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Graham aus Liverpool, Lothar


Startbeitrag von Graham aus Liverpool am 27.10.2007 01:39

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Gruss, Graham


Graham, du hast vollkommen Recht, hab einen comment hinzugefügt

von Lothar - am 27.10.2007 06:59

Subject: Rafael Benitez

I have read the article in today's Daily Mirror(Saturday 28/10/07, Brian Reade column) and although I agree upto a point with his view about the Premiership and winning the league, I don't know how he can say that qualifying for two Champions league finals has camouflaged our league form.
What you have to remember is the fact that Rafael Benitez inherited what was arguably the poorest squad of Liverpool players for about 50 years. To actually finish fifth in his first season and win the Champions League(!!) and League cup final, and let us not forget the horrendous injury list Rafa had to contend with, was an amazing achievement.
That season, 2004/2005, he had the worst injury list that I can remember in the thirty odd years that I have been supporting the Reds. It was so bad, he had to play Antony Le Tallec up front alongside Baros as everyone else was injured. Carson was in goal, and against Olympiakos in the group stages he had a combined front two of Mellor and Pongolle!!
Yet, not once did I hear Rafael Benitez moan and complain about injuries - the man is truly amazing.

The following season, again with little funds and also having to buy his second choice players with the little money he was given, he achieved a record points total for Liverpool in the Premiership of 82 points and finishing 3rd in the Premiership and won the FA Cup(!!).

Last season, again with limited funds he finished 3rd, and again took us to what for Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal, is the holy grail of a Champions League final.

Yes, after 18 years it would be great to once again win the Premiership, but remember United have again spent far more money than Liverpool. Benitez is the man to take us to the Premiership, but it ain't going to happen overnight. Ferguson took 7 years to take United to the Premiership title. Yes, Mourinho won it in his first season, but don't forget although he is an outstanding manager, he had the added bonus of having £500 million to spend!!

The problem for Rafa and the Liverpool board is that because it has been so long without a Premiership league title, the fans are becoming impatient for the title to being won, but Rome wasn't built in a day.

We have the best manager in Europe here at Anfield, we are lucky he isn't at the Bernabea in charge of Real Madrid, who would just love to have him as their manager.

In 2004/ 2005, Chelsea at home and abroad were taking all before them, and were the bookmakers favourites to win both the Premiership and the Champions League.
In the last 16 of the Champions league, Chelsea played Barcelona, Chelsea scored 4 at home and 1 away. in the quarter-finals they were drawn against Bayern munich, and again they scored 4 at home and 2 away over the two legs. In the semi-final, they faced Rafa's Reds and in the two legs, home and away, they had 1 (ONE) shot on target(!!), that was Fat Frank Lampard's shot at the Kop end that Dudek saved.

That was only down to Benitez and his astute tactical acumen in the way he laid Liverpool out tactically to play against Mourinho's Chelsea, it was quite simply a tactical grandmaster at work.

I have noticed in Brian Reade's column, he has quite rightly, in the past, praised Arsenal manger Arsene Wenger for the superb job he has done at Arsenal, but remember, in Benitez's three full season's at Anfield he has finished above Wenger in the last two, and that alone tells you the genius of the man.

Have trust in Rafa, he will bring us the title, of that there is no doubt.

Rafael Benitez, please click on the link below:-


von Graham aus Liverpool - am 27.10.2007 14:02
Have a read of this in today's Daily Mail, exactly what I also thought, tactically Rafael Benitez has without doubt, no equal. It was 10 minutes away from being perfected and would have been a famous victory over the Gunners.

Benitez is back to his tactical best

By JOHN EDWARDS - The need was for a player who thought a good game, rather than fought one and Rafa Benitez, in his infinite wisdom, decided that was the cue for Steven Gerrard to come off the pitch.

As the Liverpool manager attempted to explain — following a pulsating derby win over Everton — that he wanted a more cerebral presence in midfield for the last half-hour, after the opposition had been reduced to 10 men.

Someone who listened to his head more than his heart. The furore over one of the most contentious rulings of his three-year reign was only just subsiding when Benitez took his seat in the dug-out at Anfield yesterday, but one thing soon became clear. His line of thinking may not always endear him to others, but it applies to himself as well as his players.
Liverpool needed a manager who used his head for the visit of Arsene Wenger's latest brand of Invincibles and were served as well as at any time since the studious Spaniard replaced Gerard Houllier.

There have been times in the last few weeks when the man who disrupted the long established order in Spain by winning two La Liga titles with Valencia looked to be losing his touch, if not the plot.

From the baffling decision to leave Fernando Torres on the bench against Birmingham in order to save him for a Carling Cup start at Reading three days later, to his failure to guard against complacency in an alarming home Champions League defeat by Marseille, Benitez has found his methods questioned like never before.

Another reversal against Besiktas in Istanbul on Wednesday has left the five times European champions on the brink of elimination but, if misgivings over Benitez are beginning to surface, they were exposed as wholly misplaced by an overdue return to his tactical best against previously unstoppable Arsenal.

