What has happened since Rafael Benitez talked facts?
January 10th: Stoke 0 – 0 Liverpool
Liverpool 1 – 1 Everton
Liverpool 1 – 1 Everton
Wigan 1 – 1 Liverpool
Liverpool 2 – 0 Chelsea (against 10 men)
Everton 1 – 0 Liverpool
Portsmouth 2 – 3 Liverpool
Liverpool 1 – 1 City
Real Madrid 0 – 1 Liverpool
Middlesbrough 2 – 0 Liverpool
In all competitions: W3 D5 L2
Premiership: 18 points on offer, 10 points won.
In contrast to United, who have had League Cup semis to fit in as well as catch up on the Premiership games we missed in Japan, have faired considerably better.
January 11th: United 3 – 0 Chelsea (against 11 men)
United 1 – 0 Wigan
Bolton 0 – 1 United
United 4 – 2 Derby
United 2 – 1 Spurs
West Brom 0 – 5 United
United 1 – 0 Everton
West Ham 0 – United 1
Derby 1 – 4 United
United 3 – 0 Fulham
United 2 – 1 Blackburn
Inter 0 – 0 United
In all competitions: W11 D1 L0
In Premiership: 24 points on offer, 24 points won
Liverpool fans were/are adamant that Benitez has what it takes to lead them to Premiership glory. This one in particular was certain Rafa was speaking the truth in that odd episode ahead of their 0-0 draw at Stoke.
Do I think Rafa lost the plot with his ‘fact’ speech? No. He was spot-on in what he said; Graham Poll came out and spoke of the fear referees have of Ferguson, a man since named as the most powerful figure in English football.
Do I think there is no way Liverpool can win the league under Benítez? Of course not. But it’s a monster task, no matter who is in charge. This appeared to be a great season with some stuttering from United, Chelsea and Arsenal, but equally, Liverpool have had their own reasons for stuttering at times, too. (Torres’ injury, Gerrard’s court case, etc.)
I defend Benítez because I believe he is a great (if not 100% perfect) manager. I defend him because I believe the Liverpool way is to not undermine the manager. I defend him because he is incredibly dedicated and cares for our club. I defend him because I believe in continuity, and how long-term managers tend to do better than those at the clubs who chop and change.
I sincerely hope fans like this keep Benitez in a job. Sign on, sign on.
“Before the game it was very difficult,” said Benitez after the defeat. “Now it is more difficult.” Genius, I swear.
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