Rafa Results

Rafa Results
So a couple of posts back I decided to talk about the so called “Rafa debate” like it or lump it the matter is on most people's lips so I figured it would be a good issue to raise on the blog.

What did I want to find out?
I thought it would be very interesting to attempt to collect views on the manager from not necessarily just Liverpool fans, but fans of other clubs within the Premier League. After posting on two website forums; Footbo & FourFourTwo I did manage to gather a few opinions and views.

What were the findings?
Firstly just so you get an idea of what everyone was being asked, this was the general question that was posted on both forums:

What do YOU think about Mr.Rafael Benitez? I'm looking for serious and honest opinions as the posts will be featured in my blog. It doesn't matter if your Liverpool, United, Celtic, Barcelona wherever you are please let us know what you think. Do you like his tactics? His formations? His play in the transfer market? Do you think he can win Liverpool the title? Does he deserve more time? Is he up there in your list of top managers? Are you a Liverpool fan who once stood by him but now feels his time is up? Do you as an opposition fan worry when he comes to town? Are you a Liverpool fan who sticks by him through thick and thin? Thank you for your time! All comments appreciated. Kirsty,

The first reply that came through was from an Aston Villa fan, he went on to say;
“He couldn't lace Shankly's boot's he is Spainish marmite you love him or hate him , because of his poor team selection/rotation from previous seasons ,his childish rant's ,his arrogance , you will never do well under Rafa (Gerard and the players have dug in to win trophies under him ,how did Rafa tatically or otherwise inspire your Euro comeback he runs a blame culture) Stevie G should have bailed out long ago now he's only got managing Tranmere's wooly backs in his old age to look forward to!) The Moores family sold you out!!!”

A very strong view there, clearly a negative view on Mr.Benitez, are you somebody who agrees with this? Is this also your point of view?

Not all of the comebacks were leaning towards a negative side some of the more positive replies included:

A Man City fan went on to say:
“I must say as a person I've always liked Rafa, but I the last couple of seasons he seems to have lost the plot. To be honest, you have one of the greatest midfielders in the world. Why in heaven's name is he up front? It will be interesting to see what tactics he uses against Man City.”

A Man Utd fan posted this reply:
rafa's a great tactician, will give him that... a great manager, who can, in future been one of the best the kop has ever seen... “

I couldn't find who this person supported but he/she posted:
“he's improved the club no end and won a champions league with them
however he's wasted money on some poor transfers
eg. Voronin

And again an unknown supporter posted this on the FourFourTwo forum:
“he's very good at making decisions under pressure, i also like his tactics

So considering all these comments were from none Liverpool supporters I would say that it is generally a good response, people seem to respect him and feel as though he can still give more to the club. So in comparison to these views what was collected from Liverpool supporters? At the moment this is where you will find the majority of people that dislike Mr.Benitez, all with their own reasons.

My first reply from a Liverpool supporter was on the Footbo forums, she went on to say:
“I have been a Liverpool fan since the 70s and i am mourning for what we have become at our great club. I thought things were bad when we had Souness as manager and we were buying nordics like they were going out of fashion!! Now we have Rafa who in my humble opinion is probably the closest thing we have to the 'real Manuel frm Fawlty Towers'!! Im afraid for the future of our club under him, he has no skill as a tactician as a man manager or as a person who can find decent players!! Torres apart who has he really got for us that can help our team?? People say we won the european cup with him!! NO we didnt we won in spite of him because stevie G dragged the team thru!! He lost us the nxt euro cup v milan with his absolute negative tactics!! remember he played the dutch guy Zenden when he was injured so he didnt last long it was an awful display of total negativity!! Whats with his fascination with full backs?? He had two decent ones in Finan and Riise what do we have now Degan and Insua!! Hardly inspirational!! And Lastly Gerrard is the best midfielder in the world what the hell is he doin up front??? Its a waste of his magic abilities!! Dirk kuyt is a total passenger in the team but rafa in his wisdom will play him every week regardless!! Whats that about!! I want to win the league but there is no way it will happen under Rafa/Manuel!!!!!!!"

A respectable point of view from a long term fan and this wasn't just mindless dribble, she backed up everything she put across. So this is a clear example of how fans who don't like Rafael Benitez feel, but this post also seemed to spark up a lot of reaction from the fans who back the Gaffa. After this post I received a couple of replies that were in support of the manager:

Fan 1
“Rafa Benitez may not go down as the most successful manager we've had however I do think that he is an exceptional football manager and there is ABSOLUTELY no reason to have question-marks hanging over his future. It was mentioned above that he has no skill as a tactician, I am going to have to whole-heartedly disagree with you there as Benitez is the most tactically astute boss in Europe. He is calm, calculating and always expecting more from his players, and you know he's the kind of guy spending hours in the tape room going over previous matches played by any opposition. In terms of where we are out now, Paul Tompkins (of Liverpoolfc.tv) continues to highlight the gulf in spending between us and the likes of United in particular, but I think its more a case of Rafa not being AS astute in the transfer market, as well as not having the backing of the owners when he needs it. The likes of Morientes, Zenden, Josemi, etc can be overlooked as absolute rubbish buys, and you could say it was only his "Spanish-connection" that netted us the likes of Luis Garcia, Alonso and Torres. Bellamy, Crouch and Keane simply didn't fit into our system, which of course revolves around the prowess of Steven Gerrard. Benitez understood this and cut his losses, as none of these players were willing to warm the bench. Kuyt is an absolute gem, the work he puts in, his willingness to play WHEREVER he is needed, not to mention a goal in the 2007 Champs-League final (how many players can say they've scored on that big of a stage?). All I can say is this year, there has been not one 0-0 draw, and I am more than happy to lose a few when our team is playing for the win."

Fan 2
rafa ..is a gr8 manager ..who knows his men's game ...an utmost loyal liverpool manager with all capabilities to remain one ..his tactical approach is good ....but certainly not better then that of fergie's ....man utd lost CR7 and still keepin the same grip and have chances of winnin the trophy ....while LFC lost alonso .....and see the difference .....rafa experiments too much instead of eleminating the strategies that dont work ......he is keen on makin those strategies work ..our club looses out its chances of gaining the title ultimately.....on this ........ .i fear history might repeat if we go at this rate ..........but i firmly believe in leaving rafa do the best he does always ...which can fetch us the title ....for i have no clue about his plans ........i ll defenetly stay by his side through thick and thin ..as a kopite its my duty to stand by it ...and i ll do it with all my heart ........after all he is the manager of LFC for christ sakes ...as kopites we are supposed thank him for his service that has taken LFC this far.. "

All in all the plan went accordingly although there was the occasional outburst with no real point to put across:
“i love rafa FOR F*** SAKE all lfc fans stick by are manager!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Shite! Hola!”

Frustrated maybe? Or just couldn't back up their views? I don't know but there we are.

So there we have it the results on Benitez, I hope you found this somewhat interesting, unfortunately i didn't get as much of a response that i was hoping for but I know I always find reading peoples views a good pass time, it's always nice to keep up to speed with how people feel and to point your own view across. I also feel now is the appropriate time to say how I feel on the Benitez matter;

I am a fan who will back the manager 100% when I can constantly see improvement in some manner. I also will back the manager when he is faced with a difficult job yet makes the best out of what he's got. I back a manager who isn't perfect and makes mistakes but is man enough to put them right on the majority of occasions. I back a manager who is fully behind the team and culture of our club. I back a manager who I feel can still push us forward besides the critics and “stats” that write him off. I back a manager called Mr.Rafael Benitez.