Should a Flair Play League ever see the light of day, there would surely be only one winner. Arsenal would run rings around the opposition, just as they currently do on a weekly basis. Most neutrals would join in the applause for a team who eclipse even Manchester United as the game's great entertainers.

Not the hard-nosed Benitez, though. Sensing some opponents were standing back and admiring Arsenal's artistry as much as any diehard Gooner, his priority was to draft a masterplan unashamedly designed to stifle a style that weaves intricate passing moves the length of the pitch at breakneck speed.

He could — and did — reason that the inclusion of Fernando Torres as a spearhead, flanked by Dirk Kuyt on the right and Andriy Voronin on the left, signalled Liverpool's attacking intent. The argument was further reinforced by the sight of Gerrard being given licence to charge forward from the centre of midfield, but this was no blueprint for throwing caution to the wind.

Goals may be their stock in trade, but the job requirements for Kuyt and Voronin also demanded keeping a watching brief on the offensive instincts of Emmanuel Eboue and Gael Clichy, so often a key element of Arsenal's attacking armoury.

Behind Gerrard, Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso were under orders to deny Cesc Fabregas and Tomas Rosicky the space they use to such devastating effect and, as with every detail of a carefully devised game plan, instructions were followed to the letter.

Arsenal may remain unrivalled exponents of the quickfire, one-touch approach. But Liverpool may just have shown the rest how to combat them. In front of Sir Alex Ferguson, too. There was the faintest of smiles on his face as he left.

von Graham aus Liverpool - am 29.10.2007 13:17
Just who are these people???

Who are these masses of people, as we are led to believe, that are pounding on the Anfield gates demanding something be done about Rafael Benitez? Loyal, battle-weary Liverpool fans I hear you cry?

Well, Rafa still gets chorus after chorus of rousing chants wherever he leads Liverpool teams, and they always seem to be sung the loudest whenever a couple of extra headlines are printed questioning the methods used on Merseyside. So it can’t be them, or if it is, surely they only make up a silent minority that dare not voice their disapproval at games and would rather ‘blog’ their discontent in safety.

So who else?

The media? Ex-players/managers? The young and rash? New fans? Or lo and behold…new American fans!?

In truth, it’s a mixture of all the above.

Great Expectations

But those who call themselves Reds fans who want to see Benitez sacked are obviously suffering. Not from the early season blues brought about by, to quote Steven Gerrard, “a minor blip”, but something more profound.

Ever since Jose Mourinho strolled into town and blew the big boys away with two seasons of almost flawless league winning campaigns, standards have been raised.

But that doesn’t mean anything other than a Jose-led trailblazing run through the league is inadequate management.

Yet, as we all know but seem to quick forget, Alex Ferguson was given year after unsuccessful year at United before landing the FA Cup, followed by his first Premiership. Monsieur Wenger won the league in his first full season in charge, but then didn’t do it again until four years later.

Only after ten revolutionary years in charge has Wenger become an “untouchable” in football. Arsenal fans didn’t demand his head after his initial league success wasn’t hastily followed by more, they could see gradually that the Gunners were being completely refurbished by Wenger, much in the same manner that Benitez is doing at Liverpool.

Great Spending

Yes, Jose Mourinho was brilliant, but he was crucially backed to the tune of just under £200 million pounds worth of stars, which blasts Benitez’s spending out of the water. No, Rafa does not have similar cash to spend, and this important issue seems to be worryingly lost on many who believe now that Fernando Torres has arrived for £18 million pounds that he has no excuses.

I ask you to cast your minds back to when £24 million pound striker Didier Drogba arrived.

In-tow with the Ivorian came £15m Arjen Robben, £13m Paolo Ferreira and £19m Ricardo Carvalho, not exactly on level par with Benitez’s outlay this year, especially when you consider the only serious incoming money Chelsea received was £9m for Eidur Gudjohnson, whilst Rafa recouped almost half of this summer’s spending.

Rafa Benitez in comparison has had three years in charge, in which he has lifted the Champions League trophy in his inaugural season and the FA Cup in his second.

Often some misguided mud is slung at Liverpool whenever the triumphant Istanbul victory is discussed. The usual taunt is that the Reds were freakishly lucky, which I’m more than happy to concede but not as the overall reason for the victory.

Great Changes

When Ferguson sends a letter praising Benitez’s tactical-nous to switch to a 3-1-4-2 with Didi Hamann man-marking Kaka so as to allow Liverpool to attack with freedom, then surely the ‘new tinkerman’ should be given his just dues as one of the top managers currently around, and thus not one to be rashly dispatched due to a disappointing run of draws in the league, draws that still leave the Reds in a healthy position to continue their challenge for the league unlike the previous year.

