Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is considered a tactical magician, a master of European two legged ties and a target for big clubs like Real Madrid and Juventus. His success in Europe’s most prestigious club competition has effectively covered up for his complete failure in domestic competitions.
This season, again, Benitez has run out of domestic ammunition but this time around, he does not have his European weapon to fall back upon. Liverpool’s performances during the course of the season have been so dreadful that they can barely be classified as a ‘performance’. And the manager, not the owners, is to be blamed.
Let’s put aside, for now, the excuses which involve injuries and lack of transfer funds. Let’s just assume for whatever reasons, Rafa received the squad plus Xabi’s transfer money as a summer gift and also received regular setbacks in the form of injuries. It was up to him to make the best out of it. Could he have done better? The answer is an emphatic yes!
Benitez used two-thirds of Xabi’s transfer money to sign Roma’s injured midfielder Alberto Aquilani. At the time of signing him, the club was well aware that the Italian will be out for at least three months at the beginning of the season. This clearly implied that Lucas, the star of pre-season, was thought to be good enough to fill the gap left in midfield – a judgment that has virtually cost the club its champions’ league spot.
Benitez also sold the reliable Alvaro Arbeloa and brought in Glenn Johnson to replace him, defying his own style of play which involves a solid defensive unit rather than attacking full-backs.
Where Art Thou Skipper?
The problems were clear on day one itself, at White Hart Lane. The midfield combination of Lucas and Mascherano lacked the creativity or simply, the ball skills to pass the ball forward with any conviction. The result was that they resorted to passing square, rather than forward, and the Gerrard-Torres duo was left frustrated without any service.
Amazingly, the same trend continued even at Anfield.Throughout the season, Benitez stuck with two defensive-minded midfielders for home games.
What should have been changed? Liverpool’s performances are directly affected by the involvement of Steven Gerrard, and the skipper should have been controlling the play alongside Mascherano rather than waiting for things to happen alongside Torres. One can understand Rafa’s reluctance to break up the devastating duo of Gerrard-Torres but the threat possessed by the pair was significantly reduced after Alonso’s departure.
The club needed its captain in a central midfield role and on the ball rather than as a second striker who faded in and out of games, yet this did not happen throughout the season until the final few minutes of matches which Liverpool weren’t winning – a classic example of which was at Bolton.
Symbol of Liverpool 2009/10
While Rooney’s sublime finishing represents the United of this season, Drogba’s powerful display represents Chelsea and Fabregas stands for Arsenal’s exquisite brand of football; Liverpool’s symbol of their miserable season became Dirk Kuyt and appropriately so.
Diaby header sinks a defensive Liverpool at The Emirates
Abysmal performances against fourth-place rivals like Villa and City, and relegation-threatened teams like Wolves and Portsmouth, were characterised by complete absence of attacking intent.
It makes one wonder whether Liverpool’s all-attacking style at the end of last season was simply forced upon the manager due to circumstances? Since Benitez had the cushion of having already secured the champions’ league spot, he had no option but to go all out for the title. As a consequence, some devastating football was played at the club and Liverpool ended up top scorers in the league. The results were there to be seen, but the learnings were nil.
Time for a change
Over the years, Rafael Benitez has given the club plenty of wonderful memories – delight in Istanbul, joy at Wembley and the freedom of Old Trafford among wins at the Nou Camp, Bernabeu and The San Siro – but never has he given what is most desired by the people of Liverpool – ‘consistency’.
The all-promising but zero-delivering owners certainly haven’t helped and the injuries have added to the misery. But when you take into account the fact that money isn’t going to come overnight and injuries will always affect players, Liverpool need a new manager – a manager who sticks to a consistent line-up when he can, has no prejudice against a player and is able to produce results under the apparent financial restrictions of the club and the limitations of the squad.
It’s been five years for Rafael Benitez at the club, but it’s time for Liverpool to move on and look forward to a new beginning.
Nicht nur sachtexte, auch erzhlende texte liefern informationen fr das hausarbeit schreiben beispiel of hausarbeithilfe.com beschreiben