Football for the couch potatoes


Monday, October 02, 2006

Benitez Out!

Liverpool, tipped to be Chelsea's biggest challengers this season, suffered another depressing defeat against Bolton on Saturday and find themselves 6 points behind Chelsea and Man United.

While Bolton away represents a tricky fixture for most Premiership sides, a team with championship aspirations such as Liverpool surely must come to places like the Reebok stadium and win - something Chelsea have done under Mourinho.

So just what is wrong with Liverpool? They have a large squad with international players all over but in manager Benitez lies the big problem.

Statistics would point to his constant chopping and changing of the team, in fact it has been 90+ games since he has named an unchanged side from the previous match. This is not different from a certain Ranieri at Chelsea who was constantly criticised for his excessive tinkering which ultimately cost him his job.

Aside from the constant rotation of the players, Benitez is also terribly negative. He consistently opts for defensive tactics when he should be overwhelming inferior opposition with a team that boasts the likes of Gerrard, Bellamy and the under utilised Luis Garcia.

This constant change of tactics and personnel does not breed confidence among his players surely?

I do wonder whether Steven Gerrard might be regretting his decision to stay on and not join Chelsea.

Sure, Liverpool die hards would point to successes in the Champions League and the Fa Cup, but a closer observation suggests that they were very close to losing both finals. Of course the fighting spirit of the players is never in doubt but what Benitez has promised is league success and he has failed to deliver. Even a top 4 finish is now not a certainty with the likes of Everton and Villa looking impressive.

Finally, there is Peter Crouch.

Look at all the top forwards who have won the title - Shearer, Cantona, Cole, Yorke, Sheringham, Henry and van Nistelrooy.

Crouch is a good player, but Liverpool need better, and fast.

It is still early in the season and Liverpool fans will be hoping for a more positive approach from the manager and a bit more from Bellamy and Gerrard.

Blackburn at Anfield on Saturday is a must win or else maybe they should be looking at a future without Rafael Benitez.


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