Prawn Sandwich

Manchester United Review

Rafael Benítez – Is he a failure as Kop boss?

I believe, Liverpool are finally ready to see off Rafael Benítez this summer. He has already booked his tickets, it is rumored. The destination is yet to be finalized. But I think he would fly in the general direction of Italy where Inter Milan (if Jose Mourinho failed to deliver Champions League) and one certain Juventus would be waiting with the net to catch the man if he jumps off the plane in their zone.

Other rumored destination is the blue side of Manchester. Highly unlikely though, yet one cannot completely discount the idea. If Manchester City happened to wrestle the fourth spot away from Tottenham, then Benitez, I reckon will be a good choice if they want to establish themselves in Europe.

Benitez’s European pedigree is undoubted. He is regarded as someone who knows a thing or two about how to make inroads in the Champions League.

But if City are also targeting domestic titles, then it is better to look away from Benitez. His record in the English Premier League, so far, has failed to impress anyone.

There are mixed reactions to his failings in transfer dealings. So far in his tenure Liverpool have acquired almost 66 new players, and have sold almost double this figure with a reported loss of over 80 million pounds. It is argued that many players were bought behind his back or without his approval. Whatever it is, I do not want to further talk about this.

But at the end of the day, jokes apart, if he did fly away from Liverpool, I would say it is his failing to develop and improve players that came to his undoing.

None of the local players have made the progression from the Academy to the first team under his management while promising youngsters such as Stephen Warnock, Danny Guthrie and Adam Hammill have been sold to smaller clubs.

No current first team player has improved to a great deal. Torres, Gerrard, Mascherano, Xabi Alonso, Kuyt and Yossi Benayoun had made a few heads turn. But given the kind of players they were before, the level of improvement made is minimal or almost nill.

Let us compare the scenario with Manchester United. In the last five years many players have shown tremendous improvement. Ronaldo went on to win World player of the year award. Rooney has become one of the top three players in the world. Vidic and Patrice Evra have been rated as one of the best in their respective positions. Darren Fletcher has had phenomenal improvement. Nani has started to exhibit his abilities. Giggs and Scholes are still firing in their grey.

If this is something to go by, Benitez’s time as manager in the Mersey side, should go down largely as a failure than anything else.

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This entry was posted on April 29, 2010 by in PS Exclusive.
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