Rafa Benitez : The End
In the summer of 2004, Rafael Benitez was signed from Valencia Football Club where he won the league tittle against the likes of giants Barcelona and Real Madrid. He came in with a huge reputation and the club was ecstatic over the signing which many believed would trigger the team to greatness.
The manager came in and performed whole sale changes removing many players,bringing in new blood. He brought in superb signings and also had his fair share of flops.
During his stint in the club he won 4 tittles,
UEFA Champions League 2004–05
FA Cup 2005–06
UEFA Super Cup 2005
FA Community Shield 2006
For me Rafa is a superb manager, there were a few things that were key in the fall from grace.
1) His close friend and assistant manager Pako Ayestaran leaving. Pako was instrumental in the Rafalution and was a strong right hand man for Rafa. The fall out was the no 1 factor.
2) The new owners, Hicks and Gillet bought the club with huge promise and hope to grow the team. After they managed to buy the club, there was nothing but negative coming out of the owners camp which didnt give the manager the flexibility and ammo to take the club forward.
3) Rafa’s new contract . From what i hear, the new contract gave Rafa full control over the club. All playing staff of all levels was his charge. This diluted the focus on the job in hand and the first team which matters the most. I personally feel that the manager should be given a contract to manager the first team and maybe a overview of the reserve, thats all.
On the 3rd of June 2010, Rafa Benitez and Liverpool parted ways by mutual consent. The contract was terminated and it marked a historic day for Liverpool FC. This means that the club will start their search for a new manager to take charge of the team for the new season and this search will be lead by Managing Director Purslow and club ambassador Kenny Dalglish.
Its mixed emotions for me. I think that he could have done much much better given the support and more stable owners. Its a sad day and i wish Rafa all the best in his future jobs and hopefully Liverpool will secure a manager with the same or better to take us forward.
On a separate note, now we need new owners. The Yanks are spoiling the club and destroying it from all angles!