According to reports from a source close to the team, Rafael Benitez has left Liverpool Football Club
Rafael Benitez has left Liverpool Football Club, a source close to the team has revealed. The news comes after a below par season, a spate of bad results, and Benitez’s recent attack on the club’s board of directors.
After Tuesday’s humiliating 6-3 drubbing at the hands of Arsenal’s reserve outfit, Benitez attacked Liverpool’s board for its sluggishness in pursuing signings, and its reluctance to provide enough money for quality players.
“If Arsenal can play nine reserves and score six at Anfield, people should be asking why,” said Benitez.
“It’s not because of one game. It’s because of many reasons. There is a lesson for the whole of our club.
“That lesson is that if you want to compete at the top level you must be able to spend a lot of money – not only on your first team but on the young players and the reserves.
“My scouting department has done an excellent job but sometimes we go too slowly as a club to make signings we need. We need to work quickly. And when we do, there is not a lot of money,” he continued.
The defensive remarks came amidst a wave of strong criticism, from board members and fans, aimed at his managerial tactics.
The club have nothing to play for, apart from pride, in the Premiership. They are not good enough to repeat their Istanbul heroics of 2005 and fell at the first hurdle in the FA Cup, unceremoniously dumped out by Arsenal in the third round.
Yet Benitez still fielded a team made up predominantly of reserves for Tuesday’s Carling Cup quarter final against Arsenal. Perhaps he was trying to preserve his main first team players for their difficult home match next week against Chelsea.
However, questions need to be asked. The Carling Cup was Liverpool’s only real chance to get their hands on silverware this season. And it is not the board’s fault that a team of youngsters was out-classed by another reserve unit. The blame for that lies solely with Benitez and his players.
Even if Liverpool had a full strength side out for the quarter final, Benitez’s job would still be in the limelight. The club was not so long ago thought of as the main challenger to the title aspirations of Chelsea and Manchester United. Now it is not even an also ran.
And the club is receding back into mediocrity, despite the £77.8m spent in transfer fees during Benitez’s two and a half seasons as manager. Third place in the title race will undoubtedly flatter Liverpool’s season. That is just not good enough for Liverpool and its fans.
Perhaps Istanbul was the zenith of “Rafa the Gaffer’s” reign and it is simply the right time to go.