But the draws still throw up the old cliché of rotation, rotation, rotation. However a solid, stonewall fact of Benitez’s regime is that, according to Opta stats which form the basis of any statistical evidence in the Premiership, Liverpool have rotated less than United and Chelsea in the last three years. Unbelievable but true! Here is a fact that I shamelessly borrow from Liverpool fan and renowned author Paul Tomkins:

Manchester United won last season's league title with Alex Ferguson having made a total of 118 changes to his Premiership line-ups throughout the campaign, at an average of 3.11 changes per game. The season before that, Chelsea won the league with Mourinho also having made 118 changes to his Premiership line-ups throughout the campaign, again (obviously) at an average of 3.11 changes per game.

So how many changes did Benitez make in 2006/07?

You guessed it, 119 changes to his Premiership line-ups throughout the campaign, at what the eagle-eyed among you will know recognise as an average of 3.13 changes per game.

Great Rotations

Although I am more than happy to concede that one could name a United or Chelsea first eleven more comprehensively last year than Liverpool’s, probably to do with the fact that they had better more established players in certain positions, the stats still show that rotation is practiced by all top managers and is not some diabolical habit enforced without reason by Benitez, but a necessary tactic that unjustly receives overcooked criticism whenever a game is drawn or loss from it.

But are his systems to blame or the players? It is telling that Jamie Carragher, Steve Finnan, Sami Hyypia and Steven Gerrard have all come out to demand their team-mates and their own performances drastically improve since the Tottenham draw.

Furthermore, the media would lovingly feast on any grumbles of rotation from Liverpool players, but that has simply not been the case, as everyone, including Peter Crouch, have constantly backed the ideas and vision of their boss and never demanded a start or a move because of them.

This leaves us with the upset minority that continue to batter Benitez. All I can say, without trying to be pretentious (but failing miserably I fear), is calm down, calm down. Liverpool have good players and shall continue to improve to great success with Rafael Benitez at the helm.

I prefer to take heed from the views of Ferguson, Wenger, Benitez and Mourinho himself, who all at the start of the season emphasised the fact that this season shall be extremely tight and closer than before due to the heavy spending and big improvement made in the squads below them.


Speculation over Benitez will forever continue as will his rotation policy for it is now a bone to throw about for a media that are always scrambling for another big head to fall. All around the pressure and demands of success have reached unreasonable levels that even now we are at boiling point when not even a third of the games this season have been played!

All around you people will cry into their pints with woe that Liverpool “wont win it this year”, ignorant to the fact that all teams go through blips in the season. All I can say to Liverpool fans is follow Kipling’s advice: if you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs…

When Chelsea ran riot they truly never looked like having a blip, but all of a sudden towards the middle and end of last year and the beginning of this year they stumbled drastically, all I should I add, under the stewardship of Mourinho, thus proving that even with their two back-to-back league success, all teams go through bad patches.

Chelsea decided to detach themselves from the mercurial services of the Portu-geeza in maddeningly arrogant fashion, so after, as the level-headed Gerrard says “a minor blip”, does that mean Liverpool should dispense with Benitez? In my humble opinion the answer is absolutely not, and furthermore it is delirious to think so, for any such act would put an ongoing successful project back years and would defiantly be to the detriment of Liverpool FC.

If Benitez does not achieve the holy-grail of a 19th league title this season, I for one will be hugely disappointed as much as our ambitious manager will be, but crucially, I shall be very happy if the Spaniard signs a new contract on the last day of such a season for long-standing success and golden era’s takes time to ferment. Just ask Ferguson, Wenger, your fellow Liverpool fans that remember Shankly and Paisley, or even more poignantly the Mourinho-less Chelsea fans.
We have the best manager in europe, that's my opinion, tactically he has no equal.

von Graham aus Liverpool - am 30.10.2007 17:23
Benitez exclusive: Reds boss on rotation policy, title ambitions, foreign quotas and managerial mind games

CNN - Everybody talks about your rotation policy. Why do you rotate players so much and how do you react to criticism?

Rafael Benitez - All the managers change players. When you play 2 games a week, you must change players. So everybody does the same. The question is if you win or if you lose. When you win, nobody says anything. So we will try to win and keep people calm.

CNN - How hard is it to keep the players calm?

Benitez - I think the players understand. They all want to play every game, but they understand that if you want to be a contender, you need to change players because otherwise you will not be able to be fit the whole season.

CNN – Steven Gerrard doesn't rest much. How important is he to the team, on and off the pitch?

Benitez - He's the captain, he's a player with good mentality, strong character, so really important for us. On the pitch he can change games, and off the pitch he is an example for the rest of the team.

CNN - With so many foreigners at the club, is it important to have someone like him to help them identify with the spirit and history of Liverpool?

Benitez - We are trying to keep the British players, the English players, the local players is our idea. They show the rest of the players what the passion means.

CNN – What do you think about all the foreigners in the Premier League? Do you think there should be a quota to limit them?

Benitez - The balance is the key. We were talking about Gerrard, the passion he can show to teammates, to have local players and foreign players if they are good enough is the key. If you have 20 local players with enough quality for winning trophies, perfect. If you cannot, you need to bring in foreign players. So the balance is the key."

von Graham aus Liverpool - am 16.11.2007 19:50
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