Football FanCast guest columnist Nigel Watson writes an open letter to his fellow Liverpool fans.
To my fellow Red,
It is not much fun being a Liverpool fan at present and for a football club that isn't use to losing, this season has been something of unchartered territory for us and more so Rafa Benitez.
Say what you want about the man but tactically Rafa is extremely astute, hence why we have lost so few games in the past two seasons and I am certain he is just as bemused as to where it is all going wrong at present and why we have lost nearly as many games in the past 10 weeks as we had in the previous two years.
Why the critics will point to the loss of Xabi Alonso (it is the easy option), I actually believe that Rafa has been the victim of circumstance and something totally out of his control; I mean how many players have come out of this season with any credit and say they have given 100% for their manager and the football club? As well as poor individual performances, the club has suffered greatly to the curse of international football where few of our players ever return fully fit or having not picked up a knock or injury of sorts. The loss of Fernando Torres and fully fit Gerrard has cost us dear and why supporters will point to the fact that every club picks up injuries, few of our rivals have such a constraint on finances like we do at present.
Why last night was frustrating and I have never seen an Anfield crowd as disgruntled walking away from the ground as we were, since the days of Souness' tenure, I call upon all of you to show a sense of realism to the situation and not buy into the negativity that the media are filling the papers with this morning and the questioning of Rafa Benitez. Yes we have hit an unprecedented run of defeats, but this is the same manager who has not only won the Champions League for us, but every year has got us closer and closer to winning the Premier League title. Is all the progress he has made and the giant strides the club has taken going to be dismissed on the back of a bad start to the season; slightly unfair isn't it, surely he deserves greater respect?
The problem is when a little anarchy sets in at a football club is that it doesn't take much to escalate and why the media are doing their level best to drive a wedge between supporters and Rafa, it is vital that we rise above their provocation and get behind the man and the team, otherwise the situation is in danger of only getting worse, which is no benefit to us this season at all. Despite our horrendous start we are 7pts off the top of the table and should we beat Manchester United at the weekend then it will put us firmly back in the title race, so should we really be writing ourselves off so soon, I mean apart from the Fiorentina debacle, you can hardly say we deserved to get beaten in all our previous defeats and the footballing gods in those games haven't been shining on us at all; we certainly didn't deserve to lose last night.
So my message to the supporters is to not buy into this anti-Rafa campaign, stick by the man and the club and not give the media the satisfaction to try and split the current regime up. We are going through a blip at present, no question, but I'd rather we get it out of the way now, why the teams are still relatively close in terms of points. Rafa Benitez hasn't become a bad manager overnight and he deserves our overwhelming support.
Let's get behind him…