prevails and Rafa is still in situ this time next year.

  • johnson says:

    Benitez must go .we did not want him to make liverpool a bad club

  • samuel charles says:

    johnson you mug, based on waht you pric* you.
    i can tell you if rafa goes so does masch torres kuyt yossi and reina. i know this for a fact.
    so we have twats like you coming on here with your two second” rafa must go” oh what cause you have your one game ticket to show for you two months worth of so called love and support for this great club. i have followed lfc all over the world and have spent all the money i can to watch and support my beloved team, for you to tell me rafa should go after just one bad seasony on is just shite and im not having it,,, carry on reading sly sports and use your doll money to phone talk shite, and what more you english cun* you carry on getting your mind bent reading the crap englsih media drival that gets published every day. you mug you..

  • Bujang says:

    Great article. And I’m so glad to find fans that are not brainwashed by the media. Yanks OUT !!!

  • Bujang says:

    But not you johnson, you can go and support other team….

  • Colie says:

    Right now I hope the Board of Directors at LFC are reading this article….because this and another article by Alex Haas on live4liverpool.com are the best articles published on the situation at Anfield at the moment. And Rafa if your reading you have the backing of the real LFC fans and we understand, but whatever happens You’ll Never Walk Alone…..either the board decides we do want to be the Best club in the world bar none…and back Rafa and his plans…or else we let Rafa walk and half the current squad and we’re going to become the next Blackburn.

  • Colie says:

    Ps Johnson go back to doing your 3 times tables your teacher will have you doing lines tomorrow if you don’t know them off by heart. You thick tw*t.

  • samuel charles says:

    today i read of torres going to man city, er no.
    today i read of wanye bridge being a liverpool fc left back, er no.
    i read that rafa has missed meetings with the new chelsea fan chairmen, wring, he cancelled the meeting because of playing 3 games in under 7 days.
    rafa and broughton are meeting tomorrow and the press as always are blow it all up. its the saemold story, talk shite, sly sports and the newspapers that are all man utd driven are trying to make this up and make more of it.
    can i add gerrard will not be going to city, if he goes it will be to inter or real or barca. if torres goes it will be for more than 70 mill, and im telling you scummy english media driven cun*** thats he aint going any where close to city. yanks out rafa in new players, its that clear but some mug lfc fans cant see it…. joke,,,

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